The Rich Riverland Monash Adventure Park Loxton Historical Village Cobdogla Steam & Irrigation Museum
Wilabalangaloo Loxton Club Kids Café Lake Bonney Aquatics Hire Water Tower lookout, Berri Hire a Canoe
The Riverland of South Australia, covers a massive area along both sides of the Murray River. Much is irrigated from the River to create a lush
environment which could not be maintained by the low annual rainfall. Fresh fruit is available from road-side stalls and retailers in the main
townships. The area produces large quantities of dried and dessert fruits, canned fruits,wines and spirits.
Some of Australia's most dramatic river scenery is found in this 300-kilometer stretch of the Murray River as it carves its way past a cinematic
backdrop of vertical limestone cliffs, graceful red gums and burgeoning citrus orchards and vineyards toward the Southern Ocean.
The Riverland flows along the Murray River from South Australia's eastern border, to Blanchetown in the west and incorporates some of Australia's
most impressive river scenery. Steep limestone cliffs, red gums and abundant wildlife line the banks of River creating the impression of an untouched landscape.
In earlier days this part of the river was a bustling hub of activity when the Murray itself was a trade highway. Paddle steamers once ploughed
these waters towing barges laden with grain and wool to various inland ports. Prior to the lock systems, these mighty riverboats were often
fraught with droughts and floods making their journeys a treacherous plight. The water flow is now managed by several locks, 6 of which are
dotted throughout the Riverland.
A more commonly sighted river vessel today is the houseboat. Houseboats are exactly as they sound - a house that doubles as your river transport.
With sleeping capacity for 2 to 12 people, houseboats make an ideal group holiday and are a great way to discover the beautiful Riverland towns.
Over 50% of South Australia's wine grapes are grown and 90% of the state's citrus, stone fruits and nuts are produced in the Riverland. Several
wineries offer cellar door tasting and sales, whilst dried fruits, nuts and fruit products can be purchased from the factory sales outlets.
Meet the local growers at the numerous roadside fruit stalls that line the Sturt Highway.
Attractions are the Riverland's specialty. Visitors can enjoy the Banrock Station Wine & Wetlands Centre, Monash Adventure Park, Olivewood
Homestead, Loxton Historical Village, the Big Orange (temporarily closed), or a cruise on a mighty riverboat. World class golf courses, lawn tennis courts and other
sporting facilities are also available.
The greatest attraction of all is the Murray River itself providing ever-changing scenery and a picturesque backdrop for the extensive range of
accommodation options. From back packers hostels to executive hotel rooms, the Riverland has a bed for every budget.
Whatever your passion, the Riverland offers you a relaxing and fun holiday destination.
THINGS TO DO
No matter what activity you are looking for in a holiday, the Riverland can provide most !
For thrill seekers there are a variety of adventures. Soar in a glider at the Waikerie Soaring Club or charter a small plane at Berri
for fabulous views of the river and its many landscapes. You can even oprganise a free fall skydive while you're there. Some of the
Murray River's most spectacular limestone cliff faces are here, perfect for those with cliff hanging tendencies.
If your ideal adventure is a little more down to earth, explore the tributaries on a backwater dinghy cruise, take a night hike with
an experienced astronomer or get out into the Mallee on a bird watching safari. There are also miles of diverse riverside hiking in
the national parks and along boardwalks through the wetlands.
With miles of uncrowded waterways, the Riverland is still the best inland spot to get wet. The waterskiing school on the Renmark
riverfront will help you try your hand at waterskiing, barefooting, kneeboarding and wakeboarding. Barmera's Lake Bonney is perfect
for canoeing, skiing and other water sports and when the breeze is up, head to its Yacht Club where you'll find a fleet of catamarans
awaiting your sailing prowess.
Food & Wine
Visiting on a romantic escape, family holiday or a group getaway ? The Riverland will cater for all, from the opulence of Berri's
Hamley House Restaurant to excellent food-to-go. Enjoy the rustic charm of the award-winning Mallee Fowl bush restaurant, the spectacle
of lunch overlooking the wetlands at Banrock Station or all the fun of the Kids Cafe in the Loxton Club. The region's four big Community
Hotels in Waikerie, Loxton, Berri and Renmark offer great bistro meals with country-style daily specials.
Al fresco in Riverland sunshine is perfect holiday dining, so consider lunch at the new riverfront Redgum Cafe in Berri or a breakfast
feast on the balconies of the Loxton or Renmark Hotel. One thing is for sure, in a region with such a reliable climate, there will be
plenty of outdoor activities to walk off the feast!
Sunshine, water and great soil make the Riverland the engine house of Australian wine, producing half of South Australia's wine exports.
