Corowa and Rutherglen: History and wineries

Rutherglen Sign

The travel dog team stay at Corowa, one of their last stops on the Murray River and visit nearby Rutherglen. Both are historic towns, one has Federation links while the other is famous for producing wine. In Rutherglen they visit two very dog friendly wineries.


Corowa is just about at the easterly navigable limit of the River Murray. It is a historic town with many old buildings that was the site of significant Federation meetings back in 1893, known as the Corowa Conference. These ultimately lead to Australian Federation in 1901. The town has a Federation Museum, Federation council, Federation festival, Federation Motor Inn etc etc. There are many old buildings in town and, of course, a self-guided historic walk. The folks love all that stuff, so walking was a big feature of our time in Corowa. Just at the top edge of town we came across the old Corowa Flour Mill, which now houses a Whisky Distillery, Chocolate Factory, Wedding Venue, Café and Gift Shop. Needless to say, the folks decided to sample the Whisky and Chocolate, [while I watched the door tethered to a railing outside – hmm].

Corowa Whisky and Chocolate
The distillery is in the old flour mill
Enzo left outside at Corowa Whisky & Chocolate
This isn’t how it is supposed to work!
Corowa Whisky & Chocolate Function Room
The function room

We stayed at the Ball Park Caravan Park. To be fair, it was undergoing massive renovations at the time and half the park was fenced off, so it was difficult to comment on. It was nearly deserted, a positive change after some of our recent school holiday crowd experiences and had access to an excellent dog off lead riverside walking track. The track was littered with sticks for chasing and the river was perfect for a swim any time of day! It was also an easy walk into town.

Murray River walk at Corowa

Enzo Travel Dog swimming in the Murray
Great place for swimming in the Murray


Rutherglen is a historic wine town. We went for a drive around the local vineyards and a walk up the main street, stopping for coffee at Parker Pies. The folks don’t really eat pies [sadly for me] but the coffees were apparently good. In winery towns the folk’s method of attack is to have one good cellar door experience, then lunch somewhere nice. The Silverback usually spends a couple of hours researching the options the night before.

Historic main street of Rutherglen
Historic main street of Rutherglen

For the cellar door we went to Campbells Wines. There’s not usually much on offer for a dog at wineries but I’ve got to say, ‘this was the best cellar-door ever.’ Not only were dogs allowed in the tasting room, there was a dog water bowl and the manager kept dog treats in her office. She came over to say hello and gave me a treat. How good is that? The folks had an excellent tasting session with Emily. The area is famous for its fortifieds, not a big thing for the folks, but Campbells is also famous for its reds. Afterwards we all went to check out the barrel rooms where they age the Muscat. I got a photo with Emily, top visit!

Cellar door at Campbells Winery

Enzo on a tour of Campbells winery
Emily took me on a tour of Campbells winery

We had lunch at De Bortoli’s Rutherglen Estate just at the edge of town. Dogs allowed in the tasting room and the outside eating areas of Tuileries Restaurant. The folks had slow cooked lamb shoulder sitting on a pea puree with a pear, smoked almond and spinach salad accompanied by a Pinot for the Silverback and a Zinfandel for the Sparrow. I had to help the Sparrow with the last of her lamb. Ahh, chef cooked lamb!

Lunch at Tuileries Restaurant

Afterwards it was back to the caravan park for another walk up the river and swimming after sticks. Living the life @enzotraveldog.

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