Australia is a beautiful country with many places to explore in your own backyard.
Published July 4th 2020
A special Murray River cruise from Renmark to Mannum
PS Murray Princess
PS Murray Princess had its special one-off 'Welcome Back' cruise on 23rd June 2020. It was a 7-night cruise on the Murray River from Renmark to Mannum. We were fortunate to secure a place as numbers were limited due to the COVID restrictions.
Our holiday began when we boarded the complimentary coach at Adelaide Central Bus Station that took us to the township of Renmark, where the PS Murray Princess was waiting for us. After checking in and settling down, the Captain took us for a guided tour of Renmark, a beautiful and scenic town on the River Murray.
Paringa Suspension Bridge
Early the next morning, the vessel started its 7-day journey downstream. Today's highlight was navigating under the Paringa Bridge (built in 1927) which was one of four suspension bridges along the entire River Murray system. This morning we also passed through Lock 5, one of the five locks that we went through on this cruise. It was such an experience sitting on the vessel in the lock and watched the water level lowered.
Going through Lock 5
Weir at Bookpurnong
Along this 420km cruise down the river, we visited the townships of Berri, Waikerie and Morgan where we had time to explore these towns. There was also a special After Dark Ghost tour of Morgan, guided by the 1st Officer.
Township of Berri
As we meandered along Big Bend, we stopped at Sunnydale where we went ashore for a Woolshed Tour. The hosts explained to us the different types of shearing equipment and demonstrated the art of sheep shearing. At night the same hosts took us for a Nocturnal Tour and Dark Sky experience. This region on the banks of the Murray has been recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve, the only one in Australia.
Big Bend itself was magnificent to behold with its tall limestone cliffs. It is the longest single bend in the Murray River and considered as one of the Murray's natural wonders.
Sunrise over the Murray
On the 7th day, we arrived at Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Conservation Park where we were taken on a guided tour to one of the most significant Aboriginal archaeological sites in Australia. Here we learned of the Aboriginal history, culture and rock art as we walked through the boardwalks along the cliffs. For the adventurous, there was the option to climb over 200 steps to the top of the cliffs where the view of the river was amazing.
The 7-night cruise ended when we arrived at Mannum where again a complimentary coach took us back to Adelaide Central bus station.
What a most delightful cruise that was! The sceneries along the Murray River was magnificent. Sitting on the deck watching the sunset over the Murray was breathtaking. The entire crew was fantastic and the food was fabulous.
The Paddlewheel Lounge
The vessel itself, the largest paddle-wheeler in the southern atmosphere, has an "old world" charm with five passengers decks and a spacious sundeck. There is a beautiful 2 storey lounge area connected by a stylish spiral staircase.
PS Murray Princess has resumed their cruises. For information and details of available cruises, visit their website.