Explore South Australia’s Riverland along the Murray River. You’ll discover a unique natural environment and region rich with boutique cellar doors, distilleries and breweries.
By Lauren Burdett (on behalf of The Frames)
What to expect
- Discover the mighty Murray River by canoe
- Taste boutique gin, beer, whiskey & brandy
- Sample premium and alternative wine varieties
- Time: 3 days
- Distance: 200 kilometres (124 miles)
- Transport: car
- Nearest major city: Adelaide
- Price: $$
Only a 90 minute drive from capital city, Adelaide, the Riverland region along the Murray River offers a broad range of experiences. Whether you are looking to immerse yourself in the natural environment or discover locally produced food and beverages, this itinerary will help you locate all the hidden gems.
Lose yourself to the quiet river environment on a guided canoe tour, discover the rich horticultural history of the region and talk directly to the winemaker at boutique cellar doors.
Day 1: Taste local wines
You’ve driven from Adelaide and reached the gateway to the Riverland, Blanchetown, home of Lock 1 and the Blanchetown Bridge. Crossing the bridge, you get your first glimpse of the mighty Murray River.
Travelling on towards Waikerie, make a detour to Caudo Vineyard, a cellar door located on the banks of the Murray River, for your first taste of Riverland wine (be sure to try the sangria as well). Next stop is lunch at Banrock Station at Kingston-On-Murray. Here you can take an optional walk around the wetlands and meet the local kangaroos. The menu is loaded with local produce and pairs well with their range of wine.
Hidden amongst the vines in Glossop is award winning winery, 919 Wines. An organic vineyard and winery, 919 Wines is well known for producing wines and fortified of alternative varieties suited to the Mediterranean Riverland climate. Taste the range as you chat to the winemaker about their story thus far.
Next, continue onto Renmark, where you will stay for the night. Discover Almondco’s Almond Hut where many number of flavoured almonds are available for tasting. Almonds are one of the fastest growing horticultural industries in the Riverland and tours of the processing facility can be arranged in advance.
Settle into your Renmark accommodation and for dinner and experience the panoramic views of the Murray River on board the paddle boat, the Murray River Queen while enjoying a modern Thai dining experience.
Day 2: Discover the Murray River
Get acquainted with the Murray River on a morning guided canoe tour with Canoe the Riverland. Explore wetlands and watch as waterbirds go about their daily routines and kangaroos bask in the morning sun.
For lunch, the Woolshed Brewery located on the banks of the Murray River is not far from where your tour ends. Learn more about the Riverland’s only brewery and the history of the woolshed setting with a tour followed by a tasting of their craft beer, cider and alternative hard lemonades. BYO your own lunch (BBQs provided) or create a tasting plate from the provisions available to purchase on site.
Continue your discovery of the Riverland flavours with a tour and tasting at 23rd Street Distillery (producers of gin, brandy, whiskey and vodka) and the St Agnes Brandy Distillery. Hear the interesting stories behind both distilleries, and learn the interesting facts about South Australia’s largest wine grape production region.
For dinner tonight, experience traditional Greek dining at Mallee Estate Wine’s Eleni’s Restaurant paired with award winning wines.
Day 3: Collect edible souvenirs
Begin today with a coffee from Arrosto Coffee. Roasted on site, the coffee house is set in the old Renmark Fire station and the theme can be noted throughout, from the names of the coffee (Ladder 59) to the industrial design of the shop. Check in advance to see if there is a coffee workshop running during your stay.
Take a short morning walk at the National Trust site of Wilabalangaloo in Berri and view the Murray River from the lookout. Afterwards, enjoy a homemade lunch from Flavours of the Riverland in Barmera, a rustic tasting providore and supplier of local produce.
Another must visit for foodies is Illalangi Gourmet Foods in Waikerie. With a strong ‘Eat Local’ ethos, the shelves are stocked with Riverland and South Australian produce including preserves & relishes, olives and olive oil, cheese, pasta, organic lamb, giftware and more.
Take a gentle river cruise and view the limestone cliff formations surrounding Waikerie with River Gum Cruises and enjoy refreshments on board.
Tonight, be a local at the Renmark Club with water front dining. Dishes are created with local ingredients and you can sit back and watch the activity on the water – boats cruising or pelicans gliding.
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