Your top four excuses to stay on the Murray River this Autumn

Autumn is here. And with it, comes the stillness and calm magic of the Murray River.

We know for most, that summer is their favourite season to be near the water – but not us. We’re craving foggy mornings, campfire nights and water so glassy we can see our own reflection during the daylight hours.

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Let’s be honest – if you’re on the water’s edge, there’s rarely a bad day along the Murray River. But if we had to pick, Autumn would hands down be our favourite time to stay along South Australia’s most iconic waterway.

And if you’re wondering why it might be a good idea to come visit yourself, we’re sharing the top four reasons that’ll make you want to rally together the crew, and book in your last-minute stay, right now.

1. We can have campfires again!

A roaring fire bucket in front of you, glass of SA shiraz in hand, and roasting marshmallows on the end of a stick you found two minutes ago – all with the sounds and sights of the Murray River at dusk. This is one of our favourite moments in this neck of the woods.


There’s nothing quote as relaxing as spending time with friends doing this. As soon as that weather cools down a little at the start of April and we can whack our trakkies, uggs and beanies back on, that’s generally the best indication that it’s time for a river stay. This is when we make memories.

Or if marshmallows aren’t your thing, bring along the waffle or jaffle maker for breakfast over warm coles, or baked potatoes for dinner. Whatever your tastes are, there’s nothing that complements a full stomach more than seeing the reflection of a campfire in the river.

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The best part – if you stay in one of our holiday rentals, you’re literally only a few steps from bed and all of the luxuries you could want on holiday. It’s a campfire without the ‘camping’ per se. No daily pack-up and set-up. Now that’s living.

Check out a few of our favourite holiday home on-site fire pits and fire buckets here:

Or explore the others here.

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2. It’s still, oh so still

Rug-up with your dressing-down and uggs, grab a warm cuppa and head out on to your holiday home deck to see some of the most magic mornings that will stick in your memory forever.

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Whether it’s a thick pea-souper hovering over the water, or a clear morning of pure glass calling you out for a sunrise kayak, the river is simply magic during our autumn mornings.

For those who like the slower pace on the river, it’s the ideal time to head out paddling in the kayak or stand up board. There’s no interruptions, no waves, no crowds and no fear of sharks when you’re in the Murray River. Just you and the sounds of nature.

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A few of our favourite places to go paddling are in and around Walker Flat and Big Bend, near the backwaters of Punyelroo and Swan Reach. But honestly, no matter where you decide to stay this autumn, you’ll always have perfect places to paddle.

If you want to pick up the pace and you’re lucky enough to have access to a speedboat, then you’ll already know this is the best time to be on the river. There’s no shortage of flat water between Morgan, Mannum, Murray Bridge and Wellington. So whether your on 1-2 skis, dragging the kids on their discs, or out wakeboarding, you’ll definitely want to spend some time with us soon!

Check out some of the best holiday home boat parking and river access at these holiday houses. These set ups mean that you can drop the boat or kayak in and leave it for your entire stay without having to drag it out at each turn!

3. It’s perfect stargazing and trail walking season

The whole region is well-known for its natural wonders, and there’s no better time to explore them than autumn. We don’t know about you guys, but in summer we a wee bit weary of snakes and other critters hiding along the trails, but as the weather cools down, our all-year-round trails start to shine.

Speaking of things that shine, the towns in and around our holiday homes are now part of Australia’s first ever stargazing reserve! That’s right, the River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve sits right here in the Swan Reach / Big Bend district and provides THE BEST views to the stars in Australia, and some of the best on the planet!

The best views will come from areas like Swan Reach, Big Bend, Walker Flat, Caurnamont, Purnong, Blanchetown and Bowhill, but honestly – you can look to the sky on a clear night in any of our holiday homes and you’ll be blown away. No fancy astro-gear necessary – just a pair of binoculars is all you need up here to capture a glimpse to the Milky Way.

In fact, if you are keen for some serious time under the stars, then we would recommend staying in one of these holiday houses:

More of our Dark Sky recommended properties can be found here.

The added bonus is that one of our owners, Dave, is a local photographer and knows all the best places and tricks to capturing incredible astrophotography in the reserve, so make sure you let him know why you’re coming, and he’ll help you plan your itinerary (or even take you on an astrophotography workshop!).

But it’s not just the stars that will make you want to get outdoors along the river. Here, you’ll also find walking, cycling and canoe trails that are open to recreational walkers and families, through to serious mountain-bikers and hikers!

A few of our faves include the Mannum Waterfalls, Murray Coorong Trail, and Lavender Federation Trail.

4. The crowds disappear

Unless it’s Easter of course (which was just completely booked out over here!).

17 Pellaring Lane - Pellaring Flat, Mannum

And less people around you on the Murray means – extra fishing spots (and fish) are available, you’ll have your favourite skiing bend all to yourself and the house you’ve wanted to stay in for the whole of summer will most likely be available at some point.

We know a lot of people get out of the city to escape the crowds, and you will definitely feel a million miles away from the busy-ness of life out here.

2823 Purnong Road, Caurnamont

Some of our favourite places, away from any neighbours or disruptions are below:

So no matter who you are, we want you to come and make memories on the Murray River with us. Pack the uggs, paddles, bikes and binoculars and come for a stay this season.

Find all of our accommodation options here.