Stretching from the South Australian border to Blanchetown, the Riverland has a population of about 40 000, with major centres at Renmark, Berri, Loxton, Waikerie and Barmera.
The region is known for its quality food and wine, producing the most citrus, almonds and dried apricots in the country, as well as almost a third of Australia’s wine grapes.
The Riverland is also a major tourist destination, popular for house boating, exploring cellar doors, visiting historical sites and outdoor activities for nature lovers.
There are a number of national parks and conservation parks across the region, including the Murray River National Park and Chowilla Game Reserve and Regional Reserve, that provide opportunities for camping, canoeing, fishing and birdwatching.
The region contains unique wetlands and floodplains, three of which are internationally recognised for their important ecosystems:
- Riverland Ramsar site: recognised for its River Red Gum forests and as a major centre for breeding waterbirds
- Banrock Station Ramsar site: its floodplain is one of only 20 sites in the lower Murray returned to a near natural water cycle and, along with the surrounding mallee box woodland, provides habitat for over 150 bird species including the vulnerable regent parrot.
- Riverland Biosphere Reserve (previously Bookmark Biosphere Reserve): one of the largest remaining continuous stands of ancient mallee in the world and home to rare and endangered species, some of which are no longer found anywhere else on earth.
A healthy river is not only vital for these significant wetlands, but also for the communities and industries that rely on its water. There are a number of environmental projects underway in and around the Riverland to secure a healthy River Murray, now and into the future.
Irrigation industry projects are also under way to support irrigators to use water even more efficiently, and research to help the industry to diversify into areas that use less water.
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