Tour Description

Border Cliffs to Waikerie Cruise

(Combined Adelaide and South Coast Departure)
Five Days: 22nd – 26th October 2020

Twin Share: $2095 per person. Sole Use: $2375 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.

 

Join us as we cruise the mighty River Murray from the South Australian-Victorian border to Waikerie. The scene of the first paddle steamers, this stretch of the river offers so much scenic variety as it flows through river flats, irrigated orchards, station country, dairy farmland, spectacular golden cliffs and willow-lined river banks. Bird life abounds and the area is rich in Aboriginal and European history. We will cruise past a number of towns, under bridges and through several locks, as we discover the beauty of the Murray in Spring, with our friends from Spirit Australia Cruises.

 

Day One – THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER 2020

(includes light lunch and two course dinner)

We depart Adelaide after completing home pick ups (limited areas*) and enjoy the familiar sights as we travel through the beautiful Adelaide Hills to the Murray River. A short distance over the river at Tailem Bend we pause for our morning tea.

Continuing through Mallee country, we arrive in Karoonda, stopping to admire the spectacular silo artwork that adorns the main street. Completed in July 2019, this stunning work by muralist Heesco Khosnaran, celebrates the farming heritage of the region.

Continuing through Alawoona, it’s not long before we reach Loxton, situated on the southern bank of the Murray.

On arrival we enjoy a picnic lunch at the Pines Historic House and Garden before being taken on a guided tour of this magnificent property, which gives us an insight into the grand lifestyle lived by the occupants in the early 20th century. Built in 1909, this historic 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.

At the conclusion of the tour we make our way to our accommodation for the next four nights at the Loxton Community Hotel Motel (Ph. 08 8584 7266). After unpacking and settling into our comfortable rooms, we will have a delicious three course dinner together before retiring for the evening.

Day Two – FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning after breakfast, we take a scenic drive, travelling north to Morook following the path of the river. We pass various lagoons as we make our way through Cobdogla and Barmera, on our way to the small town of Glossop.

Here we visit Bella Lavender Estate. Set on five acres of land amongst a beautiful backdrop of vines and olive trees, we experience the aromatic fragrance of lavender as the owners share their knowledge of the process of growing, drying and distilling the plant. While here we enjoy a delicious morning tea and have the opportunity to browse through the shop and test some of their products.

We continue to historic Customs House at Border Cliffs. Built in the 1900’s, Customs House, as its name suggests, served as an excise collection point for goods that were crossing the border via the Murray River. We meet the friendly crew from Spirit Australia Cruises and board the Spirit of the Murray, our cruising vessel for the next three days.

As we commence our cruise downstream, we are treated to a delicious light lunch on board while we take in the ever-changing scenery of the spectacular Murray River. This area is one of the more remote and pristine sections of the Murray as we journey beside, or in some sections of the river, through the Chowilla Game Reserve. Featuring forests of majestic river red gum and black box, this protected area provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife. Comprising of 18 thousand hectares of floodplains and wetlands, Chowilla is an important refuge for waterbirds and is considered a Riverland Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.

We pass through Lock 6 and the famous Chowilla Station. Primarily a sheep station, Chowilla is approximately 94 thousand hectares and is still owned by the Robertson’s, descendants of the original family who acquired the land over 130 years ago. Their aim is to run the station sustainably, while conserving the natural, historic and cultural values of the property.

As we travel the last stretch of the river before Renmark, we enjoy the beauty of the limestone cliffs, arriving in town late afternoon. We disembark and meet our Endeavour Tours driver who takes us back to our accommodation at Loxton ready for another delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Day Three – SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Following breakfast, we return to Renmark to board the boat for a second day of cruising.

Soon after we leave, we pass under the Paringa ‘lift’ bridge. One of only four suspension bridges still spanning the Murray River, it opened in 1927. It was built to allow cars on the Sturt Highway to cross the river, as well as trains using the Barmera Railway Line. The last train crossed in May 1982. Today, the vertical-lift span opens twice a day to allow the river traffic to continue their journey on the Murray.

We continue our cruising, passing through Lock 5 to Lyrup. Chosen by the SA Government as one of eleven settlement sites on the Murray River in 1894, the first settlers of Lyrup arrived on the PS Ellen, with food supplies, bedding, furniture and tarpaulins to be used as temporary shelter. Today, Lyrup is the only site where the Village Association still exists.

Late morning, we arrive at Berri where we have some free time to explore the town. Surrounded by vineyards and orchards, Berri is home to some of the largest wine production facilities in Australia.

Back on board, we enjoy lunch as we continue our cruise through Lock 4 and around Whirlpool Bend, before passing by Katarapko Game Reserve. Part of the larger Murray River National Park, the floodplains and wetlands of Katarapko attract a variety of aquatic birds and are an important habitat for native fish. We continue to cruise past Media Island and along Kamikaze Flats, before arriving at Loxton mid-afternoon.

We disembark and head back to the motel, where there will be plenty of time to relax, explore the town or freshen up before dinner.

Day Four – SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

After breakfast, we return to the river to board the boat for our last day cruising the river. We journey along the Seven Mile Reach, the longest straight stretch of river along the Murray. The river bank scenery varies as we pass the small settlements of Moorook and Cobdogla, before arriving at Kingston on Murray. This small town lies in the heart of a rich agricultural district and is surrounded by vineyards and orchards. At some point during our morning cruise, we will have the opportunity to disembark and stretch our legs as we explore the river bank.

While enjoying lunch on board, we cruise through Lock 3 and past Overland Corner. Well known for its heritage listed hotel, Overland Corner was the stopping place for many paddle steamers on the Adelaide to Wentworth route, as well as the resting place for drovers moving thousands of sheep across South Australia to NSW in the 1800’s. The Overland Hotel was built in 1859 and has a colourful history including a visit from well-known bushranger Captain Moonlight. Our journey ends at Waikerie, and we farewell our wonderful crew before returning to Loxton for our final night on tour.  

Day Five – MONDAY 26 OCTOBER 2020

(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)

After a hearty breakfast, we farewell our hosts and drive to Barmera. We have a short drive around Lake Bonney before finding a spot to enjoy morning tea.

Continuing west we travel to Waikerie where we stop to view one of the state’s Silo Art. These were the first silos in South Australia to be painted on both sides, and by two artists. The artworks pay homage to the River Murray and are a spectacular canvas promoting the theme ‘healthy river, healthy community’.

Today we detour off the Highway to Morgan, which in its heyday was one of the busiest South Australian River Murray ports. Here we stop for our lunch before completing the last part of our homeward journey.

We will stop to stretch our legs near the famous Barossa wine region before continuing our drive towards the city. It’s not long before we arrive in Adelaide, with memories of the spectacular river scenery along the mighty Murray.