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Cruise the Murray River 6-day indulgence
Embark upon a 5 night Murray River indulgence cruise, aboard a cruising vessel operated by river locals. Departing every Sunday evening, get ready to indulge your senses as we cast off to explore the Murray River’s eco-system at its finest.
The 5 night indulgence cruise includes all meals. Let the boat's brilliant chefs delight your senses with modern Australian and European cuisine made from the highest quality seasonal produce.
Abundant wildlife and magnificent scenery will be seen throughout your entire stay aboard. River Gums and Willows line the banks of this famous river and provide a perfect safe haven for birds and wildlife. Take in the towering cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches as we idly cruises by. At night, powerful floodlights from the boat provide a rare glimpse of nocturnal wildlife, especially birds such as night herons, owls and coots.
Lagoon cruises, on shore guided walks, an Australian themed bush barbeque with live entertainment and the Captain's Dinner make up some of the highlights of this extravagant 5 night indulgence cruise.
For when you choose to retire to the private contemporary ensuite accommodation provided, all 18 cabins onboard feature stunning river views so you can stay immersed in the beauty of nature.
18 spacious ensuite riverview cabins opening onto balcony areas, each with
Boarding at 7pm for 8pm welcome aboard by the friendly crew. Having settled into your comfortable, river-view cabin, you may like to join your fellow passengers in the dining room & enjoy a pre- dinner drink before a delicious hot supper is served. As you cruise along, powerful floodlights illuminate the shore. This is an excellent opportunity to see the river environment from a different perspective and may allow you to view some of the noctural wildlife, especially birds such as night herons, owls, and coots.
At around 10:00pm We tie up at our overnight mooring, for a night of peace and tranquility in the Australia bush. The dining room is closed from 11.30pm
7am Dining Room opens. Tea and coffee available.
8am We depart from Sunnyside and continue upstream. You will pass huge lagoons teeming with birdlife. During floods, these inland lagoons were so immense that, in the early riverboat days, captains could not find true channels. In the early 1900s, riverboat captains planted willow trees along the banks to clearly mark the main river channel. Today these willows provide the perfect haven for the prolific birdlife.
This morning at 8am you will enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast while cruising through Mypolonga, Wall Flat, Caloote and Ponde. Your appetite will be stimulated by the magnificent scenery you’ll pass.
10.30am Mid-morning we arrive in picturesque Mannum, inhabited prior to white settlement by the Narraltie aboriginal tribe. The name Mannum can be translated as “the place of many ducks”. Here you’ll board a waiting coach for a history tour of this small township that has played a significant role in the development of South Australia. Captain William Randell launched the first paddle steamer, the “Mary Ann”, on the Murray River in 1853. By the late 1880s, there were over 250 paddle steamers and barges trading on the Murray River and Mannum became an industrious inland port. On the tour, you will re-trace the colourful history of several pioneering families whose efforts shaped the successful development of this region. Your tour includes a visit to the Mannum Dock museum in Mannum, where you will find a fascinating collection of historical memorabilia. Mannum is also famous as the site of the production of the first steam car in Australia with a differential, built by the Shearer brothers.
1pm The vessel departs Mannum. Lunch is served aboard as you cruise upstream past Younghusband, Teal Flat, lovely Lake Carlet, Bowhill, Purnong and onto Walker Flat. The menu may include dishes such as Chicken Saltimbocca with Asparagus or Pork Cutlet with Yam Mash, fabulous flavours to complement the superb scenery gliding by on both sides of the river.
6pm We moor at Walker Flat. The bird and wildlife here is prolific, including wallabies, wild ducks and bush turkeys. The towering cliffs are superb and provide a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of cruising Australia’s most famous river. This evening is “Australiana Night” and dinner will feature the use of some traditional bush foods such as emu, kangaroo, damper bread and fresh water crustaceans, with flavours of lemon myrtle, wild bush tomatoes and quandongs. These delicious dishes are created by the resident chefs to showcase Australia’s continually evolving cuisine. You might be offered Tasmanian Scallops with lemon couscous, Pepper Leaf Kangaroo Medallions, Northern Territory Barramundi or a Porterhouse Steak with Bush Tomato chutney. This evening join an expert ecologist for a Nocturnal Discovery Tour. This tour provides an insight into the abundant local wildlife, including South Australia’s fauna emblem, the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat. These delightful creatures are found only in a limited area on the western side of the river. It’s rare to see them in the wild but you’ll board a coach to take you to their warrens and hopefully you’ll see one or two active in the evening light, as well as other nocturnal wildlife. The dining room is closed at 11.30pm.
