The Murray River is Australia’s longest river, beginning in the Australian Alps and snaking across picturesque inland plains before flowing into the ocean at Lake Alexandrina near Adelaide. As it takes such a long, meandering course across three states, it can be difficult for travellers to see everything the Australian icon has to offer.
This may be why Murray River cruises have become so popular. You can take your time and go with the flow, enjoying every sight as you pass by. While houseboats are a common choice, those who like to travel in style opt for the PS Murray Princess. This luxury paddle steamer makes a grand statement, with opulent furnishings and many decadent options — such as calming spas and saunas — to pass the time.
While you’ll have everything you could want onboard, there is good reason to go ashore whenever the steamer docks. The towns along the Murray River are quiet but charming, full of history, stories and interesting sights to see. Here are some of the highlights you’ll discover on the cruise.
Many regard this historic town as the birthplace of Murray River leisure travel. The first paddle steamer was launched here in 1853 and it’s now one of the most popular houseboat destinations in Australia. The town is charming, with many quaint cafes, historic stone buildings and picturesque parks. The bird sanctuary past the ferry terminal is a peaceful spot and, if you have time, you should continue the walk to see the Mannum Waterfalls on the outskirts of town.
This is one of the oldest towns on the Murray River and history buffs will be delighted to discover that the original post office, hotel, school and police station still welcome visitors. Among these historic buildings you’ll discover ‘shacktown’, a crude-but-charming assembly of dwellings cobbled together from corrugated iron, driftwood and fibro.
This hospitable town hugs the river near the massive golden cliffs of Big Bend. For many visitors, the first stop in town is the local hotel at the top of the high cliffs, where you can enjoy a drink or a meal while taking in the amazing views. Wander along Ngaut Ngaut boardwalk to see the site of Australia’s first archaeological dig, where a 7000-year-old skeleton was discovered in rock. Continue the walk to Old Devon Downs or Kooloola Station to watch the Southern Hairy-nosed wombats graze.
Cruise on the beautiful and historic Murray River onboard the MS Murray Princess and save 25 percent off the regular price for the cruise when departing in January 2018. For more information visit RACQ Travel or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.