Christmas, Easter and the school holidays are high season period, when the city has an influx of people. Other peak season times coincide with events and festivals which take place throughout the year. For all those Jazz and wine lovers book you flights to Mildura in time for the the Mildura Jazz Food and Wine Festival takes place the weekend prior to the Melbourne Cup, usually from late October to Early November. This festival caters to both music enthusiasts and those who want to sit back relax and enjoy the food and wine. The combination of traditional jazz, swing and more contemporary music with locally produced wine and delicious gourmet food, has been attracting many locals and visitors to Mildura, since the festival was established. This is a great time to visit, as the social event of the year, the Mildura Melbourne Cup Day, also takes place. Head over to Mildura Racecourse to watch live horse racing, while kids can also be entertained with a number of activities.
If you’re looking for cheap flights to Mildura, your best bet is to visit during the winter months. July (apart from the arts festival and golf week) and August (bar Wintersun and the road race), in particular are low season times. Do bear in mind that if a big event or festival is taking place, flight price and accommodation rates may rise.
The Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival takes place in March; Mildura Golf Week and the Mildura Writers’ Festival are in July. The Wintersun Festival is in mid-August, the Tour of the Murray River (the road cycling classic) at the end of August/start of September. The Mildura Country Music Festival is on in September and the Mildura Jazz and Wine Festival in November.
Flights to Mildura take just 40 minutes from Melbourne. Lots of visitors – bound for the orchards and vineyards on working holidays – will arrive by coach, train and car too. Once they arrive, they’ll discover that, like many of the street names in Broken Hill, that honour its roots as a mining town, several streets in Mildura are named after the fruits that are grown here. Orange, Lemon, Lime, Cherry and Olive are just a few of them.
Take a flight to Mildura and visit this part of northwestern Victoria (and southwestern New South Wales) is known as Sunrayasia. The region produces 80 per cent of the country’s dried fruit and 85 per cent of Victoria’s wine-making grapes, not to mention a fair chunk of Australia’s citrus fruit harvest.
As Mildura Tourism says: “It starts with the river.” George and William Chaffey, Canadian brothers, founded an irrigation settlement along the banks of the Murray River in the 1880s. When soldier settlers and migrants from Ireland, England, Greece, Italy and the former Yugoslavia arrived, they brought with them the cultivation skills that helped to make Mildura the food bowl of Victoria.
The gourmet trail around Mildura is a delicious one. There are fine restaurants and wineries. Mildura also has a thriving arts scene. The mighty Murray River might just be the city’s greatest asset – for gazing at, fishing in or sailing along in a houseboat.
The climate is Mediterranean, with hot dry summers and mild winters. The summer months, December through February, see plenty of sunshine and hot weather. Temperatures can vary but 35 to 40 degrees Celsius is commonplace in the city, so make sure you pack lots of sunscreen if you’re visiting during this time. Autumn days, from March to May, are warm, while the evenings can become chilly. During the winter months of June through August, the temperature drops on average between 15 and 4 degrees and frost can occur. Spring (September to November), similarly to autumn, sees warm days and cooler nights. There is no rainy season, and rainfall can happen throughout the year, although it is more common from May to October. Weather-wise, the best times to visit are in summer, autumn and spring and this can depend on whether you prefer the heat of the sun or would rather explore the city when it is a little cooler.
A car is necessary for getting out and about. Sunraysia Bus Lines serve Mildura, Red Cliffs and Merbein. Coomealla Bus Lines run weekday services between Mildura, Buronga, Dareton and Wentworth.
Mildura Airport (MQL) is 10km from the town centre, on Allen Matthews Drive. Several car rental companies have desks at Mildura Airport (MQL) but do book in advance to save time preferably once you have booked your flights to Mildura. Taxis are also available.