We sometimes associate the Murray River more with the eastern states, forgetting that there are around 650 kilometres of the thing in South Australia. If you’re looking for an up-close view, then the Mighty Murray Way, which follows most of the river’s South Australian segment, is the perfect caravanning escape.
After coming in via New South Wales or Victoria, head for Renmark. On the way, acclimatise to South Australian beer terminology at the Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery, where there’s more to soak up than an impressive range of brews (including plush houseboats and a heritage woolshed).
Renmark is the gateway to a cluster of appealing riverside communities. One you shouldn’t miss is Berri (a name you might recognise from a certain brand of juices that originated here), which is highly regarded among Adelaidians, who prize its foodie bent, proximity to the scenic Murray River National Park and outstanding horticultural heritage – including first-class fruit, naturally.
At nearby Morgan, the Murray, like a long-distance runner on their final lap, swings hard to the south coast. The Mighty Murray Way follows it through picturesque pastoral country before pausing at Murray Bridge, a friendly regional centre that doubles as a top-drawer picnic spot for families and sweethearts.
Next is historic Goolwa, home to Australia’s first inland port, Georgian buildings lend an appealingly old-timey atmosphere to the town. Goolwa is a former maritime hub that’s segued gracefully into its mature phase as a fishing and farming community that also attracts weekenders and, more recently, sea changers from Adelaide and beyond.
Having gotten to know the communities that the Murray supports, you’ll feel a renewed sense of the river’s importance. Modern Australia has been a shock to the Murray’s system, and The Murray Mouth is an apt place to reflect on how we can ensure that the mighty river keeps sustaining us and our children in the future.