Your guide to winter in the Riverland

Museums and sweet old towns for the historians, endless wine and unique restaurants for the foodies, kayaking and national parks for the outdoor adventurers; the Riverland is the best Weekend Escape destination in South Australia.

Here for the complimentary Penfolds? Scroll to the bottom of this post to discover our Winter Wine Offer.

The Riverland in winter

Everyone knows that the Riverland region is a favourite when it comes to SA Weekend Escapes. Beautiful sunny weather, plenty of wildlife, endless potential for water-sports and swimming and much more, the Riverland is one of a kind. However, in the winter should a trip to the Riverland really be on the cards? Wholeheartedly, we say yes!

The Riverland does not only offer a lifestyle suited to summer. See the Riverland in a different light this winter; taste the food, drink the wine and spirits, learn about the history and enjoy the river by cruise. Below, we share with you a handful of activities to try during your SA Winter Escape to the Riverland.

1. Step back in time in Loxton

Learn a little about the Riverland’s early settler history at The Loxton historical Village. The children will love this sweet little town and all that comes with it, plus it’s educational and super interesting for people of any age. Find out what life was like before air conditioning in the hot Riverland, and see how bread was made at home in a wood-fuelled oven. 45 recreated buildings and exhibits here on the beautiful banks of the Murray River tell endless stories of the past. Buildings here have been relocated or have been built on site. It’s not always easy to know the history of a place that you visit, but The Loxton historical Village makes this easy and really fun too!

Pic credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone

2. Sample a unique restaurant

The Riverland is home to a great deal of restaurants. Pubs, cafes, small eateries, fine-dining, wineries and much more are found across the towns in this wonderful region. Head over to Mallee Fowl for a dining experience like no other! This extraordinary restaurant has been recognised by the Australian restaurant & catering awards as one of the country’s best themed restaurants. It’s even been featured on various travel shows. Mallee Fowl has been designed to represent an early settlement dwelling, so outside you’ll find animals roaming and inside you’ll see awesome artefacts hanging on the walls. This is certainly one not to miss whilst you’re in the area.

For something perfect for the family, head to the Bistro at the Berri Hotel, where a delicious menu packed with favourites, and a bar stocked with all the best wine and beer will be waiting for you after a day of exploring. Similarly, the award winning Tavern at the Big River Golf and Country Club serves up all the classics, and offers excellent views of the golf course.

Pic credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone


3. Take a boat ride

A visit to the Riverland just wouldn’t be right without a boat ride on the might Murray River. With Renmark River Cruises, you can enjoy the river without jumping in and getting freezing cold this winter. Hire a boat from Riverland Boat Hire and navigate the river at your own pace for the day, gliding between the region’s famously orange riverbanks. Alternatively, get a place on one of the company’s day cruises and let the captain take care of everything. The Day Cruise to the Riverland Wine Centre is a great choice, and as well as leading you to the region’s best wine, this trip will help you discover the best wildlife and most scenic spots in the Riverland.

Pic credit: SATC/Banrock Station

4. Get cosy at a Riverland winery

Riverland wineries are overlooked, and totally underrated. A number of excellent wineries spread across the region are perfect for visits and they often go beyond your ‘typical’ winery experience. At Banrock Station, the Moto is, ‘good wine needs a great environment. Accordingly, this special oasis in the Riverland helps protect wetlands and works in harmony with the environment as they create their wines. Head out into the grounds and explore the wetlands using a series of walking trails. Drop in for lunch if the weather isn’t great for a walk, or simply taste some of the winery’s best products!

Caudo Vineyard is another great choice for those wanting a true Riverland winery experience. Family owned and run, Caudo is found upon the banks of the Murray and offers guests a gorgeous, picturesque setting for an afternoon. Green lawns and historic buildings take you away from the Riverland and transport you to Europe. Another great option, if you’re staying in the heart of the Riverland in the Berri or Renmark area, is 919 Wines. Run with a sustainable at heart and also run by a family, this spot is certainly an authentic and local Riverland winery experience.

Pic credit: Waikerie Golf & Country Club

5. Play a round of golf

With winter approaching, a day of golf in the fresh air followed by a drink and a meal at a cosy restaurant becomes evermore appealing. Golf courses are found in a number of spots across the Riverland, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. Keen golfers might like to come for a few days and try out a few! At Barmera Golf Club, eighteen holes and pristine fairways make for an excellent golfing experience. Situated in the centre of the town, this golf course is convenient for just about anyone!

On the other hand, the course at Waikerie Golf & Country Club is also an excellent option, with its long and undulating fairways and grassy mounds which add a little challenge to your round. Finally, Big River Golf & Country Club found on the outskirts of Berri is a dreamy spot that is forgiving to beginners yet challenging for professionals wanting a challenge. Around the course you’ll discover that the fairways and greens at Berri are fully irrigated making for a very pleasant golfing experience.

Pic credit: SATC

6. Taste some exquisite local spirits

Whisky and other spirits aren’t the first things that come to mind when we think of the Riverland, however some great spots for tasting have popped up over the years. Head to a distillery this winter and warm up with a taste of local whisky and a tour. At Twenty Third Street Distillery – a new, modern and exciting distillery in the heart of Renmark – guests can find crafted spirits that are distilled to the utmost quality. Spirits here are made with Australian ingredients, and there’s always something new around the corner! In addition, St Agnes offers tours of its historic distillery in Renmark. Go for a tasting and taste some of Australia’s most awarded brandy, handcrafted since 1925.

Pic credit: CityMag/Arrosto Coffee

7. Do some cafe-hopping

Undeniably, in South Australia we love our coffee. Undoubtedly, grabbing a morning coffee has become an experience; we love to try new spots, sip our coffees with good views and explore the menus of new cafes. It is for this reason, we encourage you to visit some local cafes during your SA Winter Escape to the Riverland. Head to River Jacks Cafe in Berri and sit by the river with your morning fuel, perhaps paired with a hearty breakfast. Try some treats at Arrosto Coffee in Renmark, where an old fire station has been transformed into a vibrant cafe and roastery by some locals. In Barmera, find Flavours of the Riverland and after you’ve had a coffee, shop for local produce. There’s no better way to experience a place and chat to locals, than in a friendly local cafe!

The SA Weekend Escapes Winter Wine Offer

Don’t just book any escape to the Riverland this winter. Book one that comes with a free bottle of Penfolds wine!

Two hotels right in the heart of the Riverland are offering a complimentary bottle of Penfolds wine this winter, for those who book direct on the hotel website. Opt for a stay at either the Berri Hotel or Big River Golf and Country Club, to qualify for this offer which will warm up your winter evenings and top of the perfect Riverland Weekend Escape.

Find out more about this Winter Wine Offer here!

Your Ultimate Guide to the Riverland

Most of us have managed to holiday here in SA this year. But with winter coming, it’s time to book another getaway; something to look forward to during the colder months. For more inspiration regarding things to do, places to see and restaurants to visit discover in the Riverland discover our Ultimate Guide to Berri and the surrounding region, or navigate our website – packed with holiday ideas – and discover more regions for your next SA Winter Escape!