Griffith is located in the fertile Plains of NSW’s Riverina Region, where you will find vineyards, rice fields, and orange groves.
This planned city was built on a curious network of streets and avenues that radiate from each other.
Griffith’s culture and identity have been shaped by waves of Italian immigration over the past 20 years. They brought winemaking knowledge, more fruits and vegetables, and a passion for food and drink that is still unmistakable.
Treat yourself to gelato, cannoli, and authentic salami from local businesses. You can also spend hours exploring the Riverina’s cellar door.
1. Griffith Pioneer Park Museum
This museum offers a chance to learn more about Griffith’s history and how the huge Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area helped create the Riverina’s “foodbowl”. The park also has many heritage buildings that were moved to the site, as well as an enormous collection of artifacts covering over a century of local history.
Bagtown, a throwback from Griffith’s pioneer days of the 1910s, meticulously recreates historic amenities such as the post office and general store, newsagents, hairdressers, bakery, and more.
The Italian Museum and Cultural Centre explains Griffith’s Italian connections. It also includes absorbing firsthand accounts from immigrants, household items and clothing.
The Wine Museum is supported by many local wine brands. It reminisces about the history and development of winemaking in Australia.
2. Riverina Wine Region
The Riverina wine region is home to around 25% of Australia’s wine production. It is located near Griffith.
Warm climate varieties like Semillon and Shiraz grow here on flat plains of red-brown soil.
Vineyards enjoy year-round sunshine with cool winters and baking hot summers.
Names like Calabria Family Wines and De Bortoli will show Griffith’s Italian heritage.
These are only two wineries from a long list of wineries in Griffith. McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate deserves special mention.
There is so much wine that it may be easier to leave your wine experience with Griffith Tours or Bella Vita Tours. They will create a customized itinerary.
3. Hermit’s Cave
A sudden rocky mass is located on Griffith’s northern outskirts. It’s actually an outlying hill from the McPherson Ranges.
Valerio Ricetti, an Italian immigrant, made this place his home between 1929 and 1952. He built shelters, water cisterns and drystone walls. He also created gardens and paths that ran over several kilometres of the escarpment.
The site was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on July 7, 2007. There is almost no Hermit’s Cave equivalent in Australia. The steep slope can be climbed to view Ricetti’s work. You can also read the information boards. From the top, you have a spectacular view of the Riverina’s fertile plains to the Cocoparra National Park peaks.
4. Lake Wyangan
The Griffith area’s recreation honey pot is artificial and was created in 1950 on the site of former Gypsum mines.
Lake Wyangan offers a beautiful expanse of water, with plenty of open space along its shores for picnics or games.
There are barbecues, picnic areas and toilets near the water.
The playground is open to children of all ages. They can enjoy the animals enclosures with chickens, deer, and goats.
5. Griffith Regional Art Gallery
Griffith is home to one of the most prestigious regional galleries in New South Wales. It is housed in an Art Deco building dating back to the 1930s.
It contains two major collections. First, there is the work of Ross Weymouth & John Clarringbold fashion designers. This collection includes no less than 12 winners from the Australian Gown of the Year Awards.
The gallery also houses Australia’s National Contemporary Jewellery Collection. It receives new pieces every two years from the biennial National Contemporary Jewellery Award hosted here.
There are ten annual exhibitions on the program, which feature selections from the collection as well as highlights of local talent and landmark touring shows.
6. Spring Fest
Griffith celebrates spring’s arrival every October with two weeks worth of street parties and food.
The highlight of the event is the sight of over 70 sculptures on Banna Avenue. These sculptures were made using local oranges and created by volunteers.
These orange sculptures are made of 100,000 oranges. They are inspired by the famous lemon sculptures in Menton, France.
They can take on many different forms, including a Cinderella-style carriage or a grand piano and giant guitar.
These sculptures are free to view and can also be purchased at Spring Fest. It also hosts a festival with open gardens tours, a multi-cultural festival, and a launch party.
7. Bertoldo’s Bakery
The beloved family bakery/deli on Banna Avenue, which was opened in 1952, is now in its fourth generation. Bertoldo’s Bakery is an excellent choice if you enjoy discovering old-time spots.
Drop by to get super-fresh bread and an assortment of Italian sweet treats such as gelato, biscotti, and cannoli.
