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On the edge of the Australian outback and an oasis by the Murray River, Mildura in north-western Victoria features pretty citrus groves and vineyards, endless sunshine, great food and wine, and abundant water-based activities. The Murray River itself is a major draw and a great destination for a water-based holiday. Captain your own houseboat, enjoy a cruise on a historic old paddle steamer, paddle a canoe, swim, waterski or soak up the sun on a river beach. Mildura is the home of celebrity restaurateur Stefano de Pieri whose 'Gondola on the Murray' television series and cookbooks has boosted the profile of Mildura's fine food and wine and the quality and diversity of its produce. Beyond the lush, green countryside of the riverbanks stretches the Australian outback. The sublime, ancient sand hills of Mungo National Park contain some of Australia's most significant Aboriginal sites. The Mallee boasts abundant wildlife, rugged outback scenery and striking sunsets at national parks like Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Sunset. Adventurous explorers will find no shortage of exhilarating escapades. Popular events include the Murray River International Music Festival January, Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival in March, and Mildura Country Music Festival in September. Mildura is approximately six hours from Melbourne along the Sunraysia, Calder and Murray Valley highways. A number of regional airlines service Mildura from Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. Flying time is approximately one hour. Coach travel and train links are also available from major cities.