The wide expanse of the Murray River flows past sedately, lazily making its way to the ocean. The setting sun reflects orange off its still surface, broken only by the fishing line and float that you have thrown out in hope of catching an elusive Murray cod. Across the bank a substantial group of migratory waders preen themselves in the shallow water, and upstream a large house boat drifts slowly into view. Except for the sounds of nature the evening is quiet, and while you sip on your sundowner you think how infectious this tranquility is.
This may all sound like some sort of daydream, but in the Murraylands this is the reality of life- a reality that attracts thousands of tourists each year who come to recharge their batteries and enjoy the peace of the Murray River environment. The powerful river breathes vitality into the dry Mallee region, creating stark contrasts in landscapes which highlights the lushness of the areas directly around the Murray. Just an hours drive from Adelaide, the Murraylands are easily accessible and the perfect option for a weekend away. Visitors flying into Adelaide just need to pick up a hirecar at the airport, and in no time at all they can be relaxing on the green banks of the Murray!
The ultimate way of seeing the Murraylands is from the water, and it is no surprise that a houseboat holiday is the premier vacation idea for the region. There are over 80 houseboats operating in the Murray and most of them come equipped with all the luxury fittings to make your stay on them a pleasure. No special license is required to hire one, you just need to be above 18 and to hold a valid driving license. Training and tuition as to how to drive them, the river conditions and mooring spots is provided before you leave for your trip. Of course you do not have to commit to taking out a houseboat to get onto the water, there are shorter cruises too. Some of these go for a day and some just for a few hours, but all of them give you the same relaxing satisfaction of being out on the water.
The towns of the Murray share the laid back and relaxed feel that is so typi