7am Dining Room opens. Tea and coffee available. At 7.45am we leave Walker Flat and continue upstream. You will pass the town of Wongulla where, some fifty years ago, men found the fossil of a 20 million year old shark.
8am Another hearty breakfast is available while cruising through Wongulla, Nildottie and Big Bend. There’s something very satisfying about enjoying a good breakfast while you glide by magnificent scenery and Big Bend is famous for its soaring ochre cliffs.
10.30am Morning Tea is available in the dining room. Afterwards, join the Captain for a complete run-down on the story of Murray River including its history, current water usage practices and the ecology of this vital water source. You can also watch a video about the famous 1956 floods that devastated the area.
Around 11.45am we arrive at the pioneering township of Swan Reach. The settlement was originally the port of the large Portee Sheep Station and was settled as a township in 1899. Here you will disembark and with a local guide visit Costa Brothers Almond Farm. The almond industry is the fastest growing horticulture crop in Australia. Discover how this state of the art almond farm uses water-recycling technology to limit its direct impact on the river system and help secure the diverse ecosystem of the river. Also visit the Swan Reach Museum which is housed in the original school building that was built in 1917. The museum’s collection focuses on the history of education and the social history of the area.
1.45pm Rejoin the boat for another delicious lunch, perhaps featuring Natural and Kilpatrick oysters and Roast Chicken, as we depart Swan Reach and cruise through the shallows to Blanchetown, arriving around 4.45pm. at the site of the Lock and Weir No 1. The river is dammed by 13 locks built to facilitate the early riverboat trade. Water cascades over the lock creating an excellent feeding place for birdlife. Pelicans and dozens of species of water birds can be seen diving in the water to feed. It’s a wonderful experience to watch as you relax with a quiet drink.
7.45pm Tonight, enjoy a delicious roast dinner with all the trimmings finished off with one of the home-style desserts the boat's chefs are famous for. Our evening cruise takes us to our overnight mooring spot of Portee Landing. Your Captain will steer closer to the bank this evening so you can take full advantage of the LED floodlights that illuminate the towering river redgums and perhaps watch the possums as they scamper through the branches. The river takes on a wonderfully moody and atmospheric quality at night providing a magical backdrop as you drift by. The dining room closes at 11.30pm. Enjoy a peaceful night surrounded by stars and the sounds of the Australian bush.
7am Dining room opens where tea and coffee are available. This morning you will wake up in one of the most unspoilt and picturesque areas of the River Murray. Make sure you go out on deck to immerse yourself in the surroundings and experience the peace of the riverside environment.
8-8.45am Another full English buffet or Continental breakfast is available for you to choose from.
9am This morning provides another unique experience with an absorbing ecological walk around Portee Station. Here you’ll discover the importance of flood plains to the river system. You will also see some of the last remaining evidence of ancient Aboriginal civilization, a huge canoe tree bearing the scar where bark was taken to make a canoe. Learn about Moorundie Creek, named after the Aboriginal tribe that lived here. In native dialect ‘moorundie’ means sand or sandy and is the site where the history of the area began in 1840, when explorer Edward John Eyre established a village named Sturt after the famous explorer navigator.
10am We leave Portee Station and cruise downstream towards Swan Reach, passing magnificent lagoons teeming with birdlife, awesome cliffs reaching for the sky and spectacular scenery as far as the eyes can see. Throughout your cruise you can listen to the informative commentary that occurs from time to time about the history of the areas you pass through and the boats that used to work there.
11.45am We tie up briefly at Swan Reach in order to get the daily newspapers and you can disembark and stretch your legs if you feel inclined and have a wander around this lovely town. Call into the Hotel, built around the original Swan Reach Station Homestead, and admire the views of the River and the collection of historical photos that are on display around the building.
12.30pm Lunch is served, which today may focus on traditional fish and chips, using fresh Australian seafood or, perhaps, Roast Turkey.
