Mildura is the name of a region of Australia (also called Sunraysia). In addition, the name Mildura Rural City refers to one of the two main municipalities of this region, a municipality that includes Mildura city itself and several other communities, including Irymple and Murrayville.
The region of Mildura is known for its wineries and citrus groves, its river-centered recreational opportunities, and its proximity to several national parks. The Mildura region sits at the intersection of two states of Australia: Victoria (home to the city of Mildura), and New South Wales, and lies near the state of South Australia.
The original inhabitants of the Mildura region were aboriginals, including Paakantyi, Yerre Yerre, and Latje Latje. Few remained after the Europeans colonized the region.
The first European explorer to arrive was Capt. Charles Sturt in the 1830’s. He found the headwaters of the river he called the Darling. Later he found another river he called the Murray. While navigating this river he found what he believed to be the confluence of the two rivers.
After Capt. Sturt’s discovery, settlers moved in to graze sheep and cattle. Once boats arrived in 1853, the regional town of Wentworth became a commerce center of the outback.
The settlement of Mildura was founded in 1887, after Americans George and William Chaffey came to develop irrigation infrastructure on an old sheep station. They arrived in response to a seven year drought and after a visit to their irrigation project in California by Alfred Deakin, a minister in the State Government of Victoria and chairman of a Royal Commission on water supply.
After WWI, settlers came from Italy, Ireland, Greece, England, and other countries, bringing their agricultural skills and traditions, and in 1937, Mildura was incorporated as a city.
The culture of Mildura is experienced through its food and wine…
Mildura’s most famous chef and restaurant are Stefano de Pieri and his Italian restaurant, Stefano’s. The restaurant, located in the cellar of the Grand Hotel in Mildura, serves locally grown produce and wine.
Chef Stefano is a well-known proponent of the Slow Food Movement, which was created to counter the pervasive fast food culture and link food, tradition, culture, ecology, animal welfare, and health.
An array of restaurants of many different flavors can be experienced in Mildura’s Feastreet, located on Langtree Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets.
From the Wine Cafe, where local wines can be sampled, to the local taverns and pizza parlors, Mildura restaurants are known for featuring local produce and wines.
With the Murray River playing a prominent role in Mildura life, it’s no surprise that tourists and locals also enjoy dining on the river, with several paddleboats that dock at the Mildura Wharf offering lunch and dinner cruises daily.