Swan Hill and Mildura Cruises
Five Days: 1st – 5th April 2020
Twin Share: $1495 per person. Sole Use: $1765 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.
Whilst Mildura is synonymous with citrus and grapes, Swan Hill is known for its pioneering history. But what links these towns together is the mighty River Murray, the flowing life source that has shaped both communities. We take a fascinating journey to discover the uniqueness and similarities of both cities, and enjoy two different experiences cruising the Murray. We sample local produce, visit Lake Boga and explore the Pioneer Settlement, including the award winning laser light show which uses the Murray River as its backdrop. There is so much to see and do on this tour that offers something for everyone!
Day One – WEDNESDAY 1 APRIL 2020
(includes light lunch and three course dinner)
We depart this morning after completing home pick ups (limited area*). The South Eastern Freeway leads us through the Adelaide Hills and over the Murray River to our morning tea stop at Tailem Bend.
From here we enter the Murray Mallee, travelling through small communities and the slightly larger centre of Lameroo before reaching Pinnaroo, where we visit the Pinnaroo Bakery for our freshly made light lunch.
The Victorian border is crossed soon after lunch, and our afternoon drive continues through farming country to Ouyen where we stop to stretch our legs.
We encounter the Murray River again at Piangil, following along its route to Swan Hill. Our home for the next two nights is at the Comfort Inn Campbell (Ph: 03 5032 4427).
Day Two – THURSDAY 2 APRIL 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)
After breakfast we set off with the assistance of a local guide to discover Swan Hill, which is situated on the south bank of the Murray River. This region has a rich pioneering history, and with its wineries and pristine river scapes, it is a great place to explore.
We travel south along the Murray Valley Highway arriving in Lake Boga where we have morning tea and visit the Flying Boat Museum, home of the Catalina Flying Boat. Housed in an original communications bunker, the museum is a memorial to those who worked on and with the flying boats during World War II. It boasts a theatrette showing authentic footage, taking us back to the 1940s when Catalinas were more common on the lake than speed boats are today.
We return to Swan Hill for lunch before spending time at the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement where history comes to life with the display of more than 50 immaculately preserved and restored buildings and over 20,000 artefacts relating to life in the Murray-Mallee in the 1830-1930 era. We can wander through this bygone world, experiencing real Australian history before we board the PS Pyap at the Settlement’s Wharf for a relaxing cruise along the River Murray, passing the historic Murray Downs Homestead. The captain tells us much of the riverboat history and the influence it had on the early settlement along the river.
Upon disembarking, there is more time to wander the village if needed, before returning to our motel.
Dinner will be a little earlier this evening as we are returning to the Pioneer Settlement to experience the world-class ‘Heartbeat of the Murray’ laser light show. This 360 degree multi-media spectacular is unlike anything ever seen in Australia. Set on the banks of the River Murray, this award-winning, state-of-the-art show is the first of its kind in the world to use a natural river environment and setting as the background. Using water, light, laser, sound and special effects, this sensational display is beamed on to a water screen, telling us the story of the Murray.
After this stunning experience, we return to the motel for a good night’s rest.
Day Three — FRIDAY 3 APRIL 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)
After farewelling our hosts this morning, we begin our journey towards Mildura.
Our first stop is in Piangil, a small town a short distance from Swan Hill. Here we have the privilege of spending our morning with Jeanette Young, a musician, civil celebrant, comedian, and a disability support worker in the field of performing arts. The name of her business, Tapestries of the Heart represents all the interests that she is passionate about coming together, like a tapestry. Her home is a beautifully converted old church which provides amazing natural acoustics and a backdrop for her music and art. We will also enjoy morning tea here with Jeanette.
From Piangil we continue in a north-westerly direction towards Robinvale. Situated on a peninsula that is surrounded on three sides by the Murray River, it is a popular spot for holiday makers wanting to use the river for recreation.
The final stage of today’s travels brings us to Mildura where our home for the next two nights is at the Best Western Chaffey Motor Inn (Ph: 03 5023 5833). For those wishing to explore the shopping area, there will be some free time after check-in.
Day Four – SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2020
(includes cooked breakfast light lunch and three course dinner)
After breakfast, we begin our day with a visit to Woodsies Gem Shop, home to a private collection of gems, rocks and crystals from around the world that are displayed in a man-made “Aladdins Cave”. There is time to browse the huge range of jewellery, novelties and giftware and make a purchase if we wish.
From here we journey to the Murray to board the wonderful paddleboat ‘PS Melbourne’, which will be taking us for a delightful two hour morning tea cruise. Originally built for the Victorian Government as a work boat in 1912, the ‘Melbourne’ was restored to a passenger-carrying steamer in 1965. We can relive the sights and sounds of the pioneer days on this relaxing cruise in Mildura’s original steam-driven paddle steamer. This unique river journey takes us downstream through Lock 11, which was built to bypass the weir across the river. We experience the workings of a lock as the Melbourne is lowered to the downstream level and raised again on the return journey. You can also see the fireman tending the boiler as we enjoy the magic of the old engine driving the massive gears of the paddlewheels. An informative live commentary of the river and its history, fauna and flora is also provided throughout the cruise.
Back on land, we enjoy a light lunch before driving the short distance to Mourquong to discover Orange World, a 50 acre working orchard growing oranges, mandarins, grapefruit and avocados. We are taken around the picturesque property on a tractor train to see the varieties of trees and we can also sample their fresh orange juice. A range of souvenirs and gourmet foods are available to taste and purchase, including home-style citrus marmalades, orange blossom honey, citrus soaps and other local produce.
Returning to our accommodation, we can relax before our last dinner together on this great tour.
Day Five – SUNDAY 5 APRIL 2020
(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)
It is time to farewell our hosts in Mildura this morning to begin our journey home.
After breakfast, we depart west for South Australia, crossing the border just outside Renmark where we will also meet the Murray River again. We stop to stretch our legs and enjoy morning tea.
From here we journey through Monash and detour to the Goyder Highway. We follow the general path of the river, arriving in Morgan, where we will enjoy a two course lunch today. In the 1800’s Morgan was home to hundreds of paddle-steamers as it was one of South Australia’s busiest river ports.
Refreshed, we continue our afternoon drive towards Adelaide, passing through the Barossa Valley and Gawler, pausing for a comfort stop along the way. Arriving back in Adelaide, we return people home with memories of a wonderful break exploring the River Murray with its spectacular scenery.