2pm This afternoon the vessel ties up alongside the towering cliffs of Big Bend, the tallest anywhere along the River. This is a truly majestic landscape providing definite photo opportunities. A highlight of your expedition is a small boat cruise through the lagoons and inlets, led by an expert ecologist. There are some 320 species of birdlife in this area and, with the aid of binoculars and your well-informed guide, you will study at close range the prolific birdlife and wildlife of the region including kangaroos, wombats, emus, echidnas and goannas. The flat-bottom boat allows you to get right up to the riverside cliffs to see nesting birds and examine the geology of the landscape including the many exposed fossils.
At 4.30pm The bar opens on shore.
6.30pm This evening delivers another rewarding experience… a traditional Aussie barbeque prepared by the on board chefs and eaten under a canopy of stars amidst the restful sounds of the nearby river. Afterwards, enjoy an evening’s entertainment around a blazing campfire, provided by a resident musician. Request a song and sing along into the night as the stars of the Australian sky hover above, almost close enough to touch. The dining room closes at 11.30pm. Enjoy another quiet night’s sleep in the tranquil Australian bush.
7am Dining room opens with tea and coffee available. Early this morning, we depart Big Bend and head towards Ngaut Ngaut.
7.30-8am Enjoy your breakfast as you watch the sun climb over the towering cliffs, creating marvelous changes of colour in the sandstone and ochre hues.
8.15am Disembark at Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal conservation site for a tour of one of the oldest archaeological digs in Australia. This is one of the definite highlights of the cruise. Take the boardwalk to the site of ancient aboriginal rock art where your local indigenous guide will explain their meaning and significance. Ngaut Ngaut was a major meeting place for the tribes of the area and you’ll see where they prepared and cooked food at a ceremonial site that dates back thousands of years. The view from the top of the cliffs is astonishing with vistas that stretch for miles in every direction.
10am Depart Ngaut Ngaut.
10.30am Join your fellow passengers in the dining room to view an interesting and informative documentary that traces the Murray River from its source high in the Snowy Mountains right to its entry to the sea in the Coorong. The documentary explains the intricacies of the river environment and why the Murray is one of the great rivers of the world. You’ll learn about Australia’s greatest river landscapes and the people that call the river home while we cruise through Krohns Landing, Sabaruma and Walker Flat.
12.30pm Lunch is served featuring another of the chefs’ delicious creations which you can enjoy as we cruise through Bowhill, Teal Flat, Younghusband and Pellaring Reach. It’s a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. Time to lay back and enjoy the peace that surrounds you as you watch the changing views glide by.
4.30pm Arrive at Mannum. Take the opportunity to enjoy some free time in this delightful town or rest up ahead of the Captain’s Dinner this evening.
7pm Gather in the dining room to enjoy a complimentary champagne or cocktail prior to dinner.
7.30pm The culinary highlight of your cruise is the silver service Captain’s Dinner, a five-course menu of choice featuring mouth-watering dishes based on modern Australian cuisine. Enjoy the food, wine and atmosphere with your fellow passengers as the Captain visits every table and chats. It’s a chance to dress up a little and enjoy a gorgeous formal dinner.
7am Dining room opens with tea and coffee available.
8-9.15am Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning as you prepare to visit the Reedy Creek Conservation Park.
8.30am Depart Mannum. Cruise through Ponde, Caloote and Wall Flat to Woodlane.
10.15am Arrive at Woodlane to board the waiting coach for your tour to Reedy Creek Environmental Park. This was an important gathering point for local Aboriginal tribes as it provided a continuous source of water throughout the year. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended and don’t forget to take along your cameras, as Reedy Creek is very picturesque indeed, especially when the waterfalls are flowing.
12.45pm Return on board and enjoy another delicious smorgasbord lunch as you cruise through Mypolonga, Sunnyside, Mundurra and Willowbanks.
4pm Tie up at Murray Bridge. We say goodbye and thank you for joining this exploration of the Murray River, Australia’s greatest river.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|Feb 06 2022||Feb 11 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,440|
|Feb 13 2022||Feb 18 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,440|
|Apr 10 2022||Apr 15 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,600|
|May 08 2022||May 13 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,600|
|May 15 2022||May 20 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,600|
|May 22 2022||May 27 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,600|
|Jun 05 2022||Jun 10 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,600|
|Jun 26 2022||Jul 01 2022||36||Single rooms||AU$3,600|
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