If you’re looking for a high powered, noisy, exciting spectator sport then make your way to the lower Murray River town of Goolwa for a dose of flat out speedboat racing in April. The Goolwa Aquatic Club is the home of power boating and spectators can watch these fast machines from a grassy river bank vantage point. If you take deckchairs or a picnic rug you can settle in with some snacks and drinks and watch the action unfold in front of you.
On the edge of the Murray River in Goolwa, on Barrage Road, there is a green park just made for family and friend gatherings. A standout for the kids (and big kids) is a large wooden playground full of interesting equipment, swings, winding paths, a clever slide and even its own restored 10 metre wooden fishing boat to explore, just what every good waterside park should have. The playground is also a nature playspace, surrounded with lawn, native garden, a creek and dotted with sculptures and arty creations to find as you climb and weave your way through the garden.
Every so often I still enter photography competitions mainly to dare myself to hold it with the best. I am by no means technically correct, my photography is more emotional as well as trial and error. If I see it and love it, or it makes me go wow then I just assume that someone else might feel that way too. There are lots of photos I’ve taken that I really love and to me tell a story of a time or place and sometimes I will enter a competition to push myself and dare to try. This is especially true if it’s a competition where the judges are professional photographers whose opinion or critique I value. The recognition and acknowledgement to me is huge, worth more than any prize offered even.
At a little less than 100 kilometres from Adelaide, the town of Mannum is a perfect spot to have a river holiday in South Australia. You get a feel for the history of the town soon after rounding the bend and coasting down the main street.
Australia’s longest river is the Murray River. It begins as a small stream from the Australian Alps then flows through 3 states before entering the Southern Ocean at Goolwa and the Coorong. Along many stretches of the river in South Australia you will find communities, towns, holiday houses, shacks and places to camp, in free camp areas along the riverbanks or in caravan parks.
The Mighty Murray is a phrase well known to South Australians and probably to a lot of communities along the stretch of this majestic river. It’s a name well deserved too. Being Australia’s longest river it travels through three states: New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Its total length is 2520 kilometres and along with its tributaries is the third largest water catchment on earth.
The sheer size and beauty of this river is not lost on the people who love it, live on it or use it for recreation and holidays. It truly is breathtaking to see, especially from a high clifftop vantage point where, in some places, the massive length and width of the river can really be appreciated.
In South Australia we are very lucky to have many picturesque and peaceful places to go to on ‘the river’, which is all you need to say to a south aussie and they’ll know what you mean. In fact heading ‘up the river’ for a weekend break or longer is often met with a peaceful sigh as we can all remember when we’ve spent time camping, fishing, boating, skiing etc…somewhere along the length of the river.
Mannum is one spot that is a favourite for many South Australians as it’s less than 100kms from the city of Adelaide and has plenty to see and do, and options for staying a while. The caravan park is literally on the banks of the river, there are a couple of amazing free camp areas to set up tents, caravans or campers and the river is always busy. You don’t even have to get your feet wet if you don’t want to. There is plenty to see with huge river boats cruising by as well as houseboats, speed boats and jet skis.
There are interesting places to shop and browse, great local pubs and places to eat and best of all peaceful and quiet places to sit back and relax, slip into ‘river time’ and just watch the water flow by. The daily stresses are drifting away just thinking about it!
Check out my publications page to see more on this serene destination.