Spring in the Riverland
Five Days: 15th – 18th November 2021
Twin Share: $1395 per person. Sole Use: $1595 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.
Spring is the perfect time of year to be out exploring in South Australia’s picturesque Riverland! Staying in Barmera, home to the beautiful Lake Bonney, we take time to appreciate the hospitality and diversity of this region. As we visit the charming towns dotted along the Murray River, we discover their heritage, indulge in the gourmet produce and delight in the scenic countryside that surrounds. Located just a few hours from Adelaide this tour is a relaxing way to make the most of the warmer weather.
Day One – MONDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2021
(includes light lunch and two course dinner)
We depart Adelaide after completing home pick ups (limited areas*), heading out through the northern suburbs and the Barossa. After morning tea, we join the Sturt Highway and make our way to Waikerie, meaning Rain Moth in the local indigenous language. There is a small gallery here that bears the same name and we stop to take a look at the wonderful works on display. At the time of our visit, there will also be an exhibition of work by award winning water colour artist, Alan Louis.
After lunch, we make a stop at Illalangi Gourmet Foods. Established by the Gorman family in 2010 as a means of selling the products made from their grape and olive harvests, Illalangi also brings together a selection of gourmet and artisan products from the local region. We will enjoy a tasting and brief talk, before continuing our afternoon journey.
We continue a short distance to Barmera, located on the shores of fresh water Lake Bonney. Our accommodation for the next three nights is at the Comfort Inn and Suites Riverland. Surrounded by Barmera Golf Course in a quiet location, well away from the town centre and highway, every room enjoys views of the course.
Day Two – TUESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2021
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
After breakfast this morning, we take a look around Barmera before driving to nearby Glossop to 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 including homemade soap, shampoo, lip balm and arthritis cream, just to name a few.
Close by, is the riverside township of Berri. Here we board a fully air conditioned boat to cruise this wide section of the Murray River. As we cruise, we enjoy lunch on board, admiring the scenery and birdlife that surrounds us.
Late afternoon we have time to explore around Berri before taking a scenic drive back to Barmera. There will be time to refresh and relax before coming together for dinner in the restaurant.
Day Three – WEDNESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2021
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
This morning we make our way to Loxton, a town first settled by people of predominantly German origin, who were escaping religious persecution. Cobdogla Station was established in the 1850’s and a local stockman who worked there, William Loxton, built a slab hut on the riverbank to reside in with his wife Mary. In 1970, a replica of this hut was built on its original site and this marked the beginnings of the Loxton Historical Village. Featuring over 45 furnished buildings preserving the history and way of life of the early Riverland settlers, the Village shows how farmers battled floods, heat, drought and plagues to produce grain crops and lush citrus orchards. Highlights include a bank that operated at Geranium, a railway station from Yinkanie, a barber shop, 1920’s style garage and so much more. We have plenty of time to wander around this historic village at our leisure to enjoy everything it has to offer.
Lunch today is at the historic Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery, located on the banks of the Murray. Wilkadene was a famous sheep and wheat station and the shearing shed supplied paddle steamers with chaff, by way of a chute from the shed down the cliff to the river. The early settlers in this area were dependent on the paddle steamers for everything from food and household goods to their religious requirements. The movement of all paddle steamers was noted in the daily diary, often four or five would pass in a day.
From here we head back towards Renmark, stopping near the tiny village of Paringa. Navigating the Murray River wouldn’t be possible without the series of locks and weirs dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Fourteen locks are still in use today and we will stop at Lock 5, just upstream from Renmark, to see if there are any boats passing through.
We cross the Paringa Suspension Bridge, opened in 1927 to allow traffic over the river, the bridge includes a span which can be raised to allow houseboats and paddle steamers to also pass underneath.
Continuing to Renmark, we arrive at Olivewood Historic Home. This is the original home of Charles Chaffey, who with his brothers George and William established the Renmark and Mildura Irrigation Colonies. This State Heritage listed home was built in 1889 from Murray pine logs and is set in spacious grounds, with a spectacular palm-lined drive. The homestead has been kept in original condition, with the rooms displaying furniture and artefacts from the era.
We take a look around Renmark before returning to Barmera for our final night on tour.
Day Four – THURSDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2021
(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)
After breakfast this morning, we farewell our hosts, but before leaving Barmera we visit Rocky’s SA Country Music Hall of Fame. A must see feature is the “Big Guitar” and the “Hands of Fame”, displaying the hand prints of famous International and Australian artists such as Slim Dusty, Smoky Dawson, Reg Lindsay and Buddy Williams, along with over 190 other noted local entertainers.
Heading towards home we make a stop at the award winning Banrock Station near Kingston on Murray. Owned by the BRL Hardy wine company, the Station lies at the junction of Banrock Creek and the Murray River. A former farming station it has been turned over to wine and wetlands, and BRL Hardy has chosen to invest a great deal in recreating the wetlands of this site, including imitating the wetting and drying cycle that occurred here naturally before the weirs were built to control the river. In fact, we may see native fauna in the wetland! Our visit includes the opportunity to taste the wines of Banrock Station and we will enjoy our morning tea in this lovely setting.
Our travels continue as we make our way to Morgan, which in its hey day, was one of the busiest South Australian river ports with hundreds of paddle steamers carrying cargo and passengers up the Murray-Darling River System. The township is located on what is often referred to as the Great Bend or the Great Elbow. We enjoy lunch in this truly historic Australian town before beginning the final stage of our journey home.
We make our way through Eudunda, birthplace of author Colin Thiele, and along the outskirts of the Barossa Valley. The scenery becomes more familiar as we near Adelaide after a wonderful spring break in South Australia’s beautiful and diverse Riverland.