The quiet country town of Renmark has made a big name for itself along the Murray River as the home of the first houseboats on the Murray, a floating cellar door, award winning distilleries and randomly, Australia’s largest rose garden.
On the South Australian side of the boarder, the Murray River Region is known as Riverland. From the spot where Victoria and New South Wales meet SA, the Murray River runs all the way down to the bottom of the country, where it then escapes into the ocean through Lake Alexandrina.
There’s so much to explore in Renmark, much more than meets the eye when you first drive through the town. If you do a bit of digging and get off the beaten track you’ll be able to find some true hidden gems in this rugged country town.
Where is Renmark?
Sitting along the river in country South Australia, close to the boarders of Victoria and New South Wales, Renmark is one of the top destinations on the South Australian side of the Murray River. One of the biggest towns in Riverland, Renmark might be a little out of the way, but it’s also a lovely quiet country town to see a little more of the Murray River.
When you arrive in Renmark head straight to the Renmark Paringa Visitor Information Centre where you can find out more about the area, book tours and accommodation and pick up some guide books to the area.
Renmark Paringa Visitor Information Centre || 84 Murray Avenue, Renmark || (08) 8586 6704
What To Do In Renmark
Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery
One of our favourite places in this region, Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery is about 20 kilometres north of Renmark, but it’s definitely a must visit when you’re in the area. Located right along the water the balcony of Wilkadene looks straight over the Murray River and offers a very calming environment.
Wilkadene have a boat parking area right out the front, where you can park either a regular boat or a house boat and come up to check out the local drinks for a couple of hours.There’s not much phone reception here, so it’s a great place to just sit back and relax, enjoy the calm summery atmosphere and try out their famous hard lemonade.
Address: 65 Wilkinson Road, Murtho || Ph: (08) 8598 8188
Stock up on tees at Ryde Clothing
Ryde Clothing is a brand that was created in Riverland by Nathan, in his bedroom at home when he was just 16 years old. A small online store has expanded to a cult following, as well as it’s own shop front in the heart of Renmark. They have great designs, all promoting the Riverland and supporting local in South Australia, and all hand-printed by Nathan!
We were so happy to finally get to visit Nathan at the shop, after months of following the brand on Instagram, and Thom definitely stocked up on a few new t-shirts for our trip! Make sure you give him a follow on Insta @rydeclothing to find out about new products and re-stocks.
Address: Shop 3, Leftys Mall, Renmark Avenue
Afternoon drinks onboard the Murray River Queen
For the perfect spot along the river, head to the Murray River Queen in the afternoon for happy hour on the Murray. With discounted drinks between 4pm and 6pm, you can grab a seat on the top deck and people watch all afternoon. It’s a great spot, serving local drinks from around the area as well.
Address: Ral Ral Avenue, Renmark || Ph: (08) 8541 4411
Canoe the Riverland
One of the big highlights in the Riverland is to hire a kayak and explore the region from the water. There are several self-guided trails around Renmark, offering you an insight into the river region that take about an hour each to complete.
You can organise your kayak rental from the Canoe the Riverland website, where they have all the information you might need for a day on the lake. They also offer moonlight tours, foodie tours with the Taste of Riverland Day Tours, overnight camping options and basic kayaking skills sessions.
Address: 835 Murtho Road, Paringa || Ph: 0475 754 222
If you’d prefer to stay on land during your visit you can also rent a bicycle from the Renmark Paringa Visitor Centre to explore Renmark by bike.
Try the local at Twenty Third Street Distillery
Built in 1914, this historic distillery has been taken over in recent years, but a new team full of fresh ideas. Making all kinds of spirits, including gin, brandy, whiskey and vodka, there are definitely some delicious drinks to try if you’re stopping in here. Take a tour of the distillery, or maybe a cocktail masterclass to create some of your own signature drinks.
The Restaurant at the distillery offers lots of fresh Riverland produce, with wood-oven pizzas one of the big draws on the menu. The restaurant is open from Thursday to Sunday, from 6pm each week, and it’s a good idea to make a booking so you don’t miss out.
