Waikerie Wetlands Scenic Drive
Enjoy the Waikerie Wetlands Scenic Drive through the Riverland. This loop takes in some interesting and diverse landscapes, lagoons, towns and waterways. Heading across the free ferry to Overland Corner Hotel, call in on Lock 3, down past Napiers Ruins near Barmera and Lake Bonney. Turn right along the winding river road of Cobdogla past Watchels Lagoon. Turn left towards Moorook and scenic drive town to Loxton. Head up towards Berri where you can go over the bridge or take an alternative loop to the Lyrup Ferry. Head back towards Monash and the Adventure playground then back along the Sturt Highway towards Kingston-on-Murray and Banrock Station for a wonderful meal and boardwalk through the wetlands and back to Waikerie.
Leaving Waikerie you can either take the free 24 hour ferry on the Overland Highway or the Sturt Highway towards Kingston on Murray. Please ensure you take care while driving in the Riverland.
Over the free ferry route
Head across the free 24 hour Waikiere ferry called Heron. Head left towards Overland Corner on the original Overland Track between Adelaide and Sydney used as a rovers highway during the 1800s.
Overland Corner is the hub of an intriguing local history. This site was a busy way station on the rough overland stock and mail routes. Now operated as a pub and museum the extent of the 1956 flood is evident half way up the rough stone walls of the old hotel (c.1859). Gather an insight into the Aboriginal and European heritage by walking the 8km trail.
Call in on Lock 3 off the Overland Highway and learn a little more about the Murray River's Locks and Weirs. Completed in 1925. The Lock and Weir serves as one of 12 between Blanchetown and Euston (NSW)/Robinvale (Victoria). A majority of locks were constructed between 1922 and 1935. Each weir has a lock constructed next to it, to facilitate navigation. The Locks and Weirs are managed by SA Water on behald of the Murray Darling Basin Authority. Water craft use the lock for navigation and its use is free.
Barmera is situated on the shore of Lake Bonney. Barmera is a regional focus of watersport activities. The town claims the title of the Country Music Capital of South Australia by holding annual industry awards. You can explore Rocky’s Hall of Fame Pioneers Museum.
On the “scenic drive route” is where you find the township of Monash where you will find the iconic Monash Adventure Park. The Park was reopened in 1996. Entrance to the park is free and it provides fun for all ages. The Monash Adventure Park offers a giant maze, leaning climbing towers, flying foxes, a tree house, a rope bridge, basketball courts and just about any piece of play equipment your child or grandchild could imagine. Facilities include a kiosk, toilets, free BBQ facilities and seating. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Riverland.
Berri has a strong administrative focus in the Riverland. Citrus and vine fruits are the backbone of the local economy. An avenue of jacaranda trees draws the visitor to riverside gardens and lawns where the memorial to gentle Jimmy James stands. Visit the impressive Wilabalangaloo Reserve or climb the water tower for impressive views. Berri region is part of the Waikerie Bird Watcher's Trail
Loxton has been serving the local community since 1895 and rapidly expanded with irrigation. There is a strong German heritage associated with the early settlers. These pioneers made this flood-free town the garden centre of the Riverland. Visit the historical village, walk a nature trail or discover the ‘tree of knowledge’.
Local interest: Village Settlements
Faced with loss of population, unemployment and the associated social ills caused by a Depression, the South Australian Government of the 1890s proposed a bold social experiment realised by the eleven communial village settlements initiated in 1894 at sites including Waikerie, Lyrup and Kingston. This layed the foundations for the Riverland’s successful horticultural industry.
On your way to Kingston-on-Murray you'll drive through the small and quaint township of Moorook. Moorook Game Reserve and adjacent Loch Luna are well known for waterbirds. The reserve is made up of floodplain and wetland environment including Wachtels lagoon and a series of narrow creeks and shallow swamps. Moorook is part of the Waikerie Bird Watcher's Trail
Kingston-on-Murray was once a major crossing where 2 ferries worked. The Kingston bridge was completed in 1975. Now you can stop at a quiet riveside town and take the time to visit the internationally renown Banrock Station Wine and Visitors Centre for a wonderful meal and stroll around the local boardwalk and wetlands.
Return to Waikiere along the Sturt Highway is 36km from Kingston-on-Murray.