As one of Australia’s most populated inland cities and the heart of the Riverina region, Wagga Wagga has plenty to offer, whether you’re after fun with the kids or a cultural immersion.
Around five hours from Sydney and built along the banks of the Murrumbidgee river, Wagga Wagga has long been the thriving centre of the Riverina region. Surrounded by pastoral land and the untamed Australian bush means that the city will appeal to both nature lovers and those looking for the best restaurants to have a foodie escape. If you’ve picked out your accommodation and now want to plan your days, we’ve narrowed down the best things to do in Wagga Wagga for your next visit.
1. Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens
About 10 minutes out of the CBD, Wagga Wagga’s Botanic Gardens is a great place to take the kids. The miniature railway is a particular highlight, running around the park, through a tunnel and over a bridge. It’s in operation on the first and third Sunday of each month, so plan ahead.
The Botanic Gardens are majestic in autumn. (Image: Destination NSW)
Even if you can’t make the train, Wagga’s Botanic Gardens has plenty to keep little ones occupied. The mini zoo and aviary, plus an expansive children’s playground will have them riveted – be sure to download the Wagga Botanic Gardens Adventure Tour, a guide disguised as a game where kids can search for rare plants and hidden treasures.
Get your nature fix while walking the gardens. (Image: Destination NSW)
2. Wagga Beach
You can’t visit Wagga Wagga without checking out Wagga Beach. Technically not an actual beach, this is a section of the Murrumbidgee River that’s been turned into a water paradise.
Set up your beach tent for the day on its sandy shoreline or take a kayak out for a cruise. It’s easily accessible for wheelchairs and prams, and the massive new playground will provide entertainment on days when swimming isn’t as appealing. If you do swim, be cautious of the river’s current and sunken objects.
Swim in the Murrumbidgee at Wagga Beach. (Image: Jack of Hearts Photography/ Visit Wagga Wagga)
3. Wiradjuri Trail
Right next to Wagga Beach you’ll find the Wiradjuri Trail. This 42-kilometre track is a bike rider’s fantasy, winding along the Murrumbidgee River and through the Birramal Conservation Area.
Cycle the Wiradjuri Trail to take in more of the sights than you’d see on foot. (Image: Chloe Smith Photography/ Visit Wagga Wagga)
Not into bike riding? It’s also a popular walking track, especially the Wollundry Loop, a 12-kilometre stroll that sticks to the river’s edge and circles the peaceful Wollundry Lagoon. The trail also winds past plenty of popular Wagga Wagga cafes, so take a break and enjoy a leisurely lunch.
Make a stop at one of Wiradjuri Trail’s natural wonders. (Image: Chloe Smith Photography/ Visit Wagga Wagga)
4. Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
On the banks of the Wollundry Lagoon you’ll find Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, an architectural glass masterpiece that houses contemporary, Wiradjuri and First Nations art, sculpture and new media. The gallery regularly changes its exhibitions, which range from artist-focused to exploring themes and methods. It’s also home to the National Art Glass Gallery, a collection of 400 pieces of contemporary art glass.
Beyond the gallery itself, enjoy the serenity of Wollundry Lagoon, which has ample seating and space to enjoy the beautiful surrounds.
Find a unique collection of 400 pieces of contemporary art glass inside the gallery. (Image: Destination NSW)
5. Bundyi Cultural Tours
Gain a deeper understanding of the Wiradjuri history of the Wagga Wagga region via Bundyi Cultural Tours. Led by proud Wiradjuri guide Mark Saddler, you have various options you can select from.
Soak up the history and majestic scenery in Wagga Wagga. (Image: Destination NSW)
The two-hour walking tour is a great choice if you’re limited with time, but if you can, the full-day ‘Taste Of Wiradjuri’ experience is not to be missed – you’ll get to try bush tucker and immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the region.
Discover the vibrant Wiradjuri history of the Wagga Wagga region with Bundyi Cultural Tours. (Image: Destination NSW)
6. Ruby Tuesday
Feel like a bit of retail therapy? Fitzmaurice Street is home to some of the best shopping in Wagga Wagga, with plenty of boutiques to wander through. Ruby Tuesday is a must-visit. The airy, light-filled store is home to a wide range of Australian designer labels like Christopher Esber, Spell, Matin and Sir.
Try out Australian designer brands at Ruby Tuesday.
7. Texas Jane
After visiting Ruby Tuesday, head across the road to Texas Jane, another fashion boutique stocking well-loved Australian labels. Here, you’ll find brands like Camilla, Alias Mae, Palm Noosa and Shona Joy.
Shop fashionable jewellery at Texas Jane.
8. Ted And Olive
It’s also worth popping into Ted And Olive, another wonderful Wagga Wagga fashion boutique selling all your favourite labels. Here, you’ll find Agolde jeans, Kip & Co, BLANCA and Avenue The Label, among others.
Swing by Ted And Olive for a memorable shopping haul. (Image: Ted And Olive)
9. Wagga Wagga Show
If you’re planning a visit in spring, align with the Wagga Wagga Show. Held every year at the beginning of September, it’s been in existence since 1864 and has grown into a significant celebration of both culture and agriculture in the region.
Wander through the exhibits and check out award winners across a multitude of fields, from cake making and crafts to sheep and cattle. Make sure to stay for the headline music artist, and of course enjoy the fair rides.
10. Wagga Wagga Markets
While the Wagga Wagga Show might be the main attraction when it comes to a day out with the family, there are two regular markets that happen in the city, year-round. Visit the Riverina Producers Market for locally grown vegetables and fruits, plus regional cheeses and preserves. They’re held every Thursday at the Wagga Showgrounds.
If crafts are more up your alley, the River & Wren Markets are held regularly throughout the year at the showgrounds – check the website for the next upcoming event.
11. Borambola Wines
All shopped out? Take a break at Borambola Wines, a 30-minute drive out of Wagga Wagga. Borambola Wines first began with a chardonnay vine in 1995, and now produces a wide range of wines, from sparkling through to shiraz.
The beautiful homestead at Borambola Wines. (Image: Destination NSW)
Their cellar door offers wine tastings of three whites and three reds, plus you can sample the property’s Tuckerbox cider and beer, too.
Sign up for wine tasting at Borambola Wines. (Image: Destination NSW)
12. Museum of the Riverina
The Museum of the Riverina is where history buffs should head when visiting Wagga Wagga. With two sites – the Historic Council Chambers site and the recently redeveloped Botanic Gardens site – there is plenty to learn, from Wiradjuri history to the sports heroes of the region, plus don’t miss the gold Chico roll (the Australian fried delicacy was first created in Wagga Wagga).
Find Indigenous art adorning the pavement outside the Museum of The Riverina. (Image: Destination NSW)