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Aerial landscape of eroding sandstone shore of Murray RIver at sunse

Riverside Retreat: Our Riverland Bucket List

If you’re itching for wet and wild escapades, South Australia’s Riverland will get your adventurist spirit going! With wetland activities like kayaking and houseboat tours, the Riverland is packed with adventures.

We’ll share the details of these exciting Riverland activities below!

Things to Know

Timezone – Australian Standard Time Zone (ACST) – UTC+9:30
Language – English
Currency – Australian Dollars (current exchange rate)
Calling Code – +61

How to Get There

Fastest Route from Adelaide: 

By Car: The most convenient way to reach the Riverland is by car. The distance between Adelaide and the Riverland is approximately 200 km, and the journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and your exact destination within the region. 

We suggest taking the Sturt Highway (A20) northeast of Adelaide and enjoying the scenic drive through the countryside.

By Bus: Several bus companies operate regular services from Adelaide to the Riverland. The journey time may vary, but it generally takes 4 to 5 hours. Check with the local bus operators for schedules and fares.

By Air: If you prefer a quicker option, you can fly from Adelaide to the nearby Renmark Airport. Several airlines offer domestic flights to Renmark, and the flight duration is approximately an hour. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Riverland is during autumn (March to May), when temperatures range from 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F). The comfortable climate allows for enjoyable exploration without summer’s scorching heat or winter’s chill. 

Where to Stay

The Frames Retreats

Address: Lot 7 Panorama Ct, Paringa SA 5340
Contact Details: 0418 862 260
Pricing: $$$
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The Frames Retreats is an award-winning accommodation that takes pride in its romantic suites—and boy, do they have a right to do so. 

That said, guests under 18 are prohibited here, but if you’re of legal age and looking for a premier date night spot or a hopeful romantic craving a solo retreat, The Frames Retreats got you covered.

We stayed in their Montage Retreat, a luxurious suite with a hydrotherapy room and an outdoor pool with a front-row seat to the colliding landscapes of the Australian Outback and the wetlands. If you prefer a more elevated room, try their Pastiche Retreat suite.

Walkerie Golf and Country Club

Address: 22 Dunlop Rd, Sunlands SA 5322
Contact Details: (08) 8541 9072
Pricing: $$$
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As nature enthusiasts, we couldn’t get enough of Walkerie Golf and Country Club. 

From the perfectly manicured fairways to the breathtaking views of the glistening Murray River, this place had our attention and adoration from the day we booked to the time we checked out.

We picked their Deluxe Suite Villa, a self-contained room by the lush 10th Fairway, as it offers more privacy and style (the room’s courtyard garden is wallpaper-worthy). 

If you’re with a group, we recommend the 6-bedroom villa. It’s elegant, has a personal lounge, and is equipped with an in-built barbie perfect for family get-togethers. 

Where to Eat

Mallee Fowl Restaurant

Address: Lot, 19042 Sturt Hwy, Monash SA 5342
Contact Details: 0439 340 664
Pricing: $$

Malee Fowl’s charming early-settlement vibe sets it apart, accentuated by the delightful presence of wandering emus and lyrebirds in its expansive 100-acre enclosure. 

Moreover, their tender chicken zingara, accompanied by a splash of white wine, is a masterpiece of sweet, zesty, and savory flavors. 

Also, try their garlic prawns, infused with a rich garlic kick and smothered in a buttery sauce with delightful herby undertones!  

Cucina 837

Address: 837 Bookpurnong Rd, Bookpurnong SA 5333
Contact Details: (08) 8584 1333
Pricing: $$

Cucina 837 takes Italian food to a whole new level of deliciousness. 

Their secret ingredient? Probably their premium seasonal ingredients and the resto’s focus on a menu that constantly evolves, giving diners a slice of something new each season. 

Our go-to meal here is their creamy and earthy quattro formaggi.

It’s a pizza oozing with the velvety touch of melted mozzarella, the nutty richness of aged parmesan, the earthy tang of gorgonzola, and the sharpness of Pecorino Romano—all packed on a thin, crispy crust.

Overland Corner Hotel

Address: Old Coach Rd, Overland Corner SA 5330
Contact Details: (08) 7552 5660
Pricing: $$

Our group of pub-loving pals had an absolute blast at this electrifying dining spot, where the rich history of the place matches the buzzing atmosphere. 

Originally built in 1856, Overland Corner Hotel still carries the charm of an old era with its antique interior. The building stands proudly with its limestone walls and old woodwork, reminiscent of its beginning while still teeming with modern panache. 

As for the food, you cannot go wrong with their earthy and smoky butternut soup. Pair this with Aussie happy hour classics like their steak, pizza, and beer or cocktails!

What to Do

Stroll along the Murray River Trails

Address: 1415 Murtho Rd, Paringa SA 5340
Contact Details: 0417 533 063

When we strolled this riverside retreat, we discovered picturesque passages. The Murray River Trail stretches for a whopping 1,000+ kilometers, but don’t worry, Riverland dwellers won’t send the trail police after you if you fail to complete it all. 

Our advice? Take it at your own pace, have a picnic under the gum trees, or go full-on zen mode by the riverbank. 

Take a river cruise with River Murray Houseboats

Address: Lock 5 Rd, Paringa SA 5340
Contact Details: 0427 899 102

The Riverland houseboat tour is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the wetlands’ biodiversity. 

