Murray River, Lakes and Coorong -Getting Here and Around

The perfect driving holiday

Exploring the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong by car is an adventure but seeing it by boat is an experience that you will never forget.

There are many ways to get to the region from Adelaide or the eastern states.

Mannum riverbank, South Australia

Before you visit the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong, download the free Murray River app for your smartphone. It puts hundreds of places to see, explore, do and stay at your fingertips. Download the app at Discover Murray River.

Come by car

Travelling by car is the most convenient way to experience the region.

From Adelaide, take the South Eastern Freeway (M1); from Victoria, take the Princes Highway (A1); and from Sydney, travel via the Mallee Highway (B12) and other roads within the state.

If you've got the time, take the scenic route by following the six-day Murray River Explorer self drive itinerary from either Sydney or Melbourne.

Hire cars can be picked up from Adelaide city locations, the airport or Mount Barker. See your closest Visitor Information Centre for details.

Consider a coach or bus

Hop on a coach or bus and let someone else do the driving.

Link SA and Premier Stateliner are two local coach companies operating regularly between Adelaide and main towns in the region, including Murray Bridge, Mannum, Tailem Bend, Meningie and Pinnaroo. They also service smaller towns once a week.

For more information visit Link SAPremier Stateliner or one of the Visitor Information Centres in the region.

Interstate coach companies include Firefly, Greyhound Australia and Murraylink V-Line, which operate coach services between Adelaide and Melbourne or Adelaide and Sydney, via selected regional towns.

More to explore

Explore the region at your own pace. Try one of the following routes as the start to your journey:

  • Mid Murray Self-Drive Eco Tour is a 130 kilometre loop from Mannum through spinifex and saltbush plains, by parks and a waterfall.
  • Discover Murray River Trail follows the entire length of the Murray River and Mallee.
  • Mallee Highway Touring Route incorporates things to do and see in Pinnaroo, Lameroo and other Mallee towns.   
  • Tolmer Escort Gold Route follows the footsteps of Alexander Tolmer, who worked with SA Police to boost the state’s future through gold routes in the 1850s.
  • Melbourne to Adelaide Touring Route takes in the Coorong and spectacular inland scenery between the two cities. 
  • Narrung and Lake Albert Ring Route allows you to discover Aboriginal culture and the wildness of the Lakes and Coorong.  

For more information, visit your nearest Visitor Information Centre, visitor information outlet or online at Discover Murray River.

Ferries, locks and weirs

Locks and weirs make the Murray River easy to navigate. To see Lock 1 at Blanchetown in action, or for river access in a boat, visit between 8am-11:30am and 1pm-4:30pm any day, except Christmas Day (grounds are open from 8am-4:30pm).  

Ferries are a free 24 hour service that can take up to 8 or 12 vehicles (depending on the ferry). Ferry crossings operate at Swan Reach, Walker Flat, Purnong, Mannum, Tailem Bend/Jervois, Wellington and Narrung.

Driving tips - drive on the left in Australia

Be sure to drive on the left-hand side of two-way roads. Obey the road signs and remember that speed limits are strictly enforced. You must not drive if your blood alcohol level is 0.05 per cent or higher. Using a hand-held mobile phone when driving is also not permitted.  

When travelling long distances, plan your journey to include several rest breaks and ensure you have enough supplies, water and fuel. For your safety and enjoyment, slow down, relax and enjoy the country pace of the region.

Off the beaten track

Experienced four wheel drive (4WD) travellers should try the demanding Border Track in the Ngarkat Conservation Park. This 29 kilometre, one-way track skirts the South Australian-Victorian border and covers some rugged land. The spectacular bird life is an amazing reward. The track closes during the fire danger season in the summer months. 

Remember, the speed limit in our conservation parks is 40 kilometres per hour. If you’re in sand dunes or thick mallee scrub, stick to the existing wheel ruts. Reduce your tyre pressure when driving in sand. Look out for oncoming vehicles, pedestrians and animals. It’s remote but you’re not alone. Camp at the marked sites inside. Fees may apply.

The Murray River, Lakes and Coorong - it’s a driver’s region.

What's on in SA

There are plenty of events on in South Australia. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Things to do

Stop at one of the visitor centres for more information on attractions in the region.

Back to top