Explore Australia’s greatest river, The Murray, within the internationally recognised Riverland Ramsar Wetland in South Australia. Guided walking combined with peaceful cruising immerses you in the landscape and reveals the pioneering history of paddle steamers and a new environmental stewardship.
Walking The Walk
Encounter diverse wildlife and waterbirds along the river, creeks and old oxbow lagoons that meander through ancient red gum forests dwarfed by spectacular red ochre coloured cliffs. Enjoy a pre-breakfast sunrise hike to the cliffs on one morning to start your day. The daily walking routes are on private property and conservancy areas with exclusive access for Murray River Walk guests only.
Spend three nights on a modern houseboat that cruises to your daily walking destination, complete with hot shower and top deck spa overlooking the river. Savour three course dinners each night created from local food and wine showcasing the produce of the Riverland food bowl. Celebrate your journey with a tour and lunch at the award winning Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery.
All water transfers and the Day 4 return cruise from Bunyip Reach cliffs to Renmark are on a 12 seater “open air” catamaran cruiser. A stable and secure craft, your guides will expertly navigate through more than 70km of our spectacular waterways.
What we provide
- Accommodation on nights 1, 2 and 3 on a modern comfortable 10 berth houseboat.
- Knowledgeable and capable guides.
- A 34L Day Pack with good waist support and a 2 Litre drinking water bladder. There is ample room inside for your walking clothes and food.
- A small thermos for hot drinks. Lunch making ingredients and a lunch box.
- All food and beverages including a 3 course meal each night, breakfasts, lunches and snacks, and we cater for special dietary preferences based on your advice at the time of booking.
- Our guides carry a first aid kit, UHF Radios and a satellite phone.
Mobile phone reception is poor although mobile phone cameras can be charged on the houseboat.
What you need to bring
- Hiking boots or hiking shoes, no sneakers.
- We recommend beanies, scarves and gloves for morning warmth and long walking pants.
- Thermal base layers and polar fleece tops are essential and can be easily stored in your day packs as the day warms up. Select your clothing based on winter daily maximums between 12 – 18 degrees Celsius.
- Riverland winters are relatively dry however a rain jacket is essential to carry and will protect you from the wind when cruising.
- Of course a camera is recommended to capture this wonderful walking experience!
Murray River Walk preparation
Murray River Walk is a relatively easy 40km walk over flat ground, ranging from 12-14km per day. There are two guided canoe crossings where your guides will transfer you across creeks in a very stable canoe and you are not required to paddle.
Make sure your hiking footwear is comfortable. You should aim to be moderately fit by being able to walk 10km comfortably at one time at least two weeks before you walk with us. A regular 5km walk is good preparation for Murray River Walk. You will carry on average 5kg each day in your day pack, including your water, lunch, jacket, camera and snacks.
Murray River Walk is a de-stressing experience
Our walking pace is designed to relax you and allow you to enjoy the landscape, its wildlife and its beauty, and the people you are walking with. It is a slow walk (along a slow flowing river) – not a race. Enjoy.
The cooler months
Murray River Walk operates between 1 April and 30 September each year to capture the cooler autumn, winter and spring weather. April, May and September are slightly warmer months than June, July and August, however, winter days in the Riverland are typically sunny.
Each night you stay aboard a modern comfortable 10 berth houseboat with your own double room, plus hot showers and a hot spa on the top deck. All linen is provided. Leave your belongings in your room each day as the houseboat will travel to your daily walking destination. Dine aboard the houseboat on superb local menu designed by our consultant chef, renowned native food pioneer Andrew Fielke. Regional Riverland food bowl products are showcased where possible.
Murray River Walk will help you discover a rich river heritage including Aboriginal culture, pastoralism and the paddle-steamers, locks and weirs and river regulation, irrigation development and environmental stewardship, in a region that has become the fruit and food bowl of South Australia.
The Murray River
The Murray River drains 1/7 the area of Australia and flows over 2000 km to reach the Riverland at Renmark.More than a million people live in its catchment area which covers parts of 4 states and the Australian Capital Territory. It starts as a fast flowing stream in the Australian Alps and changes to a broad and meandering river through South Australia. It is a food bowl, a playground, a wildlife sanctuary and Australia’s most studied river. We look forward to sharing its stories with you.
