Experience at close range exotic and endangered species from around the world at Monarto Zoo – the world’s largest Open Range Zoo. Get onboard the Zu-loop shuttle bus and explore the Zoo at your leisure from the wildlife viewing platforms. Listen to the regular presentations and discover all about the Zoo’s inhabitants including, Cheetah, Lions, Giraffe, Rhino and Chimps, to name a few. For the keen walkers, explore the Zoo from the 10 km’s of walking tracks as you meander through the mallee bushland and native wildlife on your way to the viewing platforms. For the more adventurous, check out our range of behind the scenes encounters – ‘Meet the Lions, the Cheetah, the Rhino’ and’ Working with Wildlife’. The Zoo has a licensed café’, function centre, gift shop and visitor centre….Stay awhile!
If you’ve never tried houseboating, have a go! They’re about as easy to drive as a car, just imagine the road’s continually wet! Within half an hour you will be shown the ropes, and figure out the basics. The trick is making it a relaxing trip. Starting out at Murray Bridge, stay overnight at Sturt Reserve, cruise onto Mannum for a great pub meal at the Pretoria, onwards and upwards to the stunning cliffs at Walker’s Flat. Have a week to spend? Then cruise up to Swan Reach and it’s perfectly perched pub. To find a houseboat that suits you down to the waterline visit Houseboat Hirer Association or the Discover Murray River Website for great houseboat and cruise boat options. Everyone should experience a holiday on a houseboat at least once in their lives! Just got an hour or two?, or maybe three or four… Try Captain Proud’s champagne breakfast cruises. (every Sunday morning).
If you want to sail the Murray without doing the driving yourself, take a trip on the Murray Princess. This purpose built paddle wheeler has all the luxuries of a city hotel: spas, saunas, bars and restaurant. Wednesday nights are something special! That’s when the Princess pulls up at Big Bend where the Murray’s tallest, reddest cliffs tower above you. Here, you can visit Sunnydale Shearing Shed to see a unique show featuring an inimitable sheep fashion parade, sheep race, sheep auction and shearing demonstration. After that, you return by tractor trailers to the River bank where a roaring camp fire lights up a barbeque feast followed by an old-fashioned sing-along under a zillion stars. How Aussie can you get?
Ok, it’s not really a secret! But the Bunyip in Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge, is one of those childhood institutions we all unfortunately kind of forget when we grow up and move on. Never seen the Bunyip? Well, imagine your worst nightmare and then multiply it by the Blair Witch Project (Ok, we’re lying) but no matter whether you tremble with fear, or laughter, you’ve got to come and pay a nostalgic visit next time you’re here. Stay awhile, keep the kiddies amused in the first class play ground, or skate park, whilst you sip a fine red from Willow Point Winery at Riverscape overlooking the River! Now that’s not so scary!
In 1846, the original Wellington ferry provided the first River Murray crossing. Ironically, it was the state’s dependence on this gateway town that nearly destroyed it. Included in the traffic passing through where drovers bringing tens of thousands of grazing animals up from the south coast, destroying the grasses and exposing sand dunes. Over time, the coastal winds blew eroding dunes towards the town, and by the late 1890s, the sands threatened to bury it. Fortunately, the town survived. How? Well, you’ll just have to visit the fascinating Wellington courthouse museum. Ponder the answer whilst sampling the famous “welly” burger from the Wellington Hotel.
The Coorong is a place of tranquillity, solitude and wonderment. It calms the mind and soothes the soul. Timeless, untamed wilderness and diverse nature. The Coorong, derived from an Aboriginal word “karangk” (meaning ‘narrow neck”), is one of the most breathtaking national parks in Australia. Be a guest of the Ngarrindjeri people, the traditional custodians of the land for over 6,000 years. Explore the long, narrow lagoon that runs parallel with the coastal dunes for 140 kms. Travel a beach that stretches 200 kms from Encounter Bay to Lacepede Bay, uninterrupted except when the mouth of the great Murray River opens towards the sea.
