The Big Lap - Murray River & Coorong East



Originally we had planned to stay in Swan Reach and visit the northern end Riverland Region but my Solicitor friends in Adelaide suggested that the Fleurieu Peninsula including McLaren Vale wineries should not be missed.  So we changed our mind and went south instead.  Check out my Victor Harbour page.

So after leaving Victor Harbour we headed north to the wineries at Langhorne Creek.  A couple of days ago we visited a Langhorne Creek winery and it was fantastic.  We arrived at the campsite at Langhorne Creek and I was immediately attacked by the big South Australian dive bomber mozzies.  Mozzies do not normally like my blood but nothing was holding these guys back.  So if I get savaged by mozzies, then we know we have a problem.  So we high-tailed it out of there and headed straight to Murray Bridge.

We set up at the showgrounds just out of town.  Only $15 per night including power and water.  Can't go past that.  No loos however, so you must be fully self contained. 

Some photos below are taken with my free Camera software called Cameringo.  I need to change the setting haha as they all look the same.  Sort of like having a grunge border. 



There's not much to do in Murray Bridge.  It's just a smallish country town basically.

It's the Murray River that is the major attraction here, so we took a drive up one way, crossed on the ferry and drive down the other way.  See map below.

First stop was on the opposite side of this quaint town of Mannum.  A place called Bolto Reserve.  You can catch the ferry across to Mannum from here.  Along the river front are some great looking houses with their own private piers and boats.  Looked good for camping too.  There were a couple of vans here.
We watched the ducks and a fisherman.  It was very peaceful here.  



Who calls a town Younghusband?...  In fact the Peninsula at the mouth of the Murray is called Younghusband Peninsula.

Anyway, it's a pretty place with fisherman shacks and private piers.  Lovely place to drive along the Murray River.



Bowhill is very scenic with lovely green willow trees hugging the banks of the river.

We had a snack at the General Store which is also a licenced cafe including tables on a verandah overlooking the murray.  Nothing like a pie and glass of wine at 11 in the morning. 



The lookout here gives a 180d view of Big Bend on the Murray.  Quite impressive.

It's interesting to see a mixture of wheat fields and vineyards with the roads lined by a thin line of trees.



This is where we crossed on the ferry for our return journey.  Btw, the ferry is free and has no fixed times.  It just runs when someone turns up.  What a job hey.



We stopped in at the Mannum Hotel for a couple of coldies on the way home.  The bar attendent was a lovely, friendly lady that made us feel really welcome amongst all the regulars.

Mannum had an electic mixture of gift shops and Opp shops.  We could see that it would be very popular during holiday season.



As I said previously, there's not much here.  It does have something going for it though.  Nice gardens.  In order to get to the Showgrounds where we were staying we had to cross the Murray.....  on a narrow bumpy road bridge.  The railway line next door looked to be in better condition.



As you may already know, I love anything water, boating and cruising.  So it's a no brainer that I just had to do a paddlesteamer on the Murray.  The Captain Proud looks quite dated, but it is a paddlesteamer.  Some of them are run by diesel with a wheel just for show.  

I had read that you get a great view of the wheel from the ladies loo.  Nice.  😊

Anyway, it is obviously popular with cheap Tuesday being booked out months in advance.  We went on a Saturday and it was busy.  And....  there were no late runners.  We were all early.  Fancy that?

It was good.  Very gentle cruise and we had a choice of mains and desserts which we ordered soon after heading off.  We had table No.1 so not much of a wait for us.  😉  The drinks were reasonably priced as well.  The only con being, no entertainment.  I would have loved to listen to someone playing guitar or something like that.  Our favourite paddlesteamer trip was in New Orleans with the Dixi Band.  OMG, that was amazing!!  The only other paddlesteamer I have been on is the Brisbane River.  Another authentic paddlesteamer.  That was a funny trip.  I would describe it as a Brissy Bogan paddlesteamer with an old funny fella playing the accordion and us dancing the bird dance.  And we loved it!  lol.

It was nice drifting pass house boat communities.  Lucky them.  We tossed up at one stage early on in life living on a house boat.  However the cost scared us away.  I have seen some amazing houseboat designs.  Some even with a trap door that you can fish through haha.  



There are not as many towns on the Coorong East as on the West and it is a long drive in between. In the picture below you can see how low and flat the scenery is.  We also passed a number of pink salt lakes.  It was not until near town, that the scenery changed to more large bushland.

 The only town worth a stop at is Meningie.  We liked Meningie.  The foreshore had a beautiful landscaped park with a boat feature that had a sail made of little rectangle pieces of aliminium that waved in the breeze.  So interesting and unique.  

It also had a wonderful, and very busy, bakery.  

I found a 'Big Thing' here.  Not sure if it actually is a 'Big Thing', but I am going to call it anyway.  The Big Pelican.  



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