Slow down and get back to nature in the Riverland.
Life on the banks of the Murray River takes on a pace all of it's own. Here, your morning alarm is courtesy of abundant birdlife, while golden skies above the river signal knock-off time. Meander down quiet waterways, captain your own houseboat and cruise past ochre-coloured cliffs or hire a canoe or kayak and paddle your way through the secluded backwaters of the Riverland. Experience the Murray River’s natural beauty and start planning with our Riverland itinerary.
Where to stay
The Frames, Riverland
Situated in South Australia’s Riverland, three hours’ drive away from Adelaide, The Frames is made-up of three separate luxury retreats, each boasting their own sense of style and stunning artwork throughout. Each retreat features its own private outdoor area overlooking the beautiful Murray River, as well as heated pools, spas, saunas and BBQs.
Pike River Luxury Eco Villas, Riverland
Sitting riverfront, clocking off from city life and onto river time at Pike River Luxury Eco Villas is a guaranteed ticket to riverside relaxation. Wake to the gentle calls of waterbirds before casting off and paddling down river in your own canoe to explore bubbling brooks and secluded wetlands. The five unique villas have all been built with sustainability in mind without compromising on comfort.
To truly experience the magic of life on the river, meander downstream on your own private floating hotel. From the vantage point and comfort of your house-with-a-rudder, dangle your legs overboard and do as the locals do: live your best life on the river. Synonymous with long, hot summer days, self-driving a houseboat gives you the freedom to explore remote natural beauty and berth along the banks without a soul in sight. View houseboats for hire in the Riverland.
For places to stay, check out these accommodation options in the Riverland.
Where to eat and drink
Twenty Third Street Distillery, Riverland
With roots extending back to 1914, Twenty Third Street Distillery has been reignited with new creative passion, making a range of award-winning gins, brandies, whiskies and vodkas. Take advantage of the beautiful Riverland sunshine and enjoy lunch and a cocktail or two out on the lawns.
Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery, Riverland
20 kilometres north of Renmark, the Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery is located in the historic 100 year-old shearing sheds of Wilkadene Station on a picturesque backwater of the Murray River. Its rich history, stunning riverfront location and beautiful gardens make it the perfect place to kick back and relax, bottle of local brew in-hand.
Caudo Vineyard, Riverland
An hour’s drive from Berri, Caudo Vineyard is the perfect place to stop for a drop on the river. Sip summery red and white sangria while watching wakeboarders and skiers zoom by. If you’re feeling peckish, pair it with a delicious local tasting platter or cook your own lunch on their tabletop BBQs.
Discover more places to eat and drink in the Riverland here.
What to see
Headings Cliff, Riverland
Just downstream from Renmark awaits Headings Cliffs where golden crags that glow at sunset tower above the landscape and give way to one of the most iconic waterways in Australia. Surrounded by ancient red gum forest, meandering river channels and abundant birdlife, the beauty and tranquility of this watery wonderland is virtually indescribable. Trek to the top of the cliffs near Paringa (an Aboriginal word meaning “big bend in the river”) for a magical gun barrel view down river or hire a kayak and be dwarfed by the towering cliffs as you paddle by.
Headings Cliff is a key location on the epic Murray River Walk. Officially one of the Great Walks of Australia, it’s a four-day, three-night trek along the creeks, wetlands and riverbanks of the Murray. The walk is led by a team of expert guides, with private accommodation on a modern 10-berth houseboat included.
Lake Bonney, Riverland
The tortured trees of Lake Bonney have been photographer favourites for decades with evening skies acting as the perfect backdrop. In summer months, Barmera is a magnet for swimmers, water skiers and boaters. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more picturesque spot to enjoy a local Twenty Third Street gin and watch the sun disappear. Sprawling out along the shores of the lake, Discovery Parks Lake Bonney is the perfect spot to settle in for a few days lakeside.
The waterways, meandering wetlands and quiet backwaters of the Murray River provide vital habitats for an astounding array of native animals. A magnet for avid twitchers, these delicate ecosystems are home to some of Australia's most unique and rare birdlife - including some 180 endemic bird species. Spot Australian Darters plunging into the river, Whistling Kites nesting in the bending branches of dreamy willow trees, Yellow Spoon Bills perched in red gums, Spiney-cheeked Honeyeaters darting between native blooms and majestic pelicans and black swans soaring just above the water's surface. Meanwhile on the banks, kangaroos, goanas and echidnas stick close to the water's edge as koalas look down on life below from towering gums. The three-day Murray River Safari guided tour is one of the best ways to be immersed in the Riverland's incredible wildlife.
What to do
Kayak or canoe, Riverland
The Riverland is home to numerous backwaters, creeks and lagoons which are best explored by canoe or kayak. Weave your way into the narrow wetlands and take picnic supplies for a tranquil waterfront lunch where kangaroos, emus, koalas, goannas and birds will be your only company. For the intrepid, go on a self-guided 'canoe camping' expedition with Canoe Adventures or jump on a sunset kayak tour with Canoe the Riverland to spend more time in nature learning about the river’s biodiversity.
Taste local produce, Riverland
The Riverland is abundant in grains, fruits, vegetables, grapes and nuts. It’s famed for its citrus and is the third largest growing region in Australia. From oranges, grapefruits, tangelos, limes, mandarins and lemons to coffee and olive oil, taste the Flavours of the Riverland at a tasting café and provedore. Alternatively, purchase local, seasonal fruits from one of the region's many road-side fruit stalls like the colourful Aggies Fresh Fruit Stall.
Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre, Riverland
Tucked on the banks of the Murray River, Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre is set among an impressive wetland environment just outside Barmera. Here, you can take the family for a stroll down scenic walking trails, enjoy a spot of bird watching and discover native wildlife. Top it off at their cellar door with lunch showcasing local produce and a glass or two of their fruit-driven innovative wine.
Start planning your Riverland adventure and check out how the river is looking right now in Berri, Barmera, Loxton, Renmark and Waikerie here and stay up to date with the latest river flow information here.
Want more Riverland travel inspiration? Check out our guide to the top 10 things to do in the Riverland and start planning.