Meander along the banks of one of Australia's most iconic rivers and unearth 130 million years of history with our Murray River, Lakes and Coorong itinerary.
The Murray River, Lakes and Coorong embodies natural beauty and boasts a wealth of native produce, breathtaking scenery and Australian wildlife. The third largest navigable river in the world, behind the Amazon and Nile, the banks of the Murray River are rich with Aboriginal history, culture, heritage and nature. From sweeping river plains less than an hour from Adelaide to its breathtaking conclusion at the mouth of the Murray in Goolwa, relax, unwind and explore with our guide to where to stay and what to do in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong.
Where to stay
The Cube, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Wind your clock back to river time and wake up on a floating eco pod. An hour’s drive from Adelaide tucked on the banks of the Murray River, The Cube is is one of the most immersive ways to experience life on the river. This dreamy river retreat awaits just outside Murray Bridge and sleeps two people with a queen bed, ensuite and kitchenette complete with breakfast supplies. Kick back on a sun lounge on the deck and watch as boats cruise by, take to the water in your very own kayak or cosy up by the fire pit with a glass of red in hand.
Bill's Boathouse, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Just upriver at White Sands, another floating paradise awaits. Moored among the weeping willows on the banks of the Murray River, riverside relaxation is a way of life at Bill's Boathouse. Fall asleep at night gently floating on the river and wake up to the sound of birdsong just beyond your window. Cast a line or sink a glass of red on the wrap around wooden deck and soak in sweeping river vistas, sunrises and sunsets, and abundant wildlife, which are best enjoyed from the comfort of the hammock, outdoor tub or wooden lounge chairs! Bill's Boathouse sleeps two people and is the perfect couple's getaway on the Murray River.
Mannum Mallee Tents, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Surrounded by 40 acres of tranquil mallee a stone’s throw from the banks of the Murray River, your luxury glamping tent awaits. Check into Mannum Mallee Tents and go off grid and get back to nature with all the creature comforts. The tents are nestled on a private property just minutes from Mannum and are ideally positioned for river exploration. Offering secluded serenity in abundance, choose from five luxuriously-kitted out glamping tents, unpack and venture out.
What to do
Houseboating, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Captain your own houseboat and experience this staggering waterway from the vantage point of your own hotel with a rudder. Floating downstream, nestle among nature with stunning scenery as your backdrop and the sounds of birds as your playlist. Cruise by dramatic limestone cliffs, river gum forests, sprawling mallees, bird sanctuaries, lagoons and wetlands, stopping for a quick dip along the way and then kick back and watch the sunset from your front row seats on the deck. Hiring a houseboat is one of the best ways to explore the Murray River so check out our guide to house boating on the Murray River and start planning.
The Bend, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Switch from river time to the fast lane. Dialing up the pace, the Bend Motorsport Park is one of the most significant developments in Australian motorsport history. A state of the art, world-class motorsport facility, The Bend delivers an exhilarating experience for competitors, enthusiasts and spectators alike. As well as a host of heart-stopping experiences and events, the Bend Motorsport Park also features bar and restaurant facilities, the 4 star Rydges Pit Lane Hotel and conference and function rooms.
Monarto Safari Park, Murray River Lakes and Coorong
Set-off on an African safari at Monarto Safari Park. Watch lions, cheetahs and zebras roam over a 1,500 hectare open-range sanctuary, all from the comfort (and safety) of a shuttle bus. Take your sense of adventure to the next level with the Lions 360 Experience. Enter a giant tooth and claw-proof cage, where you’ll watch lions stalking above you from a preys-eye view. Monarto Zoo are committed to help save endangered animals. They are associated with The Australian Rhino Project which aims to relocate 80 endangered Southern White Rhinoceroses to Australia in order to save them from Africa's poaching crisis.
What to see
Big Bend, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
One of the most jaw-dropping landscapes along the Murray River, cruise past the tallest cliffs and longest bend on the Murray River at the aptly named Big Bend. Trek to the Big Bend lookout for a gun barrel view downriver or explore by night with a local guide on the Big Bend By Night tour. Spot nocturnal animals then gaze up at the milky way – the skies over the Murray River are officially among the best in the world for stargazing. Home to Australia's only Dark Sky Reserve, the Murray River is one of the best spots to stargaze in South Australia.
Hermann Gass Bird Sanctuary, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
The Murray River is blessed with a stunning variety of unique bird life with over 200 species in the area. Serious bird twitchers flock to to Mannum where the world-renowned Hermann Gass Bird Sanctuary awaits. Dig into a breakfast picnic beside the meandering Murray, then hire a kayak from Freedom Boat Hire and hit the water. Kayak past river red gums while spotting herons, kingfishers, cormorants, spoonbills and more.
Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Site, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Step back in time millions of years and journey through the ancestral home of the Nganguraku People. Meander along the banks of the Murray, marvel at the majestic cliffs formed eons ago by an extinct sea bed and experience ancient rock art as you explore Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park and learn about the area's important dreaming and culture from a local guide. Tucked between Waikerie and Mannum, this hidden gem is one of the most significant aboriginal cultural sites in South Australia and the birthplace of Black Duck Dreaming.
Coorong National Park, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Explore towering sand dunes, meander down quiet waterways and roam along snow-white sandy beaches. Nature lovers will be richly rewarded at Coorong National Park. Stretching some 130km down the coast from the Limestone Coast to Goolwa, the ecological diversity of this important wetland system is staggering. Here you’ll find 12 campgrounds with 63 designated camping sites, perched on the edge of the wild Southern Ocean. You’ll need a 4WD to access these camping spots, but the roar of the sea, twinkling stars and fantastic fishing make it well worth the trip. Encompassing a string of saltwater lagoons and wetlands brimming with fish, you could easily spend a week kayaking the tranquil waters, spotting abundant birdlife, lounging on picturesque beaches and discovering the important Aboriginal culture of the Ngarrindjeri people.
Three days is just enough time to relax along the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong, but there’s so much more to explore. Check out our Murray essentials below and extend your stay.