Murray River Walk is entirely within the internationally significant Riverland Ramsar Site. In 1987 the Ramsar Bureau listed the Riverland Ramsar Site in recognition of its internationally significant wetlands and wildlife. Red Gum forests are a feature and four nationally threatened species are recognised in its plan of management including the Regent parrot, Southern bell frog and two fish species – Murray Cod and Murray Hardyhead. 197 bird species and 19 species of mammal including 8 bat species occur in the area.
In 1961 the first houseboat on the Murray River was built and launched at Renmark, for the first time enabling independent cruising holidays on the Murray. Our houseboat accommodation has come a long way from those early houseboats, however, they can still be seen as part of the Liba Liba fleet in Renmark.
Murray River Walk provides a houseboat that is part of a modern fleet of boats owned and managed by Rob and Jenna Hughes of River Murray Houseboats, Renmark.
Meet your guides and fellow walkers at McCormick Environment Centre in Renmark. Make your lunches and board the “cruiser” for a 10km creek cruise to the start of the walk. Our destination today is spectacular Headings Cliffs on the Murray River where your houseboat accommodation is moored.
Traverse Reny Island through red gum forest and black box woodlands to the Ral Ral Creek Widewaters for morning tea. Follow Argo Creek to the Murray River for lunch. Discover the wreck of the P.S. Kelvin barge, traverse the dunes on Hunchee Island encountering kangaroos and emus and marvel at the Aboriginal Canoe trees as we arrive at Headings Cliffs.
Our destination is the Murray River just below the mouth of the Chowilla Creek, part of the largest anabranch system in South Australia.
Arise early to climb Headings Cliffs for a magnificent sunrise over the Murray River. Marvel at the geological layers in the cliffs formed by wind, oceans and freshwater lakes. Descend the cliffs for breakfast and follow an ancient river oxbow to the present Murray River for morning tea. Explore dense red gum forest on the way to Amazon Creek junction for lunch. See spectacular wetlands and waterbirds on the Big Hunchee widewaters before meeting your houseboat on the Murray River.
Our destination is majestic Queens Bend cliffs above Lock 6. Cruise along Chowilla Creek to pass through the Chowilla Environmental Regulator before arriving at Bunyip Reach to start your walk.
Follow the meandering Murray River to the base of Lock 6 and its modern fish ladder for morning tea. Explore the rejuvenated wetlands and water management structures on Bunyip Reach before climbing the gentle cliff face that surrounds a vast floodplain. After lunch we follow the rim of the valley to the historic site of the proposed 1960’s Chowilla Dam scheme before winding our way along the cliffs to Queens Bend lookout to celebrate completing a 12km day and a 40km journey.
We start with a leisurely cruise after breakfast to the historic Customs House, Border Cliffs and the South Australian/Victorian Border, before commencing our journey downstream to pass through Lock 6.
We rejoin the houseboat and cruise on past the Chowilla Station Shearing Shed and on to Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery for a tasty lunch, tour and a brew. After lunch we say our farewells and transfer by vehicle back to Renmark for arrival at 2pm.
This graph loosely depicts the gradient of the track, providing you with some basic understanding of how challenging the walk will be. The graphs are useful in helping you decide which walk suits you best. Whatever your ability or fitness, there’s sure to be a walk that suits you in the Great Walks of Australia collection.
* Elevations are indicative only and are not to scale. Walkers should contact individual walk companies to better understand the terrain and difficulty of each walk.
Committed to the environment
The Riverland Ramsar Wetland has many stories worth sharing. Our goal is to broaden the economic diversity of the Riverland region and South Australia by strengthening our regional brand and creating greater pride in our regional assets, so that our community is more resilient when future challenges arise. Our staff enjoy interpreting the environment for our customers and all of our staff give generously to their community and the tourism industry. In time, the operator, Luxury River Trails, will commit further resources to support the environment and sustainable tourism along the Murray River.