Located on the banks of the Eumeralla River in the Moyne Shire’s north-west, Macarthur is the gateway to the spectacular Budj Bim National Park. This quaint town is increasingly marked on the map of travelers seeking adventure in the nearby National Park’s many hiking and biking tracks, lava canals and rare caves. Budj Bim’s rich Indigenous history and World Heritage Bid is sure to attract increased tourism in the near-future. Stop for a glass of red at the local winery along the way, enjoy classic pub food or take a historical tour of the town. Now’s the time to uncover this hidden gem.

Take a trip back in time as you follow the Macarthur Heritage Trail and uncover the town’s history. Plaques all over town tell the story of times-gone-by, from the old Baker’s Shop to the traditional police gaol cell. Pay a visit to the Courthouse and explore a rich archive of family lines, news and tales from the past. Book in advance and be sure to visit the exact replica of Gordon Lucas’ Barber Shop, complete with memorabilia and rare advertising from the 1930s-70s.  

Macarthur Pub1

Cure your hunger and say hello to long-time locals Joe and Andrea. Grab a home-made pizza or a burger-with-the-lot, or pick up a coffee to keep you warm as you discover the town. Gather your friends for classic pub grub intermixed with gourmet specials, and warm yourself by the crackling wood fire at the 150+ year old Macarthur Pub. Cook Mohamed’s steak is rumoured to be the best in the south-west, but we’ll leave the judging up to you.

Not only is the Macarthur Wind Farm Australia’s largest, it’s the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. Wind your way down country lanes, and just five minutes from the centre of town you’ll find the turbines spinning in the breeze. Head out during a blue-sky-day to snap a dreamy shot, or for something truly spectacular, rise early and watch the sun creep up over the wind farm. It’ll bring with it a palette of colours to make any Instagrammer jealous, stretching as far as the eye can see.

Budj Bim Camping

Summer is the season for children’s activities in Macarthur, although you can enjoy a spot of tennis on the astroturf all year round. Get those sausages sizzling at the undercover BBQ area as your kids dash around the fully-fenced playground. Dip a toe in Macarthur’s ultimate country pool complete with a brand-new waterslide, and cool down with an ice-cream on the sprawling lawns. Embrace the town’s warm community feel.

BUDJ BIM NATIONAL PARK

THE LAVA CAVE

Turn on your torch and prepare for an underground adventure at Budj Bim’s Lava Cave. Just a 10-minute walk from the lookout and BBQ areas, the Lava Cave is arguably the park’s most popular attraction. Traipse down stone steps into the mouth of the cave and look up at the glistening moisture and moss clinging to the stone above. The cave, formed by cooling lava flows during the volcano’s most recent eruption, extends deep into the earth. Discover just how far, by following the mostly flat volcanic floor of the lava tube all the way to its end.

LAKE SURPRISE AND THE CRATER RIM WALK

Take a short walk from Budj Bim’s top carpark to the lookout. Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Surprise, situated in the centre of the park’s extinct volcano. Take a romantic stroll along the crater rim walk, Lake Surprise walk and Lava Cave trail.

The lake is home to a wide variety of fish and is rumoured to contain quicksand, so be sure to stick to the path. Keep an eye out for koalas, echidnas, kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, parrots and other wildlife on your walk.

The crater rim walk loops its way around the edge of the top of the volcano. A number of brilliant vantage points for the avid photographer can be found along the way.

THE NATURAL BRIDGE

The cathedral-like Natural Bridge cave can be easily accessed by vehicle, or via a moderate two-hour walk from the park’s main entrance. This rare cave’s otherworldly gateway will lead you into a tunnel littered with emerald-green moss-covered stones. Formed by one of the fastest-flowing lava movements at Budj Bim, the turbulent force of the lava flow resulted the cave’s unique triangular shape. It’s a geologist’s dream, and more than a little inspiring for the rest of us.

CAMPING

Budj Bim’s camping grounds are woven together through a tangle of dirt bush tracks. You’ll feel like you’ve got this quiet, tranquil place to yourself, but there’s never someone too far away. Campsites come with a large grassy area to pitch a tent, as well as a camp fire and BBQ plate ready to use. Showers and toilets are just a short walk from your site. Look to the trees – you might just spot a koala during the day or a possum at night!

PICNIC & BBQ AREAS

Listen to park’s resident kookaburras sing in the afternoon, but as you do so be sure to guard your sausages – they like them as much as you do. Enjoy undercover cover BBQ facilities with picnic tables and plenty of room to spread a picnic rug. At dusk, keep an eye out for kangaroos and wallabies hopping by.

MOUNTAIN BIKE & 4WD TRACKS

Woven throughout Budj Bim’s sprawling bushland are a number of tracks suitable for mountain biking and four-wheel drive adventures. Travel along and discover remnants of the past, from old stone fenced cattle yards to lone chimneys surrounded by crumbling ruins. The tracks open up onto grassy plains, and it’s not uncommon to spot an emu among the hundreds of kangaroos roaming the quiet bushland.

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