Murray River Self Drive [ST-SD15]
3 Days: Murray River Self Drive [ST-SD15]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Rental Car - For Self-Drive though South Australia. Base Rate only. Does not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees
  • Day Tours are Optional (not included), but can easily be included on request
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (US$15.00 per person) available on request
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • Additional Accommodation, Sigthseeing Day Tours, International & Domestic Flights are available on request
  • Customize? Tell us what you want & our Travel Experts will design your vacation and give you a no-obligation Quote.
Itinerary Details
Self Drive - Murray River Region, South Australia

The best place to experience the Murray River is in Renmark, South Australia.

Day 1: Adelaide to Renmark

From Adelaide you will head north east towards Gawler. Once at Gawler, if you are a wine connoisseur, don’t miss this opportunity to detour through the famous Barossa Valley wine region home to Penfolds, Peter Lehmann, Seppeltsfield, Bethany and Wolf Blass wineries to mention a few. Most wineries are open daily for wine tasting and cellar door sales. Continue on to Truro where the environment changes from vineyards and gardens into the farming lands which cover the Adelaide Hills. Lush and green during the rains, or very stark & dry when in drought. In Truro, maybe stop at the local Sunrise Bakery for lunch and try some of their yummy local fare: eat a meat pie or sausage roll and wash it down with a cold iced-coffee (our favorite is “Farmers Union Iced Coffee”).

Leaving the Adelaide Hills is marked by the drive down Accommodation Hill where you are presented with another abrupt change in landscape to flat sparse farm lands which stretch as far as the eye can see. Both the fences separating the fields and the roads are framed with a smattering of small gum trees and salt bushes. Before you reach Blanchetown is home to the Brookfield Conservation Park, which is a breeding ground for the southern hairy-nosed wombat.

The first crossing of the Murray River is at Blanchetown where the Murray River’s system of weirs and locks begin. Lock 1 can be viewed on the left as you cross over the bridge. The locks were constructed along the entire length of the Murray River in the 1920s and 1930s to help control water levels for the then thriving river transport system. The historic paddle & steam boats of those early years were the only life source for commodities and trade for developing communities along the Murray River. Some of these boats have since been restored and can be seen throughout the Murray River towns. As you cross the Blanchetown Bridge you’ll also see many original River Red Gum (Eucalyptus) trees that drowned when the locks & weirs were commissioned and the surrounding lands were flooded.

Further along, as you enter Waikerie, the Murray River will be on your left. Stop to appreciate the view of the river because here, it’s a great lookout point to see the windy river curving around the landscape. Impressive rusty golden limestone cliffs line the river and are brightly contrasted with green trees and bamboo at the river’s edge. Continue on to Barmera, which is a small township on Lake Bonney, then onto Monash – home to Monash Playground built for both adults and kids. Continue to Renmark. There’s plenty of accommodation here in the form of hotels, motels, houseboats and caravan parks with fully self-contained cabins. The BIG 4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park is a favorite spot with fantastic river views, big shady trees, convenient location, lovely cabins and lots of facilities for both adults and kids. Stay 1 Night.

Day 2: Tour The Riverland

While in the region there are lots of things to see and do. River activities include houseboat cruises, camping, boat hire, skiing (learn to ski), fishing, canoeing, kayaking, catch yabbies (like crawdads), swimming and BBQs.

Wildlife spotting is a fun activity. Many Koalas have made their home in the gum trees lining the river. They are a little tough to find, but if you are determined you’ll have a good chance of spotting a Koala in the wild here. It’s easiest to spot them when you are in a boat that cruises slowly along the river banks. The best place to spot Kangaroos in the wild is at the Renmark Golf Club. Plan to have dinner at the Golf Club Bistro one night and enjoy true Aussie fare along with a glass of local wine as you watch 10 or more Kangaroos come out onto the golf course at dusk. Also after it gets dark one night, take some apples or carrots to hand feed the local possums that live in the big palm trees along the river out front of the Renmark Hotel.

Experiencing the river environment is a must, and the best way to do it is from the water. Murray River houseboat cruises showcase the jaw-dropping beauty of the river’s diverse & contrasting sun-burnt yet lush landscapes. With all the modern conveniences at your fingertips you can explore the region at your leisure. One minute you’re close to civilization the next you’re incredibly remote. It’s truly a unique Australian experience not yet discovered by the tourist masses. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being so close to nature in this peaceful and beautiful environment. There’s something very special about being near the water that allows you to quickly wind down and reconnect with yourself, family and friends.

