South Australian Riverland: a little guide

The South Australian Riverland is Australia’s best kept secret. Located along the Murray River, it is a majestic destination where beautiful orange river valleys and scenic landscapes host unique flora and fauna. Plus, with a history of over 20,000 years of Indigenous occupation, the area has a rich cultural heritage. With a strong focus on agriculture (especially wine production) as well as tourism, the Riverland pulls in hoards of South Australians every year. Never been before? In this article, we share some of the best things to do and see in the South Australian Riverland. 

Welcome to the South Australian Riverland

Do you know about South Australia’s riverside paradise? The Riverland region of South Australia is a world of stunning landscapes, exquisite produce, and award-winning wines. It’s a place where bird and wildlife are everywhere and relaxation is the only option. Whoever you are and whatever you love to do, this part of the state is bound to become your favourite.

And you’ll have plenty to keep you busy in the Riverland too, with outdoor activities like water skiing or hiking popular with locals and tourists alike. Otherwise, unwind and indulge your senses with a visit to one of the many nearby wineries. Taste the flavours of the region and explore a wine culture that’s uniquely Riverland. Nature lovers can simply breathe in the fresh, fragrant air and enjoy the scenery. Whatever your idea of a perfect holiday, the Riverland has it all.

Pic credit:South Australian Tourism Commission

Things to do in the South Australian Riverland

In the spirit of sharing the Riverland, below we outline some of the best parts of the region which will captivate you and keep you coming back.

Savour local wines

South Australia’s Riverland is renowned for its unique wine culture, with wineries producing award-winning wines that reflect the region’s distinctive terroir. Wine tasting is therefore an obvious choice of activity. Although the region is best known for its large scale, industrial wine making, it is also home to a number of smaller boutique wineries. Visitors can choose to visit various vineyards and wineries, including notable spots such as Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre and Caudo Vineyard.

Cruise down the river

What better to do whilst you’re in the Riverland, than cruise down the river. The majestic River Murray offers scenic views of the Riverland region and is home to a wonderfully array of wildlife. The orange cliffs and ancient gums will take your breath away. Enjoy a river cruise during your stay and take in the beautiful scenery. Some cruises offer lunch and dinner, sightseeing tours, and eco-cruises.

Pic credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone

Do some fishing

Home to numerous fish species, the South Australian Riverland is an excellent location for fishing. If you’re lucky you might catch a Murray River Cod, but regardless of your fishing expertise, you’re pretty likely to catch a carp. Visitors can fish from the riverbank, on jetties or at many points across the region. Hop onto a boat for a more adventurous experience.

Explore some national parks

The Riverland region is home to various national parks, making it an ideal location for nature lovers. The Murray River National Park, Chowilla Game Reserve, and Gluepot Reserve are just a few examples of the national parks that visitors can explore. Within these areas of natural beauty, you’ll spot incredible birdlife and wildlife. Plus a whole heap of walking trails will help you discover the region on foot.

Go golfing

Golfing in the Riverland is a fantastic idea. The weather is always great and the scenery is unmatched. If you’re into golfing, you’ll find a range of golf courses which will suit you down to the ground. The Barmera Golf Course, Berri Golf Course, Loxton Golf Course, and Renmark Golf Course are just a few of the golf courses on offer. They welcome people of all ages and abilities – so whatever your level, give it a go!

Pic credit: South Australian Tourism Commission

Go canoeing or kayaking

People flock to the Riverland from Adelaide purely to enjoy being on the water, either on a canoe or a kayak. In fact the Murray River is greatly suited to this kind of activity. The river and its associated backwaters offer calm and idyllic conditions for canoeing and kayaking, making it safe for everyone. There are various canoe and kayak tours available to visitors who want to explore the beautiful scenery with the help of a guide. You can even enjoy a sunset kayak. Otherwise hire a kayak and go at your own pace.

Enjoy some water sports

Although South Australia is blessed with an incredible coastline, there’s something about the river that makes jet skiing or water skiing even more exciting. With such a stunning river on hand, it’s no surprise that water sports are a popular activity in the Riverland. Visitors can enjoy water skiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing, among other sports. You can easily spend a whole weekend this way.

Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery / Pic credit: South Australian Tourism Commission/Adam Bruzzone

Visit a brewery

In recent years, the Riverland has become a hotspot for the epicurean delights in recent years. We already know that the region is well known for its wine, but visitors can also experience the region’s unique beers, and spirits by exploring the various breweries and distilleries in the area. For beer enthusiasts, the Riverland boasts several microbreweries, including the Woolshed Brewery, a family-owned boutique brewery that produces a range of high-quality beers.

Taste some spirits

Then, there’s distilleries – and the Riverland doesn’t disappoint here either. One popular distillery in the Riverland region is the 23rd Street Distillery. The distillery produces a range of high-quality spirits, including gin, vodka, and rum. Visitors can join a tour of the distillery, learning about the history of the distillery and the process of spirit production, and enjoy a tasting of their acclaimed spirits. A relative newcomer to the Riverland’s alcohol industry is the Renmark Distillery, where you can dive into unforgettable tasting experiences.

Restaurants in the Riverland

Big River Tavern

Big River Tavern is a restaurant located in Berri, a quaint town in the heart of the Riverland. Offering a great dining experience for families, the restaurant boasts golf course views, a great menu and a bar stocked with all your favourites.

Berri Hotel

The Berri Hotel offers a front row seat to the Murray River, with indoor and outdoor seating available. Its award-winning restaurant is known for serving classic pub fare as well as more upscale options.

Mallee Fowl Restaurant

Mallee Fowl Restaurant is an iconic and Australian bush themed spot located in Monash. With indoor and outdoor dining options, the restaurant offers classic pub fare and upscale dishes along with raw juices and smoothies. You’ll definitely enjoy the decor here as well as the bush themed menu.

Banrock Station

While Banrock Station isn’t renowned as a local restaurant, the vineyard does have a dining experience available at their Wine and Wetland Centre. Primarily focused on wine tasting and enhanced by the surrounding natural environment, the venue offers light bites and snacks alongside tastings.

Where to stay in the South Australian Riverland

Receive 10% off your stay using the code SAWE10.

In such a beautiful holiday destination, you should choose an equally deserving hotel. Berri Hotel is a popular accommodation option in the Riverland and offers a range of amenities for guests. A resort style outdoor pool and a great dining venue makes stays here super comfortable and adds a touch of luxury.

The central location is ideal for travelers looking to explore the surrounding areas, and reviewers generally praise the friendly service and value for money.

Check out Berri Hotel here.