Things to do in Wagga Wagga – NSW – Australia

Wagga Wagga, located in New South Wales, Australia, is a charming city with a rich history and beautiful scenery. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there are plenty of interesting and fun things to see and do in the area.

History of Wagga Wagga NSW

Wagga Wagga is a city located in New South Wales, Australia, with a rich and diverse history. Here is a timeline of key events in the history of Wagga Wagga:

1829: The first European settlers arrive in the area, establishing a pastoral property on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.

1849: Gold is discovered in the nearby Hill End area, attracting a large number of prospectors to the region.

1852: The first land sale takes place in the area, and the town of Wagga Wagga begins to develop.

1860s: Wagga Wagga becomes an important centre for the wool and wheat industries, with the establishment of several large farms and mills in the area.

1889: The city of Wagga Wagga is officially incorporated.

1915-1918: During World War I, Wagga Wagga becomes a major military training base, with thousands of soldiers passing through the area.

1939-1945: During World War II, Wagga Wagga again becomes a major military centre, with the establishment of a large airbase in the area.

1947: Charles Sturt University is established in Wagga Wagga, making it one of the largest regional universities in Australia.

1960s: The city begins to experience significant growth, as new residential and commercial developments are built in the area.

Today: Wagga Wagga is a thriving regional centre, known for its rich history, cultural institutions, and beautiful scenery. It continues to be a major hub for agriculture, education, and commerce in the Riverina area.

Best things to do in Wagga Wagga NSW

Uncover a wealth of history and culture at the Museum of the Riverina. Sample bush tucker with Bundyi Cultural Tours and walk in the ancient footsteps of the Wiradjuri people via a two-hour walking tour or full-day ‘Taste Of Wiradjuri’ experience.

Head to Wagga Beach for a picnic or dip, then stroll at night along the scenic Murrumbidgee River and Wiradjuri Walking Track. Shop for locally crafted items including bags made with the official town tartan and alpaca-yarn winter woollens from Ashculme Textiles.

National Art Glass Gallery

The city’s art gallery holds the nation’s leading collection of contemporary glass and features a range of innovative exhibitions for local and international artists. Tours, workshops and a program of educational activities for kids are also available.

The largest inland city in New South Wales is known for its captivating museums, vibrant art scene, and striking parks, but it’s the spirited community that truly sets it apart. Plan your visit to align with the annual Wagga Wagga Show for a unique celebration of culture and agriculture, or head out of town to discover wilderness, mountains and quaint villages in the surrounding Riverina region.

While you’re at it, try a few wines from the local vineyards and make sure to stop by Ted And Olive, a sustainable boutique that stocks all of your favourite labels (think Agolde jeans, Kip & Co and BLANCA). When the day comes to an end, hit the beach on a bend in the Murrumbidgee River – a summer must-do for all city residents. Or relax on the grass and soak up the serenity of a lush park.

RAAF Wagga Aviation Heritage Centre

Showcasing Air Force history, along with representing the significant involvement of the RAAF in the Riverina region of NSW, the RAAF Wagga Aviation Heritage Centre is well worth a visit. With aircraft on display, including a Gloster Meteor, a CAC Cabre and an English Electric Canberra as well as engines, uniforms and pennants, it’s a museum that truly embodies Australia’s military past.

Wander the beautifully maintained gardens and savour the lush riverbanks of the Murrumbidgee River or take in a theatre performance or concert at the Wollundry Ampitheatre. You can even go for a hike on the Wiradjuri Walking Track which stretches around the city.

Discover the many museums and galleries in town or for a break from history, book your stay at an Ingenia Holiday Parks Wagga Wagga NSW accommodation which puts all of the best attractions right on your doorstep. Wine and dine your way through the delicious local food scene, discover history at the many local landmarks or embrace the simple pleasures of country life. You’ll never want to leave!

Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

The largest inland city in NSW is a regional hub bursting with an array of exciting museums, striking parks and beautiful gardens. Its spirited community spirit and wealth of experiences make it an ideal destination for all travellers, whether you’re planning a family vacation or romantic getaway.

Craft the perfect itinerary for your Wagga Wagga trip with this guide to the city’s top attractions and things to do. From the spectacular Wiradjuri Walking Track to the National Art Glass Gallery, these destinations are sure to delight and inspire you.

Start your trip at the breathtaking Botanic Gardens, a scenic retreat featuring flower beds, a miniature railway, a zoo and free-flight aviary. This expansive garden is embroidered with fig trees, palms, and rose bushes and has dedicated memorials to those who served in both World Wars.

The gardens are also a popular event space with a large Tree Chapel and Music Bowl that can be hired for weddings, markets and events. Afterwards, head to Collins Park for lunch by the lake or take a stroll along the tranquil Wollundry Lagoon.

Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

If art is your passion, make sure you take the time to visit Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. It is home to the National Art Glass Collection and hosts a wide variety of exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery also provides imaginative programs for school groups to encourage engagement in the arts and meet curriculum requirements.

If you are a nature lover, the Wagga Botanic Gardens will be the perfect place for you to spend a day in the beautiful outdoors. This peaceful retreat consists of 20 hectares of beautifully cultivated gardens including a camellia garden, Shakespearean garden, cactus and succulent garden and native flora section. It also has a free-flight aviary and miniature railway to entertain children of all ages.

The city of Wagga Wagga means ‘place of many crows’ in the Wiradjuri language, so it is not surprising that the city has a great number of parks and gardens for visitors to enjoy. The most popular park is the War Memorial Gardens where you can visit a range of memorials including those for World Wars I and II, Vietnam and World War 11. You can even join a tour with Bundyi Cultural Tours to learn more about the history of this fascinating region from a local expert.

Wiradjuri Walking Track

Known as the Crow City, Wagga Wagga is home to a thriving art and culture scene with beautiful riverbank walks, galleries and gardens. You can explore nature on two feet along the Wiradjuri Walking Track, a 42-kilometre loop around the city that takes in Marrambidya Wetland, Silvalite Reserve and Pomingalarna Park.

The city’s culture precinct centres on the Wagga Civic Centre on the banks of Wollundry Lagoon. Here you’ll find the Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery and Wagga Wagga Library.

The centre of town is also where the city’s major cultural organisations are located, including the Wagga Wagga Performing Arts Centre and Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre. Notable artists from the area include poet Dame Mary Gilmore (featured on the Australian 10-dollar note) and former Yellow Wiggle Sam Moran.

The city is situated just under five hours’ drive from Sydney and three hours from Melbourne, making it easy to visit on a weekend or extended holiday. There are plenty of hotels, serviced apartments, vacation rentals and luxury farmstays to choose from.

Murrumbidgee River

From the stunning Murrumbidgee River to a beach so pretty it was named after it, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in Wagga Wagga. Take a swim or stroll the sand at Wagga Beach, or follow a section of the Wiradjuri Walking Track.

Back in the city, discover the local story at the Museum of the Riverina and check out Australia’s foremost collection of contemporary art glass at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. The RAAF Wagga Aviation Heritage Centre will enthral aircraft fans, while those interested in trains can browse the exhibits at the Railway Heritage Station Museum.

Shop the boutiques on Fitzmaurice Street, from fashion boutiques like Ruby Tuesday to a range of artisanal stores such as Paper Pear. This creative hub stocks handmade cards, as well as jewellery and sustainable home design made from recycled red gum. You’ll also find a range of boutiques showcasing Australian designer labels including Christopher Esber, Spell and Matin. Or for more cultural experiences, book a tour with Bundyi Cultural Tours to learn about the traditions of the Wiradjuri people, who are the traditional owners of the area.

Victory Memorial Gardens

The Wollundry Precinct offers a tranquil lagoon and plenty of ducks, geese and water birds. Plus, it lights up at night with 24,000 fairy lights. Designed by Thomas Kerr, it’s a reminder of the people who made great sacrifices for Australia.

Delve into Wagga Wagga’s history at the Museum of the Riverina, whose intriguing exhibits span indigenous culture, colonial history and local artefacts. Then take a tour of the city’s historic railway station to see old gang sheds and vintage tools.

Alternatively, hit the bowling alley for an evening of fun with friends at Wagga’s Civic Theatre, a town icon that’s hosted thousands of performances over its 60-year history. Then, stroll along the Murrumbidgee for a scenic evening walk or check out one of the town’s many live music venues.

If you’re visiting in spring, align your trip with the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show. It’s a showcase of regional culture and agriculture with everything from cake making and crafts to sheep and cattle. It also features a headline music artist and fair rides for the kids.

There is something for everyone in Wagga Wagga, from natural beauty to cultural institutions. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an exciting adventure, these are just a few of the many things to see and do in the area.

Best Places to eat in Wagga Wagga

Wagga Wagga is a city located in New South Wales, Australia, known for its vibrant food scene and diverse dining options. Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining, casual bites, or something in between, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. Here are some of the best places to eat in Wagga Wagga, NSW:

The Terrace Restaurant & Bar – This upscale restaurant serves a variety of modern Australian cuisine, with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. Highlights of the menu include fresh seafood, locally-raised meats, and creative vegetarian options. The elegant dining room and charming outdoor terrace provide a beautiful setting for a special occasion or romantic meal.

