South Australians love spending time by the river. From Tailem Bend to Meningie, take a look at some experiences to enjoy your stay-cay in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong.

1. Drive Yourself Around the Bend 

The Bend (named for its location at Tailem Bend) is a world-class motorsport facility that opened in 2018. Outside of race days, it offers a suite of racing experiences (do a hot lap in a Mustang or try your hand at go-kart racing), as well as a restaurant, bar and hotel. Call in for a beer or a coffee, enjoyed amongst a multi-million-dollar collection of supercars and Australian racing icons. A drag strip opened in 2023.

2Stars in Your Eyes

The River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve attracts photographers and astronomers for its enviable darkness and some of the best stargazing in the world. Covering 3,200 square kilometres from Bow Hill to Blanchetown (Swan Reach Reserve is a popular destination), it’s relatively free of artificial light. Don’t forget the telescope or even just a pair of binoculars.

3. Do a Safari!!

Monarto Safari Park is a 1500-hectare open-range sanctuary. It’s home to a very cool, very important collection of animals including lions, cheetahs, rhinos and chimpanzees. Tour the park on a safari bus, then enjoy close-up encounters like the Lions 360 Experience which will have you within a whisker of the mighty cats…

4. Discover the Coorong 

Plenty have heard of it, but few appreciate just how otherworldly the Coorong is. There are three ways to visit: experience the lagoons via the sealed Princess Highway; take a suitably equipped 4WD onto the beach; or join a small boat cruise with one of two cruise operators departing daily from Goolwa Wharf. You’ll discover soaring white dunes, Aboriginal heritage and an extraordinary natural ecosystem where freshwater wetlands meet the Southern Ocean.

5Hire a Houseboat

It’s the Australian take on river cruising… Hire a humble floating shack or go all out and equip yourself with a floating palace complete with a hot tub on the deck. No boating licence required. Be sure to seek out a stretch of redcliff awesomeness in time for sunset.

Read dueSouth Magazine here.