7 Night Murraylands & Wildlife Cruise sailing from Mannum roundtrip aboard Murray Princess.
Discover the dramatic South Australian outback on a cruise along Australia’s great inland highway. The seven night cruise is a unique historic and nature based adventure through ancient gorges and red gum forests, past towering sandstone cliffs and exploring historic ports, local vineyards and nature trails.
Friday: Mid-afternoon the PS Murray Princess departs historic Mannum, birthplace of the Murray River trade and communication, and heads downriver while you enjoy pre-dinner drinks and a Welcome Dinner. As we cruise under floodlight to our overnight mooring at Mundarra you may see nocturnal wildlife on the riverbank. Watch for grey kangaroos, hair-nosed wombats, Murray longnecked tortoises, spoon-beaked egrets and many other species. Our on-board entertainer provides music for the night owls.
Saturday: In 1879 the first bridge to span the Murray River was built at Edwards Crossing, which quickly became the bustling township of Murray Bridge. After a hearty breakfast. join a guided tour of the town’s historic landmarks and local attractions. This afternoon we begin our journey upriver, mooring at Craignook, where after dinner you can enjoy being entertained by our talented crew.
Sunday: All ashore for the guided nature walk where your guide will share the secrets of the local flora and fauna. It’s a great way to get in a little exercise before Murray Princess departs for the big river gorges and 90 metre cliffs of the upper river. Mid-morning join us in the Sturt Dining Room for a special presentation on the bounty of food & wine produced in the river lands. At the 207km mark we turn and head downriver to River View Lodge where your discovery vessel awaits for a backwater wildlife tour. Travelling in small, personalised groups, we explore the maze the river. The birdlife is amazing – watch for darters, herons and egrets feeding along the river’s muddy edges. Late afternoon, photography enthusiasts have a great opportunity to capture a spectacular river sunset, before joining the Captain and Officers for pre-dinner drinks and the finale Captain’s Dinner and Dance.
Monday: After breakfast, PS Murray Princess arrives at Mannum, where you will join our coach tour to the famous Barossa Valley, the beautiful ‘valley of the vine’ and source of about a quarter of Australia’s world-renowned wines. You’ll visit three premium wineries and enjoy lunch before returning to your ship at Mannum. Depart 4.30pm and moor overnight at Caurnamont.
Tuesday: Daybreak and time for the keen photographers to be out to capture the special light and the morning movement of wildlife. Prolific birdlife includes pelicans, blue wrens and black swans. Enjoy a leisurely morning and lunch cruising upriver to Blanchetown through one of the 13 locks which maintain the flow and levels of water. This afternoon we moor near Salters Station for our overnight anchorage. As the last rays of sun fade, we join a guided tour of Burk Salter’s vineyard on the banks of the river and enjoy wine tasting at his cellar door. Tonight enjoy
all the fun and excitement of the Murray River Cup.
Wednesday: After breakfast cruise upriver to picturesque Swan Reach. The town was first settled in the 1850s and was originally the largest of five sheep and cattle stations in the area and is now home to native flower and fruit growers. The original Swan Reach homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel where you can enjoy an ale or cappuccino overlooking the Murray River. Join the guided walking tour and visit the Swan Reach Museum – a must for every visitor.
Cruise downriver after lunch and take in the tranquillity as the landscape slides by or enjoy a lifestyle and info-cruising presentation. We arrive at Sunnydale. All ashore for the Woolshed Show as we recreate typical Australian woolshed history. Later we visit the Native Wildlife Shelter where some of South Australia’s most interesting native animals are cared for. And then, of course, there is the great Aussie Barbecue – cooked and served in a bush setting on the banks of the mighty Murray River. An optional Nocturnal tour by tractor and cart is available after dinner.
Thursday: After breakfast the ship cruises slowly downstream past magnificent cliffs scoured by the river over millions of years. We reach Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve, one of Australia’s most significant archaeological sites, for a step back in time – tens of thousands of years – for a guided boardwalk to view ancient rock carvings and to learn about aboriginal history in the area. We return to the ship to cruise downriver to Younghusband. Along the way, adventure seekers can also take a speed boat ride. Tonight the Captain and his officers host a spectacular Farewell Captain’s Buffet. Dress up and dance, if you wish.
Friday: After breakfast, PS Murray Princess arrives at Mannum where we reluctantly say farewell.