It’s not just the Outback wildflowers that spring into bloom after a wet winter – the warmer days and freshening rains are putting on a beautiful display along the Murray River.
Whatever the time of year, the Murray River is never short of spectacular views and experiences.
The wide ribbon of water meanders through green bushland, lush riverbanks and rugged cliffs - all of which are teeming with wildlife. From day to day, hour to hour, the landscape and scenery drastically change from red gum forests to dense shrubby bushland and wide open plains of native succulents.
Our recent wet winter means a healthy amount of water is flowing through the river than we’ve seen in recent years. “Now is a great chance to see the river in all its beauty and also in flow,” says Rob, who runs River Murray Houseboats out of Renmark in the Riverland. “It makes for great canoeing, birdwatching and boating including houseboat holidays.”
* As of November 2016, the Murray River is experiencing high water levels which could be hazardous to people operating boats, houseboats or other activities like canoeing on the main river channel. Visitors and locals are urged to take extra safety precautions and be aware of submerged objects, debris and a stronger river current. Find out more information here.
Here are five reasons to visit the Murray River this spring.
1. Hire a houseboat
The best way to experience the beauty of the Murray River is by cruising along it in a houseboat. You need water to enjoy the full benefits of a houseboat holiday, and the Murray River is full of it right now…making for the perfect cruising conditions. At the end of the day, see the sunset throw golden pinks shades of light against the cliffs.
A few nights accommodation on a houseboat is also part of the four day, three night guided walking tour, Murray River Walk. Stroll through ancient red gum forests and floodplain wetlands during the day, and drift away at night with luxury houseboat accommodation. Relax and recharge in the top deck spa and dine on chef-created dinners.
Picture location: Younghusband, Murray River
2. Hire a kayak or canoe
Explore the backwaters and creeks that branch off the Murray River and listen to the frogs while watching the birds. Need a guide? The crew at Canoe Adventures
and Canoe the Riverland
hire out kayaks and canoes and take guided tours through the wetlands. Camp out for one night, or as long as you like. It’s not unusual to see an array of wildlife from emus, kangaroos, goannas and birds.
Picture location: Cumbunga Creek, Murray River
3. forage and feast
Catch yabbies off the side of your houseboat with a boiling pot on the stove ready and waiting. The famous Murray River
yabbies are in abundance over the warmer months, especially after high winter and spring rains. There’s also lots of other fish to try and catch in deep holes, sand bars, under logs and beneath willows. The most popular angling and eating fish is Callop, also known as Golden Perch or Yellow Belly.
Picture location: Paringa sandbar, Murray River
4. Take a dip
It’s always a few degrees warmer in the Riverland than in Adelaide, so when the sun’s shining, take a dip. Cool off on one of the beautiful sandbars. Or just let your feet dangle off the side of a houseboat or canoe, and let your worries wash away.
Picture location: Younghusband, Murray River
5. Party on
Grab a group of friends and hire the BBQ boat from River Murray Houseboats
for the day and head to one of the region’s cellar doors or craft brewery. Cruise on up to Caudo Vineyard
, which is situated right on the banks of the Murray River at Cadell and taste their signature sangrias. If you prefer beer, take the boat to Wilkadene-Woolshed Brewery
at Murtho, north of Renmark. Accessible by car and water, it’s a great place to tie up your houseboat and spend some time tasting the range on the sun-drenched deck.
Picture location: Caudo Vineyard, Murray River
While you’re visiting the region, we recommend Twenty Third Street Distillery
in Renmark, which has been transformed out of a century-old distillery that operated on the site in the early 1900s.
Stay and play
Unwind and relax with a large selection of accommodation options. From incredible luxury at The Frames where you have a choice of three exclusive private cliff-top retreats; go eco-friendly at Pike River Villas and see up close and personal the active river bird and wildlife in this colourful region; or settle in at the Renmark River Villas, located in the heart of Renmark and literally metres away from the Murray River.
Clock on to 'rivertime' and show us your #MurrayRiver moments on Instagram.