TFE Hotel Wagga Wagga – This hotel restaurant offers a range of dining options, from casual bites in the lounge bar to fine dining in the elegant restaurant. The menu features contemporary Australian cuisine, with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients.

The Union Bank Wine Bar & Bistro – This charming bistro serves a variety of modern Australian dishes, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu features a range of small plates, mains, and desserts, along with an extensive wine list featuring local and international wines.

The Coffee Club – This popular chain coffee shop offers a range of breakfast and lunch options, as well as delicious coffee and baked goods. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, The Coffee Club is a great choice.

The Picnic Basket – This charming cafe serves a variety of breakfast and lunch options, including fresh baked goods, sandwiches, and salads. The cozy interior and charming outdoor seating area make it a great place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends or family.

The Thai Garden – This popular Thai restaurant serves a variety of traditional Thai dishes, including curries, noodles, and stir-fries. The menu features a range of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and the friendly service and charming decor make it a great place for a casual dinner or special occasion.

Best Places to Stay in Wagga Wagga

Nestled in the heart of New South Wales, Australia, Wagga Wagga is a charming city that offers a delightful blend of rural tranquility and urban vibrancy. Whether you’re visiting for business or leisure, finding the perfect place to stay is essential to ensure a memorable experience. From luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, Wagga Wagga provides a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences. Let’s explore some of the best places to stay in this captivating city.

1. The Pavilion Hotel Wagga: This modern hotel offers comfortable rooms and a range of amenities to make your stay enjoyable. Located in the city center, The Pavilion Hotel Wagga provides easy access to Wagga Wagga’s main attractions, shopping areas, and dining spots.

2. The Houston Wagga: For those seeking boutique luxury, The Houston Wagga is a top choice. This upscale hotel boasts elegantly designed rooms, a rooftop pool, and stunning views of the city.

3. Quest Wagga Wagga: Ideal for extended stays, Quest Wagga Wagga offers spacious serviced apartments with fully-equipped kitchens and laundry facilities. It’s a convenient option for families or travelers who prefer a home-away-from-home experience.

4. Mantra Pavilion Hotel: Located within a heritage-listed building, the Mantra Pavilion Hotel combines historical charm with modern comforts. The hotel’s stylish rooms and central location make it a favorite among visitors.

5. Best Street Bed & Breakfast: For a more intimate stay, Best Street Bed & Breakfast is a charming guesthouse set in a peaceful garden. With comfortable rooms and warm hospitality, it’s an ideal choice for a relaxing getaway.

6. Townhouse Hotel Wagga: This boutique hotel offers contemporary rooms and a central location, perfect for exploring Wagga Wagga’s cultural attractions and dining options.

7. Mercure Wagga Wagga: Part of the Accor hotel chain, Mercure Wagga Wagga provides comfortable rooms and excellent facilities, including a restaurant and bar. It’s a great option for business travelers and tourists alike.

8. Globe Apartments: Situated in the city center, Globe Apartments offer modern, self-contained accommodations with all the comforts of home. It’s an excellent choice for travelers seeking both convenience and independence.

9. Charles Sturt Suites & Apartments: With spacious suites and apartments, Charles Sturt Suites & Apartments provide ample space for families or groups. The property features a pool, barbecue area, and free parking.

10. Carriage House Motor Inn: This family-run motor inn offers cozy rooms and friendly service. It’s a budget-friendly option for travelers looking for comfort without breaking the bank.

Whether you prefer luxury, boutique charm, or cozy comfort, Wagga Wagga has an array of accommodation choices to suit your needs. With its warm hospitality and diverse offerings, this captivating city promises an unforgettable stay, leaving you with cherished memories of your time in Wagga Wagga, Australia.

10 interesting facts about Wagga Wagga NSW

  1. The name “Wagga Wagga” comes from the Wiradjuri language and means “Place of many crows.”
  2. Wagga Wagga is the largest inland city in New South Wales and the major regional center for the Riverina area.
  3. The city has a rich history and was once a major center for the sheep and wheat industries in the 19th century.
  4. The city was also a major stopping point for travelers along the old coach road between Melbourne and Sydney.
  5. Wagga Wagga has a strong military history and was the location of a major military training base during World War II.
  6. The city is home to Charles Sturt University, one of the largest regional universities in Australia.
  7. The Murrumbidgee River runs through the city and provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and other water-based activities.
  8. The city is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, including the Victory Memorial Gardens and the Botanic Gardens.
  9. Wagga Wagga is a major cultural center in the Riverina area and is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and performance spaces.
  10. The city is also known for its vibrant food scene, with a variety of local cafes, restaurants, and pubs offering a range of cuisine options.