No matter what time of the year you visit the mighty Murray River, in South Australia, there’s always something different to see, and do, and take in.
There’s also no better way to discover the river, than a cruise on the gracious paddle wheeler, the PS Murray Princess. With Mannum as its home base, the Murray Princess ploughs the waters of the Lower Murray each week on 3, 4 and 7-night cruises.
The Lower Murray region starts near Swan Reach and stretches along towards Mannum and Murray Bridge, then through to the Lower Lakes, The Coorong, and the Murray Mouth, where the river meets the sea.
Whilst some cruises travel as far upriver as Renmark, in the State’s Riverland region, the vessel can only go downriver as far as Murray Bridge, due to not being able to fit under the Old Murray Bridge, which separates the eastern and western sides of the township.
Summer is certainly the busiest time on the river, with holidaymakers making the most of the waterways with their houseboats, ski boats, jet skis, kayaks, and paddleboards, giving out lots of hearty cheers and waves to guests aboard the majestic Murray Princess as she sails past, while you sit up on the sundeck with your favourite beverage in hand.
Autumn is typically the calmest time of the year on the river, with still waters perfect for paddling, and a kayaker or canoeist’s dream. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity and incredible birdlife along the river home such as pelicans, egrets, ducks, herons, and bitterns. Make sure you always have your camera handy!
Winter can bring with it spectacular sunrises which appear as the thick fog starts to lift from the glassy waters of the river, all watched from the comfort and warmth of the Paddlewheel lounge as you sip a hot morning beverage and look through the two storey glass windows.
Spring is an exciting time for nature and bird lovers who can spend their time watching the migratory birds make their way to their next stop, and it’s the perfect time for sporting wildlife on the riverbanks and walking some of the spectacular riverside trails.
The newly accredited River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve is also a major attraction in this area and is the only one of its kind in Australia, and one of only 16 in the world. Photographers and astronomers travel here from around the world chasing the clearest views to the Milky Way.
So, whether you are sitting up on the sundeck reading a book, with your feet up, or you are chilling out with newfound friends over a game of cards in the Paddlewheel Lounge, there is all this and more to look forward to on a Murray Princess cruise.
To get to a cruise on the Murray Princess, you can either take their coach transfer from Adelaide which picks up at selected hotels or drive yourself to Mannum and take advantage of their secure car park.
Cruises tend to depart on Mondays and Fridays with some special event cruises such as Christmas in July, Country Music cruise, Hot August Night cruise, and cruises over Easter, Christmas, and New Year.
To book or enquire visit murrayprincess.com.au, or call 1300 729 938.