David Lebrun is not your average farmer. Instead of trying to eradicate the wildlife abounds (and bounds) on his property, he’s not only made his peace with the critters that munch his lucerne and dig holes in his fields, he’s started to make a little money out of them as well! Take a wide-eyed ride with him on the Big Bend by Night Eco Tour and you’ll see paddocks, chock-a-block full of kangaroos and Southern hairy-nosed wombats. Then, out of the blue, he’ll shine a light onto seemingly empty ground and pick up the reflections of hundreds of spider’s eyes! Freaky!
The picturesque river town of Mannum is very popular for houseboating, day cruising (Jester and MV Venturer) antique shops, country pubs, an award-winning bakery, and the Mary Anne Reserve where one can lay back under the gum trees and let the world float by. But what’s it famous for? Not water, nor wine, its steam! You see, this is where, in 1852, William Randell built the first paddle steamer on the Murray: the Mary Anne. Now, she may be long departed, there is another fair lady of the River that the Mannumites have taken to their hearts: The PS Marion, built in 1897. Moored in Mannum, dock side of the Mannum Dock Museum, this paddle steamer was lovingly restored by the locals, and if you time it right, you can steam down the River on one of her cruise days. Just pop in to see Alison and her friendly crew in the Visitor Information centre to find out more. So, have we run out of steam? No, not yet, because in 1894, local blacksmith David Shearer built the world’s first steam car in Mannum. And that’s not a lot of hot air!
There’s a boardwalk at Kroehn’s Landing that takes you past the site of Australia’s very first archaeological dig. This is where in 1929 they made a very important discovery: the 7,000 year old skeleton of a young boy encased in rock. Inside this rock they also found implements unlike any tools or weapons previously known to be used by Aborigines. Modern-day Indiana Joneses should take a guided tour along the boardwalk with the local Nganguraku people and find out more about this fascinating place.
Want to experience our backyard? Grab a night or two. Fish for the elusive Old Man of the River, the Murray Cod, investigate the pioneering past of Lameroo, Karoonda. Experience Pinnaroo’s Spud Fest. Come stay with us, play with us, and explore our wonderful region.
Randell St, Mannum SA 5238
Ph (08) 8569 1303
14 Princes Hwy, Meningie SA 5264
Ph (08) 8575 1770
Riverfront Precinct, Morgan SA 5320
Ph (08) 8540 2205
3 South Terrace, Murray Bridge SA 5253
Ph (08) 8539 1142
Day Street, Pinnaroo SA 5304
Ph (08) 8577 8002
87-89 Railway Tce, Tailem Bend SA 5260
Ph (08) 8572 4277
G’day…from our Riverland neighbour in the north, the mighty Murray River takes a final turn at Nor’ West Bend towards the Southern Ocean. It’s decisive move seems to allow the river to relax and broaden, carving, deep, ochre chasms through the limestone remnants of an ancient seabed. Bringing an oasis into this semi-arid landscape covered in mallee, the many stemmed vegetation that has adapted to such harsh conditions. But with it also flows our lives of character rich communities with a passion for fun, life and experience. It also nourishes our lives, providing a playground far from the frustrations of modern life – yet just an hour from Adelaide, you’ll discover the Murraylands. Come and discover our history. Connect with nature, experience
the mallee or just cruise our soulful water….whatever you do, just enjoy yourself!
There are many ways to get to the Murraylands…..The most important is you come HERE!
You get your first glimpse of the southern most part of the Murraylands Region from the freeway (just a cheeky little glimpse of what’s in store…..tempting one to find more OR
If coming from Adelaide, take a meander through the Hills via Birdwood (stop for lunch and view the Shearer car built by William Randell) on through Gumeracha, onwards to Palmer (view the rocky outcrops of huge boulders, then down in to Mannum. Stay awhile, and then travel onwards and upwards towards Walkers Flat (see the towering cliffs, almost as if you can reach out and touch them from the car windows). Chat a while on the ferry crossing at Walker Flat, the operators, are all locals and are a fount of knowledge and local lore, then upwards towards Swan Reach, Blanchetown, Morgan and Cadell OR
Maybe you have stayed for a night or two with our Barossa partners, The Getaway Team, and decide to start from the Northen End, travelling alongside the cliffs, stopping to view them at Nildotte, pass over the ferry at Purnong, then onto Mannum OR
Have you got it yet? The Murraylands has many wonderous, different and grand enterances, which ever way you choose to travel to see us, Remember you will be back!! See a map or our region.