On board the luxurious Class Act (which lives up to its name, by the way,) we sailed the Murray River to look for the region’s birdlife and limestone formations. 

The cherry on top? Well, the houseboat can be used as a thrilling diving ramp, so when the heat made us feel hotter than a spiced barramundi with jalapenos, we simply dove into the pristine Murray River! 

Who needs a fancy, overcrowded pool when you can plunge into the refreshing waters of this natural wonder while on board a boat that doubles as a hotel? 

Explore the Murray River National Park

Address: Katarapko SA 5343
Contact Details: (08) 8595 2111

Murray River National Park is brimming with scenic allure, diverse wildlife, and enough serenity to make even the busiest city-dweller contemplate a life of solitude. 

For starters, we suggest bushwalking at the Kai Kai Nature Trail (1.25 km) to see fascinating semi-parasitic flora.

Want free lunch? 

The park’s Katarapko Creek and Murray River are full of yabbies, European carp, and golden perches. All you need is patience and fishing equipment, of course. 

Birdwatching is also huge here. Try to spot lorikeets and fairy wrens! 

Go kayaking with Canoe Adventures – Riverland

Address: Riverview Dr, Berri SA 5343
Contact Details: 0421 167 645

If the houseboat tour is too fancy-schmancy for your taste, we suggest going aboard a kayak. Just be prepared for the occasional splashes and pesky bugs.

This rough activity captures the region’s spirit and is a real-life documentary with you as the star—you and the pelicans, kangaroos, and swans that call the area home! 

Oh, be careful not to hit the river’s long-necked turtles. They’re too slow to avoid the kayaks.

Sip fine wine at Mallee Estate Wines

Address: 20055 Renmark Ave, Renmark South SA 5341
Contact Details: (08) 8595 1099

Mallee Estate Wines is a slice (or in this case, a sip) of South Australia’s world-class winemaking. This spot’s grape-scented gardens and savvy wine cellars caught our curiosity, but its premium wines were the ones that grabbed our attention—and glasses. 

One of our top picks is the winery’s golden Chardonnay, a drink exuding notes of ripe tropical fruits, such as pineapple and mango, with a hint of creamy vanilla and toasted oak. 

Their velvety Shiraz and berry-rich Sauvignon should be on your must-taste list, too!

Enjoy gin at 23rd St Distillery 

Address: Twenty-third St, Renmark SA 5341
Contact Details: (08) 8586 8500

If wine isn’t tickling your taste buds enough, it might be time to venture into the spirited realm of gin, and where better to embark on this juniper-filled journey than the Riverland’s 23d St Distillery? 

Looking for something zesty? This distillery’s Red Citrus Gin bursts with tanginess. 

If you want to try something new, have a sip of their Yuzu Gin, a Japanese-inspired drink packed with the yuzu fruit’s subtle sweetness and zestiness. It also has the added touch of minty and exotic botanicals. 

Step back in time at the Loxton Historical Village

Address: Allen Hosking Drive, Scenic Dr, Loxton SA 5333
Contact Details: (08) 8584 7194

The moment we stepped into the Loxton Historical Village, we realized a time machine isn’t needed to visit the bygone eras. This open-air museum offers a blend of history, nostalgia, and the chance to see what life was like in the days of yore. 

From the quaint pioneer cottages to the rustic blacksmith’s workshop, it’s like strolling through a vintage painting that came to life. 

Peek into the village’s clothing stores for a few vintage fashion finds! Who knew crinoline skirts and handlebar mustaches could be so captivating?

Where to Shop 

Morgan Old Wharf Craft Shop

Morgan Old Wharf Craft Shop

Address: Morgan Riverfront Precinct, Morgan Riverfront, Morgan, Riverland, SA 5320
Contact Details: 0439 692 393

At Morgan Old Wharf Craft Shop, we were dazzled by a treasure trove of handcrafted delights, from quirky trinkets to whimsical curiosities.

Our favorites are their hand-painted seashells and intricately woven baskets—both added a dash of whimsy and creativity to our homes. Check out their attention-grabbing oddities, too, like antique teacups and brochures!

Barmera Markets

Address: Barwell Ave, Barmera SA 5345
Contact Details: 08 8588 2289

If you’re a shopaholic who loves all types of products, from commodities to knick-knacks, you should add Barmera Markets to your list of shopping havens. 

Our shopping spree here was a blast. We went home with fruits, woodwork, and even plants! 

Need a statement piece for your living room or a conversation starter for your next dinner party? This market also has artsy crafts like ceramics, jewelry, and upcycled furniture!

What to Expect from Riverland Weather

Summer: Ready to sizzle like a sausage on a barbie? You should expect scorching Riverland temperatures reaching to a blistering 40°C (104°F). 

Autumn: As the leaves turn golden and the temperature cools, it’s time to bid farewell to the scorching heat and welcome pleasant days with temperatures ranging from a comfortable 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). 

It might be Mother Nature’s way of saying, “Here’s a cool breeze to accompany your pumpkin spice latte!”

Winter: You better brace yourself because winter in Riverland can drop as low as 5°C (41°F), making it the perfect time to snuggle up with a warm beverage and contemplate life’s mysteries, like why hot showers are always so short-lived.

Spring: This season, the sweet scent of blossoms is in the air and temperatures range from a mild 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). Just remember to bring an umbrella and your best weather-predicting powers, as spring in this region can be unpredictable.

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