What to do in Mannum - 8 ideas for your next trip

Discover the hidden gem of Mannum in South Australia, where history and natural beauty collide. Nestled along the majestic Murray River, this charming town offers a plethora of activities for every traveler. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage by exploring the historic paddle steamers and museums. Indulge in a leisurely river cruise or try your hand at water sports, fishing, and kayaking. With its picturesque landscapes, quaint shops, and delectable local cuisine, Mannum is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and memorable experience in South Australia. Ready for your next escape? Read on to learn what to do in Mannum.

Mannum: ‘A place of many ducks’

With only 2000 inhabitants, Mannum feels small, cosy and tranquil and is a place where visitors can not only enjoy the birds, wildlife and pure serenity, but also take a big step back in time. The town of Mannum came about as a result of the building and operation of the steam boat; The Mary Ann. It also has a long history of paddle steamers which during the settler years made full use of the Murray River.

image of the River Murray at sunset

Pic credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone

Charming little Mannum is located on the banks of the river Murray and is only 81 km, or simply an hour’s drive, east of Adelaide. It is understood that the name Mannum comes from an Aboriginal term meaning ‘a place of many ducks’. Apart from being a great base for a longer stay, spent visiting well known areas like the Barossa Valley and Hahndorf, there is also plenty to do in Mannum itself. This perfect little Riverland spot is an ideal destination for a short getaway break.

What to do in Mannum

In this article, we share with you the top seven things to do in Mannum during a getaway, and we hope this helps you to plan a relaxing (or active – if that’s what you’re after) Weekend Escape.

1. Mannum Waterfalls

 Mannum Waterfalls is a great place to start your exploration of the area, so park in the lower car park and take the scenic walk following Reedy Creek from the lower pools to the serene waterfalls. You will find that the falls flow at their best during winter and spring and of course after heavy rains in the region. Enjoy the abundance of wildlife and birdlife while admiring the stunning granite rocks and pools along the way.

image of mannum waterfalls

Pic credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone

2. Enjoy a scenic drive near Mannum

The scenic Cliff Drive along the banks of the Murray River is an absolute must for visitors to this area. Take a casual drive along this 18km stretch of stunning orange cliffs and dramatic scenery. If you’re new to the area, it will certainly take your breath away.

3. Indulge in a piece of Mannum’s history

While in the town take a wander along to Arnold Park Wharf to visit the famous P.S Marion. Built in 1897 she has spent her whole life on the Murray River and has become a recognised part of it. Visit the museum to find out the full history of the charming Paddle Steamer then take a look around the cabin accommodation, galley, impressive dining room and lounges. If you fancy treating yourself then take a short cruises and enjoy an afternoon tea whilst absorbing the wonderful views and spectacular birdlife along the river banks.

image of boat in mannum

Pic credit: SATC/John Montesi

4. Take a fascinating walk through Mannum

Another way to learn about the history of this hidden gem is to follow one of the self guided historic walks. These are clearly marked on a local map so choose one with the length to suit you. The Randell walk, being the longer one takes you on a journey through the town learning about the original custodians of the land – local Aboriginal people. You will also learn about the geology of the region as well as the towns German heritage.

5. Enjoy an abundance of water sports

In Mannum you will be spoilt for choice if water sports are your thing. Mannum is the perfect place for wake boarding, jet skiing and water skiing. Canoeing and kayaking are also a must to fully appreciate what the Murray River has to offer in terms of its nature and beauty. While gliding along the wild waters, admire the stunning orange river banks, towering gum trees and heavenly waterside properties. It is a perfect way to while away an afternoon. To hire a kayak or canoe in the area, check out Freedom Boat Hire

image of kayakers in mannum

Pic credit: SATC/John Montesi

6. Play a round of Golf

For the golfers amongst you, take some time out for a relaxing game at Mannum Golf Club. Their mission is to offer quality affordable golf for everyone, plus a relaxing drink at the friendly clubhouse will finish off your round nicely. Wondering what to do in Mannum? This is a pretty good bet for an afternoon of fun!

7. Star gaze the evening away in the Murraylands

To finish off a perfect and action packed weekend away, try your hand at star gazing and you will be blown away. Considering that Mannum is only an hour away from the lights of Adelaide you will be amazed at what you see when looking up at the night sky. This region attracts people from all over the world to feast upon the most magnificent display of stars that you will ever see, due to the phenomenal darkness of the skies.

image of the murraylands dark reserve sky

8. Hang out at the Mary Ann Reserve

Nestled in the heart of Mannum, the Mary Ann Reserve is a haven of tranquility and natural beauty. This idyllic park offers lush green spaces, shady trees, and a serene riverside setting. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely picnic with family and friends, take a peaceful stroll along the riverbank, or simply unwind amidst nature, the Mary Ann Reserve provides the perfect escape.

SA Weekend Escape’s top hotel pick!

Mannum Motel

Situated at the end of the main street is the lovely Mannum Motel, which is a great place to stay due to its convenient (and gorgeous) riverside location. It offers 27 comfortable rooms, some with river views and all suitable for couples, families or whoever you’re travelling with. 

Cafe Mannum located within the motel is the perfect place to grab a tasty meal or just a coffee and snack while exploring this charming town. After a tiring day of activities treat yourself to a glass of one of the local wines, then simply relax and admire the scenic Murray River from the motel garden.

image of Mannum motel

So don’t delay. Set aside a weekend, book yourselves in and come and see what Mannum has to offer you.

To explore the option of staying at Mannum Motel, click here.

For more information regarding what to do in Mannum, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Mannum which shares many more traveler tips for your getaway.