Home to the Southern Hemisphere's largest winery and distillery, Berri Estates, the region hosts cellar doors ranging from the boutique
Bonneyview to internationally renowned producers such as Angove's and Banrock Station. New cellar doors to open this year include Salena
Estates, Thomsons and Tandou Wines.
This abundance doesn't only spring from the vines. The mesmerising rows of orchards supply up to 95% of South Australia's stone fruits,
citrus and almonds. The many roadside produce stalls that line the Sturt and Old Sturt highways make for tempting stops along the way.
Fresh and seasonal is wonderful - you'll also have difficulty resisting the aromas of dried local fruits. Stock up at Angas Park in Berri
and Bellis Gourmet Baskets in Renmark, and at other outlets in the region. Chocolate makers also reside here: Beverley's Chocolates and
More is opposite the Monash Adventure Park, a combination that will woo any family.
Sports & Recreation
Wouldn't you like to play a round ? Few regions in Australia can boast five top quality golf courses within 25 minutes of each other.
Waikerie, Barmera, Berri, Loxton and Renmark attract thousands of visitors each year to their superbly maintained courses. Barmera, Berri
and Renmark offer Country Club accommodation right alongside the fairways and Waikerie and Loxton have a range of accommodation in town.
Anyone for tennis ? The strong community participation in sports has seen the development of sporting facilities that rival those in our
capital city. Tennis, lawn bowls, hockey, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, football, rowing, roller-skating, and in-line hockey facilities
and more are all available to visitors. It's best to contact the local Visitor Information Centre for details about facilities: a key may be
required for access and bookings may be required during peak season. All Riverland towns are blessed with numerous parks offering extensive
lawns for recreation.
Let the good times flow on one of the mighty river cruise boats. The historic PS Industry , moored next to the Renmark Visitor Centre,
plies the river in its original paddle steamer glory on the first Sunday of every month. The River Rambler at Renmark and the Loch Luna at
Kingston-on-Murray make daily voyages of discovery, providing informative commentary and morning or afternoon tea during the cruise. Off the
main channel of the river, guided backwater cruises can take you to inland islands and estuaries inaccessible by most vessels.
The ultimate Murray River cruise is aboard your privately chartered houseboat. Believe it or not, all you need to captain a houseboat is a
driver's license or a motorboat license. Both accommodation and transport, these purpose-built riverboats give you all the freedom you need
to explore each and every twist and turn of the river.
Houseboats provide the ideal base for all river activities - fishing, bushwalking, swimming, bird watching and stargazing. Houseboats can
cater for 2 to 12 people and can be hired in most Riverland towns. Costs vary according to the season and on the size and facilities of the
vessel. For an insight into the diversity of the current fleet, pick up a copy of the Houseboat Holidays booklet at nearby Visitor Information
Centres or contact the Houseboat Hirers' Association.
Catch of the Day
Patience pays dividends when wetting the line in Australia's Greatest River. There's a wide variety of catches of which yabbies and callop are
the most popular.
Yabbies are often caught in backwaters and in deep water, as they seem to prefer the protection of fallen timbers or tree roots. Everyone has
their own special method of bringing these little delicacies to the surface, but the simplest is often the best. Hoop nets are relatively
inexpensive and suit most conditions. Red meats such as kangaroo or beef are good baits, and locally caught European Carp or a punctured cat
food tin can also be just as effective. Yabbies are best in the warmer months. If in doubt about when (and maybe where !) ask the locals -
they know all the tricks.
A simple hand line is all you'll need to catch callop, also called golden perch or yellow belly. They tend to stay below overhanging willows,
among fallen timbers and along clay banks. You can also find them in sheltered waters or backward eddies. Don't use oversize hooks or line as
these fish can be very sensitive to catch. The preferred bait is tiger worms; however, locally caught fresh water shrimp will do the trick.
You can catch callop year round. Be patient, this succulent fish is worth the wait.
Fishing equipment and advice can be obtained from Hook Line & Sinker in Berri and other local tackle suppliers. For more information about
fishing in South Australia, refer to the South Australian Recreational Fishing Guide. It's available from retail fishing outlets and statewide
PIRSA Fisheries Offices or visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing
Back to Nature
The Riverland is one of South Australia's premier ecotourism destinations and is rapidly becoming a national benchmark for coexistence of
tourism and the environment.
Banrock Station is a visionary project that is leading the field. Created by wine industry giant, BRL Hardy, Banrock Station is working in
partnership with Wetlands Australia to replenish the Murray's wetlands with birdlife, native fish and flora. The large property balances the
needs of vineyards and the commitment to restoring the wetlands. Visitors to the Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre can explore the
beauty of the backwater ecosystem on a seven-kilometre boardwalk trail. There's a small fee for the trail guide, which provides extensive
information about the trail, the history and ecology of the station. The Centre also offers light meals and wine tastings in a striking,
contemporary building. Other walking trails are being developed throughout River's wetlands, many with boardwalks and bird hides. For an
updated list of trails contact the local Visitor Information Centre.
