Goolwa and the mouth of the Murray River
Why walk when you can roll? Seriously, at what age do we look at a hill and just naturally walk down it? Why do kids look at that same sandy hill and think, you know I’m just going to lay down and roll down that sand dune. I wish I still had that kind spontaneity.
Well I did until Harry started ripping his shirt off and yelling “Ants, ants! They are on me! They are biting me!” And I thought yeah, that’s pretty much why I don’t roll down hills anymore.
We have spent the morning exploring the locks and beaches near the mouth of the Murray River. There aren’t any long walking trails here but there are tracks to walk (or roll) down to the beach and you can walk alongside the river and out onto the locks. We saw plenty of seals just hanging around looking like big dogs waiting for a feed near the fish gates, which was a novelty for us having never seen seals in the wild before.
Goolwa is a picturesque town on the banks of the Murray River. The markets held here on Sunday offer plenty of good food to fill your belly after exploring the town, beaches and riverside. The old paddlesteamer moored at the wharf and the cockle train that runs through from Victor Harbour offer a glimpse into a bygone era. I am still on a mission to see the actual mouth of the Murray. We stop for a quick refreshment at the brewery and then we head over to Hindmarsh Island to look for the river mouth.
We pull up at the car park and walk over the sand dune, and there it is. The mouth of the worlds third longest nagivatable river flowing out into the sea. I saw the headwaters of this 2520 km long river up in Kosciusko National Park 2 years ago and now I have seen the end. One day I will get around to checking out some of the lovely parts in between. Maybe on a paddle steamer.
Currency Creek Winery
I am planning on spending the afternoon at Port Elliot and the beautiful Horseshoe Bay but before we do I want to do a quick detour out to Currency Creek Winery. This winery is set in a pretty location with lots of room outside for the kids to run about. They do a range of wines here, and I buy a bottle of the Santa Rosa Premium Blend and the Max’s Run Cabernet Sauvingon, but I like their fortified wines the most. The Personal Stock Tawny and Old Liquer Muscat are smooth and warming and I am looking forward to enjoying a glass or two of these around a roaring fire come winter.
We drive through the sleepy seaside town of Port Elliot and pull up at the carpark near the headland overlooking Horseshoe Bay. There is a very scenic coastal walk that meanders around the rocky granite coastline with access tracks down to the pretty secluded beaches. Port Elliot was originally selected as the main ocean port for the Murray River trade, but despite its calm appearance today the bay can actually be quite rough. After a number of ships were wrecked in the bay, the port was moved to Granite Island near Victor Harbour. A lookout and memorial overlooking Horseshoe Bay provide some information about the shipwrecks as well as gorgeous views over the bay.
We walk along some of the coastal track watching the big waves pound the granite boulders on the less exposed side looking back towards Victor Harbour. The sea spray hangs in the air and I can taste the salt on my lips. Walking back towards Port Elliot we detour down to a delightful granite boulder strewn beach, and spend time exploring the rock pools.
Walking back up onto the cliff top track we come across the old jetty. No longer used for loading goods onto ships, it now provides fisherman with a nice spot to throw in a line and walkers like me to stop and take in the scenery. It is our last full day in South Australia and we are keen to relax and just soak up the beauty of this lovely place. Over the past 2 weeks we have visited Adelaide and the beautiful Adelaide Hills, the rugged and spectacular Flinders Ranges, the fabulous Barossa Valley and finished off with the paradise that is the Fleurieu Peninsular. I have only scratched the surface of this highly underated Australian state. All I can say to all of you East Coasters is get on a plane or in your car and visit the amazing South Australia. Some of Australia’s best food, wine, outback landscapes and magnificent beaches await you!
At a Glance
95 km (1 hr 20 mins) from Adelaide
84 km (1 hour 8 mins) from Adelaide
Currency Creek Winery
Winery Road, Currency Creek
10 kilometres north of Goolwa