If you’re short on time and unable to hire a houseboat for a few days, then a day trip cruise or a two hour river cruise is a must. A boat ride along the river is sincerely the only way to get a true appreciation of the stunning and distinctive beauty of the Murray River and surrounds. If you are unable to get on a boat, a fantastic view of the Murray River and its spectacular cliffs can be found at Headings Cliffs Lookout which is located off Murtho Road north of Paringa (small town near Renmark).

The McCormick Centre for the Environment is worth a look too, it’s a public facility designed to support environmental education, research & nature based tourism. Here they have a small number of local wildlife including the unusual Blue Tongue Lizard which you can see up close and personal. Renmark’s Ruston Rose Garden is the largest rose garden in the southern hemisphere, with modern and heritage roses of all kinds and colors. In October the town celebrates the ‘Rose Festival’.

If travelling on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, make sure you dine at the “Mallee Fowl Restarant” a truly Australian themed outback country treat. It is located in the middle of the sticks, literally. It’s hidden amongst a bunch of gum trees and salt bushes and is so isolated that it is not on the power grid (it’s actually powered by a generator). The food is exceptional and has received awards for best themed restaurant in Australia.

The Murray River is one of Australia’s oldest living cultural landscapes. Aboriginal tribes still reside along the more isolated regions of the Murray River. If your touring the river by boat and look hard enough, you can find Aboriginal artifacts such as canoe trees, fish traps and boundary markers.

Enjoy the walking trails at National & Conservation Parks such as Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre. Experience the self guided walking trails through the wetlands (seasonal), or relax on the spacious deck and enjoy local cuisine with a glass of Banrock Station wine.

Local museums and historic sites that showcase the heritage of the region include Olivewood in Remark and the award winning Historical Village in Loxton. The village is home to over 45 buildings and exhibits that enable you to stroll down memory lane and experience the lifestyles of the early settlers. Three times a year staff and volunteers dress in period costume bringing the village ‘alive’ so visitors can experience the life of the regions pioneers. Also in Loxton is Lock 4 and the ‘Tree on Knowledge’ which has date markers for the Murray River flood levels over the years. Be sure to see the resorted paddle steamer “PS Industry” at Renmark. It was built in 1911 and was re-commissioned in 1995. Stay 1 Night.

Day 3: Return to Adelaide

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Customize your Self Drive to Regional South Australia via Murray River?

Remember, this road trip is fully customizable. Combine it with other destinations, add accommodation, sigthseeing tours and flights (international &/or domestic).

Just let us know what you want and our Travel Experts will design your complete itinerary with a ‘no-obligation’ quote.

Detailed Pricing
Approximate Pricing Double Occupancy Sole Occupancy Permitted USA Departure Dates & Fare Rules
Land Content Only $300 $300 International return flights from the USA are not included. Please see detailed itinerary (above) for more information on inclusions. Itinerary can commence any day (subject to availability).
Special (Economy Class) $1,440 $1,440 Nov 16 2020 - Nov 30 2021
USA Departures: 1 April - 30 November 2021
International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable, Non-Changeable. Other Dates may also apply. For details phone Toll-Free: (888)359 2877
Basic (Economy Class) $2,235 $2,235 Basic: 24JUL-21SEP 2019 and 1MAY-8JUN 2020. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability.
Shoulder (Economy Class) $2,442 $2,442 Shoulder: 9JUN-23JUL 2019, 22SEP-8DEC 2019 and 1FEB-30APR 2020. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability.
Peak (Economy Class) $2,960 $2,960 Peak: 9DEC 2019 - 31JAN 2020. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.
Premium (Economy Class) $5,212 $5,212 Premium Economy Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Change and Cancellation Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.
Business Class $6,820 $6,820 Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.
  • a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability and seasonality. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
  • b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
  • c) An Infant (Lapchild) must be less than 2 years old on the date of departure. Infant must travel with at least one adult. An infant with a seat pays the price of a Child.
  • d) A Child must be aged between 2-11 years on the date of departure. Child must travel with at least one adult.