Another world-recognized project in the Riverland is the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve. Comprising national parks, game reserves, pastoral
leases and National Trust properties, Bookmark includes one of the largest continuous stands of Mallee left in the world and great stretches
of waterways. It's home to rare and endangered plants, birds and animals. One special part of Bookmark is Gluepot Reserve, 60km north of
Waikerie. It is a habitat for dozens of threatened bird species including the Black Eared Miner, Red-lored Whistler and the Mallee Fowl.
The key to Gluepot is available at the Shell Service Station in Waikerie, and walking trail and bird watching information is posted on site.
Katarapko Creek (near Berri) and Chowilla Regional Reserve (50km north east of Renmark) offer great ornithological alternatives.
The Riverland's National Parks are diverse in their landscapes, wildlife and plantlife. Most are free to day visitors, with low fees charged
only for camping. Campers can self register at the entrances and are advised to bring their own firewood and water. Campgrounds have camp
fire places, rubbish bins and in some places toilets. They are most popular during holidays and long weekends and as there is no booking
system, visitors are encouraged to arrive early to avoid disappointment. Whether you are camping or not, remember the National Park motto -
take only photographs, leave only footprints.
Driving in the parks and reserves makes for great tours. In Dangalli Conservation Park there's a great 4WD-only trail and while some reserves
have limited routes for conventional vehicles, others are fully accessible. For information on road conditions and camping facilities,
contact the nearest Visitor Information Centre.
Arts & Crafts
With the Murray River as their inspiration, the artists and craftmakers of the Riverland capture the essence of the region in a diverse array
of mediums. From leadlight to canvas, clay to wood; in form and function there is something to please every eye - and every budget.
Galleries and studios are open year round, very often with the artist in residence and happy to chat. There are excellent craft galleries
throughout the region including the Rain Moth Gallery in Waikerie, the Bakehouse Gallery in Cobdogla and Loxton's Harvest Cottage. Winmante
Arts in Glossop is noteworthy for its vibrant and affordable Aboriginal artworks and unique glassware is produced at Cob Webb Leadlight
Studios in Winkie.
Much of the fine art seen throughout the Riverland is by local artists: seek out the mural beneath the Berri bridge and the works displayed
in venues such as Bonneyview Winery, Loxton Tourism & Art Centre, Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre and The Big Orange.
Stay & Play
The Riverland supplies all the ingredients for an activity-packed family holiday. Each town offers something special for children.
The much-loved Monash Adventure Park is a 'must do' for all families. The leaning towers, giant swings and maze will have the whole family
amused for hours and, with free entry, barbecues and shelters, it's ideal picnic spot. Snacks can be purchased from the paddle steamer -
disguised kiosk and, across the road, Beverley's Chocolates and More sells delectable treats.
Loxton Historical Village and the Cobdogla Steam & Irrigation Museum are a blast from the past. Walk through the settlers' village and watch
as a blacksmith forges a horseshoe. Discover old farming and irrigation equipment and take a ride on Margaret the Steam Train. Loxton
Historical Village holds regular alive days when residents of Loxton take up the dress and activities of the pioneer days. Similarly,
Cobdogla Steam & Irrigation Museum fires up its Humphrey Pump on some long weekends and during school holidays. For dates and times contact
the nearest Visitor Information Centre.
The wonderfully named Wilabalagaloo (near Berri) offer kids the chance to interact with
some native (and some not so native) critters.
The Big Orange, Australia's largest orange, is now. at least temprarily, closed but can still be seen from the road. It is located between
Berri and Renmark on the Old Sturt Highway.
PARKS TO VISIT
Brookfield Conservation Park
Morgan Conservation Park
Murray River National Park
Renmark Paringa Visitor Information Centre
84 Murray Avenue
Renmark SA 5341
Ph: (08) 8586 6704
Berri Visitor Information Centre
Berri SA 5343
Phone: 8582 5511
Loxton Tourism & Art Centre
Loxton SA 5333
Phone: 8584 7919
Barmera Tourist & Travel Centre
Barwell Avenue, Barmera SA 5345
Phone : 8588 2289
More about the Murray
The mighty River Murray is the essential element that has allowed the developmentof the semi-arid lands through which it meanders.
After Sturt's voyage along the Murray in 1830, and the overland journey of Hawden and Bonny with stock from Sydney to Adelaide,
pastoralists and squatters moved into the region to establish large stations.
The introduction of steam navigation after pioneering voyages from Goolwa to the upper reaches of the Murray in the early 1850s,
greatly assisted progress in the isolated settlements which emerged. Concurrent with the introduction of steam vessels was the influx
of people to the goldfields of Victoria, which increased the demand for agricultural produce from the Riverland.
