Murray Cruise: Torrumbarry Weir to Tooleybuc
Five Days: 28th October – 1st November 2019
Twin Share: $2195 per person. Sole Use: $2395 per person.
- 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.
Come and join us on a new tour, as we cruise the stunning Murray River with our friends from Spirit Australia Cruises. This stretch of the river from Torrumbarry Weir to Tooleybuc is the border between Victoria and New South Wales and its picturesque banks encompass a number of protected areas offering beautiful forest scenery and habitat for a variety of birds and wildlife. The area is also rich in history dating back to the paddlesteamer era and as we cruise, we’ll admire views of heritage homesteads, pass by historic bridges and hear stories of a bygone era. Cruising by day and stay in comfortable motel accommodation at night, this tour is the ideal getaway for a relaxing spring break.
Day One – MONDAY 28 OCTOBER 2019
(includes light lunch and three course dinner)
After being picked up from our homes (limited areas*) we head east from Adelaide, through the lovely Adelaide Hills and along the Princes Highway, pausing at Tailem Bend for morning tea. From here we enter the Murray Mallee, travelling through Lameroo and onto the rural township of Pinnaroo in time for lunch.
Refreshed, we reboard the minicoach for the afternoon journey across the border into Victoria. We pause in Ouyen for a comfort stop before continuing east through Swan Hill, to Barham Koondrook.
These twin towns are situated on either side of the border on the Murray River—Barham in New South Wales and Koondrook in Victoria. The towns service the pastoral and horticultural industries of the region, but are also known for the tourism and recreational opportunities provided by the river, surrounding creeks forests and lagoons.
We check into our accommodation at CluBarham River Motel (Ph: 03 5453 2159) where we will be staying for the next two nights.
Please Note: The CluBarham River Motel does not have a restaurant on site, but the venue for our dinner and breakfast on each day of our stay will be across the road at Club Barham.
Day Two – TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER 2019
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)
Following breakfast, we cross the border into Victoria and head south-east through the small villages of Cohuna and Gunbower towards the Torrumbarry Weir. The original weir was constructed in 1923 using steel trestles that could be removed via winch to allow the passage of flood waters. This system operated successfully until the early 1990’s when there was major damage to the dams foundation and a new weir was later constructed retaining the original lock structure.
We meet our crew from Spirit Australia Cruises and board the vessel Spirit II, ready to commence our cruising journey.
Today we travel through the Gunbower National Park and State Forest, as well as Koondrook-Perricoota State Forest. The Forests cover over 50 000 hectares of the River Murray floodplain. During times of flood, the water spills over the low banks in the forest areas, filling creeks and swamps that take up much of the excess water which is later fed back into the stream as the river falls. The Gunbower Forest sits on the Victorian side of the river, while Koondrook-Perricoota sits on the New South Wales side and both are listed as Ramsar wetlands of international importance.
As we cruise this magnificent river, we enjoy a light lunch onboard and take time to admire the views.
This afternoon we cruise over the Waradgery Reef situated near Koondrook. The reef is named after the P.S.Waradgery which was built at Moama in 1865 and had some trouble negotiating the channel at the reef.
A little further downstream we stop at Barham and disembark, returning to our accommodation to freshen up before dinner.
Day Three – WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2019
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
After breakfast this morning there may be time to view the Redgum Statue River Walk. Situated along both sides of the river, the statues depict pioneer men and women, as well as wildlife of the district.
Boarding our cruise, we head out under the Barham and Koondrook Bridge which was constructed in 1904. The bridge played a significant role in facilitating intercolonial trade between New South Wales and Victoria and it is listed on the state heritage register for both its historical and technical significance.
This morning we will cruise through Campbell’s Island Forest Reserve before viewing the entrance to the Little Murray River. This river is an anabranch of the Murray River that meanders for 46 kilometres before re-joining the main river near Swan Hill. The Little Murray and the Murray Rivers surround Pental Island.
We’ll pass under Gonn Crossing Bridge. Completed in 1926, the bridge carried both rail and road traffic for nearly 40 years until the railway closed in the 1960’s. Interestingly, because the bridge was located a long way from the original township of Gonn Crossing, so a new town was established nearer the bridge called Murrabit, which still exists today.
As we journey downstream we enjoy a light lunch, passing by Pental Island. This rural location was an area of dispute between Victoria and New South Wales when they were negotiating borders and in 1871, the judicial committee found in favour of Victoria. There are two bridges to access the island from the Victorian side, but none on the New South Wales side!.
Before arriving at Swan Hill, our destination for the evening, we will cruise past the majestic Murray Downs Station, which was the first of its kind this area.
We will be staying with some of our favourite hosts for the next two nights at the Comfort Inn Campbell, Swan Hill (Ph. 03 5032 4427). Swan Hill became one of the regions major inland river trading ports when the wharf was first built in the early 1850’s. Over time, the surrounding land was cleared for farming and the river became a source of irrigation which meant agriculture superseded as the towns primary form of prosperity, particularly after the expansion of the railways. Swan Hill is now surrounded by vast citrus farms reaching many kilometres to the north west.
Day Four – THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER 2019
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
Departing from Swan Hill this morning, we cruise past the junction where the Little Murray River re-joins it’s larger counterpart.
Further along the river we pass the historic Tyntyndyer Homestead which was built in 1846 by the Beveridge family, who established one of the first European settlements on the Victorian side of the Murray.
As we cruise, there is time to take in the ever-changing scenery that surrounds us. This afternoon we travel through the Nyah Vinifera Park. Situated along the banks of the Murray River, the park covers over 1000 hectares and protects majestic forests including century old redgums, as well as billabongs and lagoons. Popular for fishing and camping, Nyah Vinifera Park is also home to a number of key Aboriginal historical sites for the Wadi Wadi people such as canoe trees, middens and burial grounds. The park is currently co-managed with the local indigenous community.
We will see what’s left of the wreck of the PS Alawein before arriving in Tooleybuc. We’ll disembark here and transfer back to Swan Hill where there will be time to freshen up before dinner.
Day Five – FRIDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2019
(includes cooked breakfast and three course hot lunch)
It is time to farewell our crew from Spirit Australia Cruises, and our hosts in Swan Hill, as this morning we begin our journey home.
We follow the Murray north until we reach Piangil, when we turn west to travel along the Mallee Highway. We travel through remote North Western Victoria before stopping at Ouyen for morning tea.
After passing through Cowangie and Murrayville, we cross the border back into South Australia and reach Pinnaroo ready for a hearty two course lunch.
Continuing west we pass through Peake before our comfort stop at Tailem Bend. From here we soon cross the Murray River and enter the Adelaide Hills, with familiar scenery around us for the final stage of our journey.
We enter Adelaide’s suburbs to begin returning people home with memories of a picturesque and tranquil cruise along the majestic Murray River.