Recharge on Australia’s mighty Murray River as it winds its way through the heart of the Murraylands, carving out steep cliffs that turn orange at sunset, winding past giant red gums and spilling into wild lagoons. You can find out more by ordering your own copy of the Murraylands Visitors Guide.
There are so many ways to take it all in. You can paddle a canoe through quiet backwaters; charter your own houseboat, from budget to budget-breaking luxury; take a five-night cruise on the PS Murray Princess and the Proud Mary; or take a short day trip out from the historic river ports of Mannum and Murray Bridge. You can water ski, swim and fish, or sprawl out with a good book on the banks.
But the Murraylands don’t begin and end on the water. You can find exotic wildlife in the open range sanctuary of Monarto Zoological Park. Search for rare antiques in historic towns. Or get off the beaten track for bushwalking, bird watching and four-wheel-driving through Mallee conservation parks.
And many of the best attractions in the Murraylands are within an easy hour’s drive of Adelaide.
Monarto Zoological Park
Travel the world of wildlife at Monarto Zoological Park, where giraffes, lions, rhinoceros, zebra, antelope and cheetahs roam freely in a bushland setting. The 1000 hectare open-range sanctuary has long been at the forefront of international breeding programs for rare and endangered species, and you can see them all on a safari bus, walking tour or even by camel.
Lose yourself and find rare birds, flora and fauna on a bushwalking journey through the Ngarkat Group of Conservation Parks. These four adjoining parks, deep in South Australia’s Mallee, cover a combined area of 270,000 hectares and are home to a spectacular array of animals including echidnas, pygmy-possums and the endangered Mallee fowl. Walking trails will also lead you to ruins and ancient Aboriginal sites.
Big Bend by Night Eco Tours
Watch the sun slip away over the Murray River as you enjoy a three-course alfresco meal on a Big Bend by Night Eco Tour, just outside Swan Reach. Then climb aboard a wagon to see kangaroos, hairy-nosed wombats and other native animals as they go about their nightly business. The majestic Big Bend cliffs are the tallest cliffs on the Murray River and up to 20 million years old.
Mannum Dock Museum
Explore Australia’s paddleboat history at the Mannum Dock Museum, home to the lovingly-restored, 100-year-old PS Marion. The intriguing museum can be found on the banks of the Murray River in Mannum – the birthplace of paddle-steamers on Australia’s greatest waterway and now a bustling riverside town.
Murray Bridge’s Sturt Reserve
Take a short river cruise, ride the BMX track, walk the Federation Trail or look out for the bunyip. Then spread the picnic blanket and sprawl out with the family at the delightful Sturt Reserve on the banks of the Murray River.
Beds and Berths
Indulge in a five-night cruise aboard the PS Murray Princess or take a nature cruise on the MV Proud Mary. Join the Murray River Run – staying in great country hotels as you journey right along South Australia’s strip of the river. Relax in super-luxury aboard the River Dream Boatel, take your own chef along with Odyssey Charter Cruises, or take a dozen mates away to fish and enjoy a few beers around your houseboat barbecue. There’s a Murray River cruise to suit every taste and budget – most within an hour of Adelaide.
Home in a houseboat
As the Murray River flows towards the ocean it nurtures the land. Discover these rich farmlands: buy fresh eggs, tomatoes, onions, fruit and more from roadside stalls, wine from Willow Point Wines and picnic in the shade of a river red gum. In the 19th century paddle-steamers plied the waters. Today you can join one for a cruise or hire your own houseboat and take your time floating between the honey-coloured, sandstone cliffs and grassy banks.Â Â
Enjoy breakfast while the morning mist rises, and cocktails at each fiery sunset. Stop at a historic river town to learn its history in the local museum. Find an old hotel with views over the river for a beer and plate of fresh fish. Hire a line and fish for the famous Murray cod or net a few yabbies. Venture further afield to the mallee country and witness native scrub battling with the elements to survive. Enjoy a Big Bend by Night Eco Tour, dining alfresco on a barbecue feast and travelling into the bush to spot kangaroos, wombats and other native animals. Take a four-wheel drive into the Ngarkat group of conservation parks and discover the great variety of native plants and animals – there are wildflowers in spring and bird life to watch all year round. Discover endangered native animals at the world-renowned Yookamurra Earth Sanctuary. Spend time at the magical Coorong, a spectacular national park where the 100 kilometre-long saline lagoon is home to thousands of birds and the breeding ground of migratory species from as far away as Siberia. Ferry across to the sand dunes of Younghusband Peninsula to dip your toes in the Southern Ocean. Discover a region rich in history, agriculture, wetlands and Aborig
Activites and Experiences at Murraylands
- Aussie Lifestyle
- Flora and Fauna
- Food and Wine
- Water based
Nearest Airport: Adelaide Airport