5 school holiday activities along the River Murray

If a trip to the river floats your boat, read on for some great ideas to keep the whole family entertained.

It’s that time of year again – school holidays. If you’re already pulling out your hair trying to entertain the kids, why not take off to the River Murray.

There’s plenty to do for children and adults alike. Here are our top five ideas:

1. Keep calm and go camping

Get your skates on and plan a last minute camping trip.

There’s so much choice when it comes to river camping spots – if you’re into fishing, head to Katarapko Creek in the Murray River National Park (about 3 hours’ drive from Adelaide), or if you’ve dreamt of driving your four-wheel drive along the beach head to the Coorong National Park. Just remember to book before you go.

Hot tip: Know what you’re in for by reading our blog about camping with kids. Take notes!

2. Saddle up

No need to quit horsing around because the River Murray is the perfect place to actually get on your high horse.

Rusty’s Riding Retreat in the Murraylands, near Sanderston, offers lessons and trail rides. If you love the idea of horses on the beach Daryl Braithwaite style, then head to Goolwa Beach where you can ride along the coast as long as you have a permit.

If you’re in the Riverland you can still have the Daryl experience – part of the beach at Lake Bonney, near Barmera, is also available for horse riding. Again, you’ll need a permit.
Hot tip: Check out our blog for more horsey spots along the River Murray.

3. Get on your bike

Why not hop on a bike to explore the river? From the 30-kilometre Encounter Bikeway that takes you from Victor Harbor to Goolwa, to the more challenging mountain bike trails of the Kinchina Conservation Park near Murray Bridge, there’s a path for all levels.

Those with younger kids – or who are just plain rusty on two wheels – should try the Matulick Riverfront Trail in Renmark. At 3.5 km it’s the perfect warm-up for the longer 6.7 km Lock 5 loop circuit.

Hot tip: Check out more River Murray cycling spots in our blog. Happier with your feet firmly on the ground? Then check out our blog on walks around the River Murray.

4. Nothing to do? Jump in a canoe!

One of the best ways to really discover the river is to go with the flow! Meander through the wetlands and waterways, remembering to take some time to look out for wildlife.

The River Murray is home to some of Australia’s most amazing plants and animals, with some only found in particular sections of the river. Watch emus, birds and kangaroos watching you back, and look out for seals in the Coorong.

If you don’t have a kayak gathering cobwebs in your shed, you can always hire one. If a guided tour is more your thing, try a wetlands tour, or a sunset tour of the Riverland or Coorong, or consider overnight canoe camping.

Bird-watching tours and four-day expeditions are also available for larger groups. Just remember to paddle safely.

Hot tip: Take a look at our  to get up to speed on the basic skills.

5. Follow a trail of food and wine

After so many days focused on the kids, this one is for the parents. Don’t just stick to the well-worn Barossa and Clare valleys, there’s great wineries all along the river too.

It makes sense – more than a quarter of Australia’s wine grape production is in the Riverland. From the wineries of Langhorne Creek near the start of the river, to the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winery and distillery, Berri Estates, there’s plenty to sip.

If gin is more your style, why not do a tour and tasting at the award-winning Twenty Third Street distillery in Renmark. Or if you’d rather sail to your ale, you can dock your boat at the riverbank at Woolshed Brewery at Murtho.

Sweet tooths should try the ‘ultimate chocolate experience’ at Havenhand Chocolates in Waikerie, or grab a platter to go from Illalangi in Waikerie. And of course, you can always catch your own in the river.

See our Fun things to do along the River Murray blog for more holiday ideas. 

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