The Mighty Murray River

 

The Murray River flows from the highlands in NSW and winds its way west across into South Australia.  Eventually the waters spread at Lake Alexandrina and finally flow out to sea near Goolwa, south of Adelaide.  It is an essential lifeline for many communities along its journey and boasts a history that is rich in stories of courage, hardship and innovation.

 

 

South Australian sections of the Murray River are wide and easily navigable.  Holiday options are available to suit all interests.  There are some wonderful townships offering accommodation and there are also national parks and other reserves which provide superb camping spots.  A houseboat holiday offers the best opportunity to experience the true character of one of the country's most important river systems.  In SA the variety of houseboats is unsurpassed, ranging from boats which suit a couple, to enormous luxury cruising hotels, with accommodation for up to 12. 

 

 

Swimming, canoeing, water skiing and fishing are possible along the entire length of the river in South Australia.  Good boat ramps are provided in most of the riverside towns.  A boat licence is required to operate a boat in this state, but captaining a houseboat only requires a vehicle drivers licence.  Care should always be taken when entering unfamiliar water.  There is usually very little current but the banks drop off in depth very quickly and boat drivers need to keep clear of the banks.

 

 

For the bird watcher:

Bird life is prolific.  There are many water birds to be found along the river's main channel, but even more variety can be found when the shallower backwaters are explored.  Since the shores are lined with trees and shrubs, it is easy to find many species of bush birds.  On our last trip along the river, we were amazed at the number of gorgeous rainbow bee-eaters that flocked near our location in the late afternoon.. hundreds of them!  Close to Renmark the river is quiet and unspoilt and many species found in this area will not be found further south.  However, in the south bird watchers will enjoy the migratory waders that flock to the shallow unspoilt coastline of the Coorong and the river mouth.

It is hard to beat the lone call of a pied butcherbird in the quiet of a misty morning, or the echoing call of a boobook owl in the darkness.  These two birds are common, as is the amazing whistling kite.  Some of the less common species that you might see are peregrine falcon, budgerigar, cockatiel, striped honeyeater and regent parrot.

 

Some useful links for planning your visit to

South Australia's Murray River:

 

The Murray River Website

Riverland Tourism Information

Houseboat Booking Centre -Houseboat Hirers Association

SA Parks and Wildlife