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Deniliquin – home of the Ute Muster


Probably the most unexpected highlight of my recent road trip between Brisbane and Adelaide, was the small town of Deniliquin, NSW. Deniliquin sits on the Edward River, not far from the Murray River & the state border.


We’d driven down via the Long Paddock route from Jerilderie, crossing kilometres of flat plains, denuded of trees for farming. As we drew in close to Deni (as the locals refer to the town), we spotted river gums and paper bark trees, signifying the presence of water.


It was a cold, grey, overcast Saturday afternoon. Rain fell sporadically, drizzle drizzled often. Fragments of mist occasionally swirled through the trees as we neared the river and Island Sanctuary. This small island sits in the middle of town. A lovely park, full of tall gums and other native flora. Very evocative scenery, perfect setting for a moody, scary movie!


We opted to stay right on the river, within walking distance of town and the Sanctuary. Island Sanctuary is reached via a pedestrian bridge that swings and sways in the wind. I imagine in the summer this place would be a marvellous spot for a bbq at the end of a hot day.

We spent an hour meandering the island, enjoying the atmosphere, gazing at the houseboats and the cabins across the water, watching, listening to the birds.

Back at the motel we couldn’t help but notice the number of utes in the carpark. Deniliquin is the home of the annual Ute Muster (to be held this year on the 2 & 3 October). Nine vehicles, seven of which were utes, one was a 4WD and then there was our little Audi sedan.

The other thing about Deni? Trackie dacks. Sitting at the fish & chip shop, waiting for our dinner to be cooked, we were treated to a run of people, all wearing sagging, fleecy track pants. Warmth and comfort I guess. There was one man with spurs. He wasn’t wearing track pants, he wore tight black jeans. With the size of his spurs, there was no sneaking up on him.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our brief sojourn in Deniliquin. So much so that we plan to revisit the town, hopefully next autumn or winter. We’d like to book in to one of those self-contained cabins on the river for a week, soak up the atmosphere of Island Sanctuary and write. And take photos. And videos. Should be fun.

  1. September 16, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Speaking of rain, its doing so now. Filing up my water tanks 🙂

    • September 16, 2009 at 8:52 am

      Rain in the tanks is good. May you be blessed with overflowing tanks before summer’s end. 🙂

  2. Jan Renwick
    September 17, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Appreciate your comments on Deniliquin, my husband is Mayor of Deni & we love our town sunshine smiles Jan

    • September 18, 2009 at 5:32 am

      Glad to hear from you Jan. Your town is a credit to you and your community (council included). We were really very taken with the town, it was friendly, has enormous character (so many fine historical buildings), and is very clean and tidy. We pulled in on a very cold, wet, foggy winter’s afternoon but the fact is we had such a splendid time meandering around Island Sanctuary and around to the sports ground (showgrounds?). And a very fine take away dinner from one of the fish and chip shops (had a huge range of salads, very impressive). And good, friendly service. I do look forward to spending a week or two in the town, on the river next year. Cheers!

    • Damian
      March 8, 2010 at 5:47 am

      Good afternoon

      I was just browsing thru searching for houses/cabins in the Deniliquin area loacated on the river when I stumbled upon your reply.

      Not sure whether you can help but…

      About 8 of us middle aged gents go on a fishing trip each year on the weekend before the Melbourne Cup and this year its up to me to find a suitable site on the river. I am looking at the Deni area as it is close to home ( Swan Hill ) and although last year we went to Eildon the trip home was quite laborious, therefore we are looking at some place closer. A group of us recently travelled thru Deni on our way to Albury and were taken with the river.

      Would you know of a house / cabin that may accommodate the 8 of us. We have 3 boats but it is only fishing we are looking to do ( no skiing etc). It would be appreciated if could let us know if there is something aound Deni

      Many thanks

      0407 322 853

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