An irrigation settlement was established at Renmark in 1887 after an agreement was reached between the Canadian born Chaffey brothers
and the South Australian Government. Thirty thousand acres of land were granted to initiate the venture. Vineyards and fruit blocks soon
spread throughout the area. Their log cabin home Olivewood Homestead is open to visitors at Renmark.
The River Murray Waters Act, an agreement between the SA, Victoria, NSW and Commonwealth Governments came in to operation in 1915. Provision
was made for the construction of six locks to control the flow of the river. Two of these barriers can be seen from the Sturt Highway-Lock 1
at Blanchtown and Lock 5 at Paringa.
The harnessing of the river flow has assisted with irrigation of the land, and enabled restored paddle-steamers ample draught to comfortably
ply the river throughout the year. The Cobdogla Steam & Irrigation Museum maintains the regionıs irrigation triumphs.
Care is taken to protect the river and the associated wildlife. Katarapke Island, stretching south from Berri to Loxton is a large flood plain
of the River Murray and is of importance as a breeding area for the numerous and varied birdlife.
The Moorook Game Reserve encompasses a large open swamp known as Wachtels Lagoon. The reserve, bisected by the Sturt Highway between
Cobdagla and Kingston Bridge, houses myriads of insects, small fish and frogs, upon which egrets and herons prey.
The Riverland is a principal tourist destination for both South Australian and interstate tourist, attracted by the warm temperate climate
and the diversity of activities available in the region.
The river and calm waters of Lake Bonney are ideal for fishing, canoeing,sail-boarding and swimming. Houseboats are available at
reasonable tariff from all of the towns; day cruises and extended tours of the river are popular, and excellent riverfront accommodation
is available for extended stays in the caravan parks, hotels and resorts of the Riverland.
Each of the five towns has top standard golf courses and welcomes visitors. Motels are sited adjacent to fairways at Renmark, Berri and Barmera.
The Willabalangaloo Flora and Fauna Reserve east of Berri is an inexpensive, enlightening and enjoyable experience for all ages.
Ruston's Rose Garden on the western outskirts of Renmark is also worth visiting.
The Riverland is a region which requires more than a brief visit to truly savour.
Harnessing the Murray
A number of irrigation systems are used in the Riverland. Furrow irrigation is extensive, although more efficient sprinkler systems have
been introduced on many properties. Care must be taken with overhead systems. Foliage can be damaged due to the high salt content of the
water and, for this reason, under-tree sprinklers are used in fruit-growing areas. Less water loss occurs during windy conditions, making
them more economical than overhead systems. Polythene pipes running the length of the orchard, with fine sprays from micro-jets, are
A by-product of the waste materials from vines and fruit agriculture, is tartaric acid. In the 1930s it was discovered alcohol could be
produced from the sub-standard dried fruits of the Riverland and Mildura areas. Alcohol extracted is refined in Nuriootpa and returned to
local wineries. 'Marc', the residue of crushed grapes, is eventually sold back to the growers for use. Much of the fruit and wine is exported,
with New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Middle East being major markets. Negotiations are being conducted with the USA to
purchase South Australian fruit-fly free citrus to supplement production in California during their 'off-season'.
All the major towns in the Riverland provide accommodation and the search engine opposite will return area or featured towns
listings. The Riverland weather is usually warm and healthy, and there are many things you can see and do.
A major Country Music Festival is held in Barmera each June and information on exact dates can be found from the Bureau listed above.
Long a lifeline for the people of South Australia, the Murray River is regarded with special affection in this part of the world.
For millennia Aboriginal people have relied on its abundance. Early settlers plied it broad waters on paddle streamers towing barges
laden with grain and wool. Pioneer farmers created new lives along its banks.
Before European settlement, the Aboriginal people known as the Ngarrindjeri lived on and along the lands around the Murray and Coorong.
Today, they are South Australia's largest Aboriginal group and communities reside in the Riverland, Murraylands, Coorong and the South East.
Near Glossop, Winmante Arts Centre is a vibrant outlet for Aboriginal art and assists in the restoration of traditional Ngarrindjeri
culture, arts and crafts.
The relics of the Murrayıs romantic riverboat era and pioneering past are treasured through out the Riverland. Each Riverland Town had its
special role to play in the European settlement of the region and each has a tale to tell.
Once the busiest port in South Australia, Morgan preserves the history of the great paddle steamer trading days. The PS Mayflower is moored
at Morgan and the Railway Station Museum and the Landseer Building both tell the stories of the early days.
A replica town of the settlement period, Loxton Historical Village tells the story settlement and agricultural history. It features a school,
store, church and several commercial buildings, and a new extension reveals the history of importance of irrigation to the region.