(South Coast Departure)
Three Days: 12th — 14th October 2020
Twin Share: $879 per person. Sole Use: $1025 per person.
Included in the tour:
- Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
- Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
- All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
- Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.
The Riverland is an oasis in the desert. In an incredibly dry region a flourishing productive region was created by developing an irrigation area — the Murray’s waters turned red sands to green trees and vines. Today this vibrant region boasts impressive community spirit, spectacular views and a fascinating history. Join us as we explore the varied towns and attractions of this delightful area.
Day One – MONDAY 12 OCTOBER 2020
(includes light lunch and two course dinner)
We depart this morning at approximately 8:30am after home pick ups*. While settling in and becoming acquainted with those around us we quickly leave the coast behind. We travel through Strathalbyn and Woodchester before joining the South Eastern Freeway to Murray Bridge. Here we stop by the Murray River for our morning tea at Sturt Reserve.
Following morning tea we join the Karoonda Highway and journey into the Mallee, soon reaching the town that gave the road its name. We pause here to admire the massive artwork on the grain silos which celebrates the farming heritage of the region. Continuing our journey, we pass through small towns and villages before arriving in the Riverland town of Loxton.
Our first stop on arrival, is for lunch in town and the chance to stroll the main street, before heading to one of Loxton’s most impressive homes—the Pines Historic House and Garden. Built in 1909, this six-roomed sandstone villa and its contents were bequeathed to the people of Loxton in 2002. Much of the contents remain untouched and there is a great collection to view, including antique furniture, art, silverware and even a family wedding dress. Making it even more special, the home was only ever lived in by four people—two generations of the same family. This magnificent property, with its beautifully maintained gardens, gives us an insight into the grand lifestyle lived by the occupants in the early 20th century.
Next we take a drive around Loxton to get a better understanding of this community-minded Riverland town, before making our way to our accommodation at the Loxton Community Hotel Motel (08 8584 7266). We’re staying here for the next two nights, so we can settle into our rooms and relax. Our accommodation is on the main street and a short walk from the Murray River.
Dinner tonight is in the Hotel’s dining room.
Day Two – TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
After a hearty cooked breakfast at the Hotel we are ready to begin our day of exploration.
This morning we travel from Loxton to Berri and on to Renmark. Prior to irrigation being introduced to the Riverland area, the country here was regarded as desert. The Chaffey brothers, brought irrigation techniques from California to Australia and this morning we are visiting the original home of one of those brothers: Charles Chaffey.
Olivewood, is unusual for an Australian pioneer building. Being a log cabin house, it perhaps links in to the Chaffey brothers’ birthplace of Canada. It was built in the 1880s, and now houses artefacts from the period, as well as other historic items that preserve the fascinating history of the Riverland.
One of the best-known names in the Riverland is Ruston. David Ruston ran Ruston’s Roses for many years, planting 50,000 different rose bushes. Following David’s retirement the property declined, but in 2019 new owners took over and have been working to rejuvenate it. As well as the garden, the property now boasts a restaurant and function space. We stop here for lunch, and also enjoy time to explore the gardens.
Early afternoon, we take a drive around Renmark, before heading east to Paringa. This town has one of only four suspension bridges remaining on the Murray River. The bridge was opened in 1927, and was built to carry both the railway and road traffic across the Murray. It’s unusual, in that it has a section that can be raised to allow river traffic to pass through, and it still opens twice each day (if needed). We plan to be at the bridge at the correct time today to hopefully see it open, although this depends on there being traffic on the river to require it.
Just along the river from the Paringa Bridge is Lock Five, so we visit to see the lock and weir across the Murray. We then continue by travelling to the small Riverland town of Lyrup, and catching the ferry across. Soon after crossing, we come to the scenic Martin’s Bend Reserve near Berri. This area is popular for water activities, especially waterskiing, and is a beautiful area to take in.
In Berri, we explore the town’s waterfront and main street, before returning to Loxton. We have a little time to relax at the hotel before gathering together again for a delicious dinner in the dining room.
Day Three – WEDNESDAY 13 OCTOBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)
This morning we check out of the Loxton Community Hotel Motel, ready for our journey home. However, we have more of the Riverland to explore on the way!
We begin the day by travelling to Glossop. The Riverland produces a range of fruit and vegetables, and this morning we take the opportunity to stop at one of the wonderful stalls that sell locally grown produce. It’s a great opportunity to purchase something fresh to take home.
We pass through Barmera and take the opportunity to divert to have a look at Lake Bonney, a freshwater lake fed from the Murray. Passing by Cobdogla, we cross the river near Kingston-on-Murray and continue west, travelling to Waikerie. Here we stop to view the amazing art that now covers the local grain silos. Like the many other silo artworks that have been created around the country, this work is enticing travellers to leave the highway and explore the towns along the way. While here we take the opportunity to pop into the outlet shop at the local Nippy’s factory—another well-known Riverland name.
Waikerie’s waterfront makes a fabulous setting for our morning tea, with it’s lawn areas and peaceful views of the river. Following our break we rejoin the Sturt Highway, travelling to Blanchetown. We have a look around this peaceful riverside town, before turning south and continuing to Swan Reach. Here we stop at the local hotel with its clifftop views of the Murray to enjoy a hearty two course lunch.
This afternoon we follow the approximate route of the Murray, continuing south to Mannum. We have a comfort stop here, before turning away from the river and heading cross country towards home. We pass through Monarto, Callington and Woodchester on our way back towards the south coast of the Fleurieu. Arriving home, we are met by vehicles that return us to our homes* with wonderful memories of the fascinating places and spectacular river scenery from the past three days.