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Free things to do in the Riverland

24 May 2023


The relaxed Riverland region of Australia should be on every Aussie's list of holiday things to do.

Free things to do in the riverland bannerAustralia's Riverland region crosses into South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, making it a great location to a) explore any number of quaint local towns and b) enjoy Australia's best local produce. What makes it even better is the number of super budget-friendly things to do (aka free) that make it a great place for low-cost travel.

Check out our awesome list of free things to do in the Riverland! 

1. Experience the Murray on foot!

Free things to do in the Riverland don't get much more free than walking it!

Free things to do in the riverland

Lace-up your boots and tackle some of the Murray River by land. There are several walking tracks throughout the Murray River National Park and Coorong National Park, which vary in length and difficulty.

Taking you through wetlands and lowland scrub, you'll likely run into a few 'birders' as they call themselves, spotting the region's many native bird species and active wildlife. We highly recommend Ngak Indau Wetland trail for an easy, 2.6km trail or the Lakes Nature Walk trail for another easy 2.9km circuit. The 8km Banrock Station Wetland circuit is perfect for those up for more of a challenge.

2. Check out the PS Canally at Morgan Wharf 

The PS Canally, first launched in 1907 is a side-wheel paddle steamer that is slowly being restored to its original condition.

Free things to do in the riverland paddle steamerCredit: Murray River Paddle Steamer / ABC News

The 113-year-old paddle boat was pulled from the depths of the Murray in the 1990s and has been slowly restored with the help of community volunteers in Morgan since 2011, finally making its first voyage down the Murray in June 2022. You can visit the restoration site at Morgan at no charge (although donations are welcome) and get a glimpse of this piece of Australian history.  

3. View Silo Art 

One of our favourite free things to do in the Riverland is silo art.

At Waikerie in South Australia, you can find the Waikerie Silo Art mural in the heart of town. When viewed up close, the impressive size of these artistic displays are something to marvel at. 

Free things to do in the riverland silo art

The Waikerie Silo Art Mural. Credit: Annette Green

Featuring an Australian yabby and Regent Parrot on one side and an abstract river landscape with assorted creatures on the other, the art brings to life the native flora and fauna found locally in the area.  

In nearby Renmark, the Paringa Silo Art mural tells the story of the district through four abstract silhouettes with the community history of the Renmark region represented in bright, eye-catching colours within.   

4. Visit Renmark Paringa Community Museum 

The Renmark Paringa Community Museum is a free outdoor museum that brings history to life through a large collection of vintage farm and agricultural equipment.

Free things to do in the riverland renmark paringa museumCredit: Renmark Paringa Community Museum / Renmark Paringa Visitor Information Centre

Displays include heavy machinery, steam engines, tools and static displays. The community museum is another fantastic kid-friendly activity in the region, and as you wander through its expansive display area, kids (and adults) can sit on the old steam engines and marvel at the history of the type of machinery that was once used to power the entire Riverland economy.   

5. Waikerie Water and Nature Play Park 

On any visit to the Riverland be sure to stop in at Waikerie Water and Nature Play Park for the kids.

Free things to do in the riverland waikerie water nature plCredit: Waikerie Water and Nature Play Park / South Australia Tourism Commission 

A combination of nature play and water activities will have them entertained for hours and is a great way to cool off in the warmer months. The park features a six-metre-high teepee, 40-metre double flying fox and merry-go-round as well as six water play areas and a climbing wall – something to suit all ages. There are also picnic facilities around the play area for a relaxing spot to get a bite to eat.    

6. Picnic at Moorook River Reserve  

Free things to do in the riverland fishing

Life is simpler on the banks of the Murray. Credit: SATC

The Riverland has many great areas to park up, stretch your legs and enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the river.

At Moorook River Reserve you will find designated picnic areas, community barbeques, a children’s playground, and plenty of lawn space to pop out a picnic blanket and relax in the shade. Cool-off in the nearby Murray River or cast a line for a spot of fishing and spend the afternoon by the water's edge.  

7. Visit Barmera Markets

If your trip through the Riverland falls on the day of Barmera Markets, we recommend a visit.

Free things to do in the riverland bamera marketsCredit: Barmera Markets / South Australia Tourism Commission 

Held once a month on the main street of Barmera, this tiny town is thriving with activity as the streets come alive with entertainment, live music, arts and crafts and a variety of stalls ranging from food, woodwork, jewellery, and clothing.

The Barmera Visitor Information Centre showcases plenty of community-run events including the BAA-MERA Sheep Dog Trials and Cobby Riverland Music Festival. Also not to be missed is the free Nunga Screen event to celebrate First Nations culture.    

8. Loxton Tree Sculptures  

Located in Loxton Conversation Park, the 16 tree sculptures at Loxton that make up the Loxton Tree Sculptures were carved into lopped Aleppo Pine trees by local Riverland artist Tim Baulderstone.

Free things to do in the riverland loxton tree sculpturesCredit: Loxton Tree Sculptures / South Australia 

They feature native flora and fauna including a possum, owl, koala, eagle and gonna, and the designs were put forward by Year 9 art students from Loxton High School. Take a stroll through the park and snap a few photos of the intricate detail contained within each piece!  

READY TO PLAN YOUR RIVERLAND GETAWAY?Must see australian destinations lake bonney bannersBROWSE PARK AVAILABILITY 

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