Wander Your Way Around the West
Imagine waking up in a premium villa and walking out on to your own golf fairway for a morning hit. This, all before you jump aboard a private boat cruise which takes you past wineries, walking trails and historic icons.
Sounds pretty perfect for a group getaway right?
Well, what you may not know is that these experiences are all available in the western end of the Riverland (spread throughout towns including Waikerie, Morgan, Blanchetown and Cadell). This part of our magnificent region is bursting with new varieties of wine and produce, long stretches of accessible river frontage you never knew existed, more access to ecological attractions, a new take on sharing the region’s history - and of course, colourful silo art.
So let us introduce you to some of the top things to do, eat, drink and places to stay in the west, to make planning your next visit effortless.
If you’re visiting from Adelaide, take the Sturt Highway via Blanchetown, or the Thiele Highway to arrive via Morgan.
Distance: 2 hours from Adelaide, 50 minutes from Renmark
What to do:
Cruise the water
James and Sandra at Rivergum Cruises (Waikerie) know exactly how to create a luxury river cruising experience. Discover the smooth waters up and down stream from Waikerie in the newly restored river cruiser, drifting past the tall ochre cliffs, and revelling in the unique bird life and river landscape.
This team has a variety of short 2 to 3-hour cruises and 8-hour full-day cruises - to popular locations including Caudo Vineyard, Banrock Station, Overland Corner Hotel and Lock 2. When you visit, you’ll also have the option to create your own custom itinerary to suit you and up to 10 of your friends – so bring the crew along and soak up the river views, while you enjoy some of the Riverland’s new tastes.
Image: Rivergum Cruises
Enjoy the scenery
Discover magnificent backwaters and lagoons, and the wildlife that inhabit them. Stretch your legs with the Waikerie Clifftop Walk (2km). Stop at the lookout and be rewarded with panoramic views over the Murray River and wetlands below. Tip: visit at sunrise or sunset for some great photos.
A few other activities and experiences to add to your next visit:
- Snap a pic of the vibrant double-sided Waikerie silo art. Continue on the art trail towards the Riverglen View Art Studio and Gallery and Rain Moth Gallery.
- If you like bird watching, Waikerie has a diverse and rare birdlife with over 200 species found in the area including the coveted Mulga and Regent parrots and Malleefowl. Bring your camera and your binoculars and head to the internationally renowned Gluepot Reserve, Hart Lagoon, Ramco Lagoon, Hogwash Bend, or the Morgan Conservation Park.
- Get out on the water for some high intensity action with watersports and jetskiing, or keep it low key with kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and fishing.
Image: Waikerie Silo Art
Where to eat/drink:
The revamped Waikerie Hotel has a classic seasonal menu to be enjoyed in the large open plan dining area or modern sports bar which boats a large flat screen TV and multiple sporting channels.
If you love a classic pub meal - the historic Blanchetown Hotel does it well. They also stock some local wines including Banrock Station, Burk Salter Wines and Caudo Vineyard.
For a quick bite to eat, visit the Waikerie Bakery for a large selection of hot pastries, sweet treats and freshly-made rolls and sandwiches. Otherwise pick up one of Illalangi’s local gourmet grazing boxes and have a picnic on the grassed waterfront beside the Waikerie ferry.
If you love wine or sangria, then a visit to Caudo Vineyard* (Cadell) is essential. This diverse family-owned cellar door sits in a pristine riverfront location, surrounded by a sea of green vineyards. You can easily spend a few hours sitting out on the picnic tables, soaking up the river views and enjoying the atmosphere.
*Please note: Caudo Vineyard are undergoing maintenance from 2-27 August 2021.
Burk Salter Wines (Blanchetown) has an array of award-winning premium boutique red and white wines. Owners Greg and Jane also offer a unique private tour experience of their vineyard and wetlands via their immaculately restored 1972 Chevrolet Truck.
Where to stay:
Image: Waikerie Golf and Country Club: The Villas
The Waikerie Golf and Country Club Villas offer luxurious accommodation situated next to a 18-hole golf course (which is harder than it looks!). The open-plan 4 or 6-bedroom villas are perfect for groups, while the ‘self-contained deluxe’ and ‘studio suites’ are ideal for couples.
Other options are:
- Check in to the modern Waikerie Hotel and stay in the heart of the town.
- If you want to lengthen your Burk Salter Wines experience, Salter Station, a self-contained 2-bedroom riverfront B&B located on the property.
- Dave and Wendy Hartley at River Shack Rentals have a range of premium and budget friendly riverfront holiday homes around Morgan and Blanchetown.
- If you love the idea of letting your worries float away as you drift along the Mighty Murray, Griffens Marina Houseboats (Blanchetown) has a range of modern luxury options suited for couples and groups.
Image: Griffens Marina
Image: Rivershack Rentals