There are many options for savoury items, including sandwiches, wraps and sausage rolls, as well as coffee that is top-notch.
8. Codemo Smallgoods
Griffith’s other institution, this company is in the smallgoods (ham, salami, and sausages) industry since the 1950s.
Codemo’s delicious selection of cured meats are made fresh on-site in small batches.
There are many options for prosciutto, bacon and cooked ham.
You can also choose from a variety of salamis from northern and southern Italy, such as extra hot and mild, black olive, and cacciatore.
You can also try all the cold cuts before buying.
9. City Park
This park was opened in 2011 at the CBD’s edge for families with children who are restless.
City Park’s sensational playground is the headline. It features the highest rope-built climbing frame in Southern Hemisphere, an enormous splash pad, and a double flying Fox.
You will also find a playground, exercise stations, and plenty of lawns for relaxation and picnics.
Griffith’s canal runs through the park, offering waterside pathways and a footbridge over the water.
10. Cocoparra National Park
Just a short distance north-east from Griffith, you will find the Riverina region’s flat plains interrupted by prominent hills. Mount Bingar, at 455 metres, is the highest of these hills.
These views are protected by a national park covering 8,347 hectares. It is a great destination for bushwalkers looking to explore rocky terrain and take in some stunning views.
Cocoparra National Park’s landscape changes over the seasons is something that is very compelling. If you are in the area after heavy rain, make sure to visit the park and see the waterfalls in full flow.
The creased rock faces can be awe inspiring. You can also hike through forests of Dwyer’s mallee and white cypress pine and find beautiful wildflowers or orchids in spring.
11. IOOF Park Centenary Sculptures
Another green space is located west of City Park and it’s home to the International Order of Odd Fellows.
To celebrate the centenary of the city, a collection of seven granite sculptures were erected in this area in 2016.
These remarkable works were created from blocks weighing three tonnes. It took 17 days of intense labour by top stone sculptors from all over the globe to complete them.
The park’s representatives include Liu Yang (China), Renate Verrugge (New Zealand), Chris Peterson(Netherlands), Miguel Isla, TOBEL (Germany), Francesco Panceri in Italy and Hew Chee Fong in Australia. Each sculpture interprets the theme “The meaning and significance of water in Griffith and the city’s cultural diversity”.
12. Griffith Regional Theatre
The Griffith Regional Theatre at the university is your local choice for live entertainment. It seats 520 and has state-of the-art sound, lighting, and stage facilities.
To appeal to the widest audience possible, the theatre’s programming will include cutting-edge drama and dancing, as well as tribute acts, major touring musicians, musicals, cabaret and shows for children.
It is used for performances in schools and communities, as well as Artspace, which hosts an annual program featuring exhibitions by regional artists.
13. Altina Wildlife Park
This zoo makes a great family day trip. It is located on Kidman Way.
These tours last approximately 2.5 hours and are either horse-drawn (pulled along by a Clydesdale), or motorised carts. They are accompanied by an informative and entertaining guide.
This adventure will take you to the heart of Africa, where you’ll see a variety of animals.
For a close-up view of wild behaviour, the trips are scheduled to coincide with feeding times.
14. Griffith Visitor Information Centre
The visitor information centre, located on Griffith’s main thoroughfare Banna Avenue is hard to miss because of the WWII-era Fairey Firefly, which is mounted atop an upright column.
This is the Griffith Memorial to Airmen. It was unveiled in 1969 and used for naval reconnaissance during World War II.
This information centre is a great place to start in Griffith.
You can also peruse the usual leaflets and brochures.
It is worth visiting the gift shop, which stocks locally-made Indigenous arts and crafts, as well as delicious artisanal goods from the region like honey, nougat, olive oils, nougat, and relishes.
15. Griffith Easter Party
Griffith’s multi-day celebration that spans the entire Easter weekend is another landmark.
This party is rooted in the local wine industry. It usually marks the end of each vintage.
Wine tasting, food stalls and cooking demonstrations will be held from Thursday through Monday. There will also be jet boat races, wine tasting, and lots of family-friendly activities.
Children can participate in an Easter-themed storytime and hunt for Easter eggs. Adults can enjoy live music at local bars and clubs until the early hours of the morning.