Address: Corner of Renmark Avenue and Twenty Third Street, Renmark || Ph: (08) 8586 8500
Renmark Township Lookout
Head up to the Renmark Township Lookout for some pretty views over Renmark, as well as the river, nearby fruit properties and the main town. The lookout can be found on Chino Street in Renmark.
Ruston’s Rose Garden
Known as the largest rose garden in the whole southern hemisphere, Ruston’s Rose Garden has one of the biggest and most diverse collections of roses in the world. Take a walk around the beautiful garden before hitting up the on site cafe which has some truly delicious homemade cakes on offer.
Every October Renmark hosts the Renmark Rose Festival, which is a 10 day event featuring open gardens, art exhibitions, self-guided walks, paddleboat cruises, flower arranging demonstrations, cabaret shows and more.
Address: Moorna Street, Renmark || Ph: (08) 8586 6191
Built in Goolwa in 1911, the PS Industry is one of the oldest paddle steamers on the Murray River, and it still fires up for a cruise on the first Sunday of every month as well as some long weekends throughout the year. However, it is open all year round for inspections at the Renmark Riverfront and just so you can check out this beautiful piece of river history.
Address: 84 Murray Street, Renmark || Ph: (08) 8586 6704
A few of the other great spots to check out in the area include:
- Cammies Antiques & Collectables
- Chaffey Theatre
- Frank Harding Collection
- Goanna Hill Gallery
- Lock 5
- Old Customs House
Plushs Bend Free Camp
A great free camp in Renmark, this is where we stayed when we visited Riverland the first time. This spot is right on the Murray River, only a short distance from the main town and there are more than 20 camp sites for you to choose from. We visited in early January and there were less than 5 other camps staying at Plushs Bend at the same time as us.
There are heaps of tall trees here to provide good shade, a boat ramp and a toilet block that are kept very clean! You’re allowed to bring dogs here when you visit and camp fires are also permitted as long as it’s not a total fire ban day.
Address: Twenty Third Street, Renmark
Riverbend Caravan Park
If you’re looking for a caravan park with facilities head to Riverbend Caravan Park, which is a Top Parks Holiday Park. In a great spot right on the river, Riverbend are pet friendly, offer campsites as well as cabins and are located close to the main town.
They have lovely grassy sites, great amenities and they even have a strawberries and cream stand open most nights from 7 to 9pm. Yep, the perfect desert that you didn’t know you REALLY wanted until you just heard that, hey. You can also use your G’Day Rewards card here to get a great discount on your stay.
Address: 101 Sturt Highway, Renmark || Ph: (08) 8595 5131
Find our more: Riverbend Caravan Park
Explore more of Riverland
There’s more to the Riverland region of South Australia than just Renmak, and from wineries to water sports and a big house-boating community, there’s plenty to see and do in the surrounding towns. If you’re thinking of making a bit more out of your trip by exploring some of the close by towns, here is what you need to know.
Berri – one of the bigger towns in Riverland, with extensive shopping outlets, beautiful green riverfront and lots of alfresco dining.
Glossop – home to one of Australia’s largest wineries, you won’t miss this little town, lined with kilometres of beautiful vineyards and roadside produce stands selling some delicious snacks.
Loveday – most well know for it’s Prisoner of War camp during World War II, these days Loveday is home to a very popular 4×4 adventure park.
Moorook – this place is best known for it’s two annual music festivals. In between the festivals it’s a very peaceful riverside camping place.
Paringa – opposite Renmark along the river, Paringa is home to the historic lift spanning bridge, as well as great local gifts and artwork and breathtaking hot air balloon rides.
Other towns in Riverland include Barmera, Blanchetown, Cadell, Cobdogla, Kingston on Murray, Loxton, Lyrup, Monash, Morgan, Overland Corner, Waikerie and Winkie. Each town offers something special and unique all of their own, keeping visitors town hopping along the Murray River Way.
For the ultimate road trip itinerary check out this Murray River Way road trip itinerary from South Australia tourism.
Where’s your favourite place along the Murray River way?
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