It's hard to appreciate just how relaxing it is to cruise on a genuine paddle wheeler until you're on the PS Murray Princess.The on board atmosphere is relaxed and informal, with the lounge featuring views of the paddle wheel in action through a two-storey viewing window. Starting in historic Mannum, the epicentre of trade and communication along the Murray, the PS Murray Princess meanders upriver while guests enjoy a welcome dinner. Mooring overnight, you may spot nocturnal wildlife on the riverbank you’ve never spied before in the wild: wombats,tortoises, egrets and more.
Photography enthusiasts should be up before daybreak to capture the spectacular light along the river and prolific birdlife darting and feeding along the river’s muddy edges. After a few days enjoying the sights, tranquillity and no worries on the kind of place the settlers wrote songs about, a place immortalised by Aussie bush poets—experience a piece of authentic Australia in the Upper Marylands with PS Murray Princess. Murray on-board entertainment (bingo anyone?) you’ll be transferred by coach to the Riverland town of Waikeirie and Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre. Delight in cellar door wine tastings and a buffet lunch before strolling the gardens and orchards. Do it all again the next day at Caudo Vineyards.
History and Australiana buffs will love a day spent in Morgan township touring the Morgan Living History Museum.The theme of the museum is looking at settlers’ life in the Morgan area, delving into the region’s farming activities and riverboat trade. Horse-drawn vehicles are on display, along with a 1926 Chevrolet truck in working order.
The PS Murray Princess is the largest paddlewheeler ever to operate on the Murray and the largest in the Southern HemisphereDid you know?
A breakfast cruise to Swan Reach is a highlight of the journey, a town that was first settled in the 1850s. It was originally the largest of five sheep and cattle stations in the area and is now home to flower and fruit growers. The original Swan Reach homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel where you can enjoy an ale or cappuccino overlooking the Murray River.
Cruise downriver after lunch and take in the tranquillity as the landscape slides by. When you arrive at Sunnydale, it’s all ashore for the Woolshed Show, recreating typical Australian woolshed history. Later visit the Native Wildlife Shelter where some of South Australia’s most interesting native animals are cared for. And then,of course, there is the great Aussie barbecue—cooked and served in a bushsetting on the banks of the mighty Murray.
As the journey draws to a close, slowly cruise downriver past magnificent cliffs reaching Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve, one of Australia’s most significant archaeological sites. Take a guided boardwalk tour and in the evening, enjoy the spectacular captain’s farewell buffet dinner. Spend your last night dressed up and dancing the night away as you celebrate the unforgettable cruise experience with PS Murray Princess.
If you would like to experience this tour, call 1300 88 37 50 (booking code A561A) or visit the National Seniors Travel website.
Members price from $1,944 per person.