48 hours in the Riverland

It’s Wednesday afternoon and you want to escape the daily grind but your annual leave balance says oh hell no!

48 hours in the Riverland is all you need to sample what the region has to offer and luckily the region is not too far away for a short weekend getaway!

 

Breweries, Chocolates and Markets! Oh My!

There is so much to see and do in the Riverland and 48 hours most likely wont be enough, but it is a good teaser! Whether you are a foodie, wino, twitcher, into triathlons or the rich paddle steamer history, there is something for you!

Here is what I recommend you do with your valuable but possibly short time in the Riverland. Hopefully it is enough to tempt you back to spend a week on a houseboat! If you read this then that, you will see I absolutely love houseboat holidays!

Anyway, back to what to do with your precious 48 hours in the Riverland…

Saturday

Go for a walk

I love a good walk, especially at the start of a short weekend away. Start your walk at the Riverland Farmer’s Markets in Berri and head down along the river front, all the way to Martin Bend (about 6km round trip). Then when you get back to you car, you can pop into the markets and pick up some fresh local produce or have the breakfast of champions – bacon & Glenview Poultry egg roll and a locally roasted Arrosto Coffee.

Markets :: 7:30-11:30am

Walk highlights :: A Special Place for Jimmy James, pelicans and a strange sense of country seclusion on the trail

Read about some other great walks here

It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere!

While in Berri I strongly suggest finding your way to 919 Wines vineyard and cellar door. Nestled away between Glossop, Monash and Berri, like any good Riverland cellar door, it is a little tricky to find, so keep an eye out for the signs. 919 Wines produce a great range of wines that truly reflect the essence of the down to earth nature that is the Riverland. You can taste their Mediterranean varieties that are produced completely onsite and even chat with the winemakers to learn more about the passion and vision behind the label.

Do try :: the Duriff and the Muscat 

Enjoy a brew with a view 

 {Coffee-en route Little Chief Cafe, Renmark}

Your lunch destination today is the Woolshed Brewery past Paringa in an area called Murtho. It is well worth the drive and you can BYO lunch, so make sure you stock up on goodies at the morning markets. The historic woolshed, turned micro-brewery is quite the destination, be prepared for an amazing setting on the Murray River. Savour their large selection of craft brews with a tasting paddle ($15/paddle) and enjoy the serenity, I guarantee you will not want to leave.

Must taste :: the Firehouse Stout (dark ale blended with Arrosto Coffee)

Optional extra :: take a tour of the brewery for $10/person but remember to book!

Read more about the brewery in this story

Admire a view (without the brew this time)

Headings cliff lookout is an iconic spot and you will drive past it on your way to the brewery. The lookout gives you an incredible perspective of the Murray River Valley as you look out over the river to the floodplain opposite that is Calperum Station. If you were to drive around the exact spot opposite, it would take around an hour and a half!

For some more amazing scenery view check out this list

Dine amongst the Roses

When you begin to feel those familiar hungry feelings in your tummy, I suggest you make your way to Ruston’s Roses. What am earth am I going to eat there? I hear you think, but do not spiral into a fit of worry, Ruston’s Roses is home the Renmark’s finest Thai restaurant! The menu is colourful, flavoursome and creative!

For some other dining out options, try some of my other favourites

Sunday

Paddle like a Pelican

Let’s keep with the active morning routine and start today with a causal paddle through some stunning backwaters. Don’t have a canoe? Don’t worry! Hire all you need from local canoe enthusiasts who will delight in keeping you from being up S#*t creek without a paddle. There are two canoe enthusiast businesses in the Riverland, Canoe Adventures based in Berri and Canoe the Riverland based at Murtho (near the Woolshed Brewery). So chose the one that is closest to where you are staying or see if they can bring the equipment to you!

Great paddles :: Loch Luna Game Reserve, Katarapko Creek, Ral Ral Creek, Bulyong Creek, Kylie Creek

Soothe those chocolate cravings

{Coffee en route- Backyard Bread Tasting Cafe & Providore, Barmera}

If you are a chocoholic like me, or know someone who is that would appreciate a little something special, Havenhand Chocolate Factory in Waikerie is a must visit! Traditional Belgium chocolate, created on site, even before your eyes is a real treat! There is a huge variety of chocolates to chose from like lemon-myrtle, chili, apricot, almond, balsamic, cherry truffle, river salt and local dried fruit doused in chocolate goodness.

Indulge with a chocolate fondue to share and take home a goodie bag. Move over Haigh’s, there’s a new favourite South Australian chocolatier!

Best flavour :: don’t ask me, I’m a chocoholic so all of them are amazing!

The hardest decision you will make

Red or White is the question many are presented at Caudo Vineyard‘s Cellar Door near Cadell. The river front cellar door and vineyard is famous for their Murray River inspired spin on traditional Spanish Sangria. As mentioned, it comes in two flavours and you have to chose which to have. Or why not try both! I love visiting this cellar door, you get to completely immerse yourself in the Riverland lifestyle, read more about why I love it here.

Do this :: the Cellar Door family love their water sports and usually have a stand-up paddle board or a canoe lying around. Ask if you can have a paddle and head over to the sandbar on the opposite bank. 

Insider tip :: the Sangria has a bit of kick, tone it down by asking for the White mixed with Ginger Beer, perfecto! 

Cruise the Sunset

One thing I love maybe a little more than chocolate and food combined is cruising on the Murray River. Not much compares to the instantly calming affects of being surrounded by Australia’s greatest river. If you’re only in the Riverland for a short time, it can be tricky to experience this feeling of absolute release, but Rivergum Cruises in Waikerie have your back.

Your cruising vessel is a completely restored 1960’s lifeboat, Qatar, that has been a labour of love for the last 14 years. Your hosts, Sandra and James will share their passion for the river while the sun sets, illuminating the iconic cliffs near Waikerie.

 

Time to head home, where ever that may be…

 {Coffee en route- Viewpoint Cafe, Waikerie}

If you manage to tick all of those activities off your list, you would have had one heck of a 48 hours in the Riverland!

L.

2 Comment

  1. Dee says: Reply

    Sounds fabulous! Is it still good in the middle of winter though? So need a relaxing weekend away!

    1. Riverland Unearthed says: Reply

      The Riverland is a perfect winter destination! It is more often than not quite sunny which is a nice contrast to slightly chilly mornings. Our temps are moderate- 16-19 and is great for campfires and outdoor adventures!

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