So you’ve decided you want to escape the city for somewhere a little more serene and a whole lot more relaxing. Lucky for you, we have just the thing!
Set your Google map for the Coorong and get ready to dial back the pace with an unmatched nature cruise with Spirit of the Coorong. This might just be the best way kick off your visit to our postcard-worthy, Storm Boy country.
And if you’re planning to visit from interstate, here’s your chance to explore the end point of the Murray River and see where the country’s longest river trickles into the Southern Ocean.
When it comes to cruising the Spirit of the Coorong treats its passengers to the hidden gems and local knowledge of this environment, that not even Google knows about (unbelievable right!?).
With over 50 years of experience under their belt, the Spirit of the Coorong team have curated a range of scenic tours ranging from 90 minutes to 6 hours, letting you cruise around the Murray Mouth and beyond in comfort and style.
If you’re still on our wavelength here, then take a read below of Spirit of the Coorong’s top cruising options, and plan your next sightseeing adventure around our rugged lagoons.
Spoiler: there’s something for the whole family to enjoy!
Ready to unearth the Coorong’s natural treasures and rich history on a half day cruise?
Slip on your walking shoes and slap on some sunscreen – the Discovery Cruise will whisk you away into Storm Boy territory.
Departing from the historic Goolwa Wharf, you’ll begin the tour with lunch served on-board, while cruising through to the Goolwa Barrage gates.
Here, you’ll likely spot some cheeky pelicans lapping up some fish for lunch, seals lazing in the sun and bird life frolicking in the water. As you float further along, you’ll be greeted by the famously changing hues of aqua at the Murray Mouth.
And as you guessed, it’s not called the ‘discovery’ cruise for nothing.
You’ll be given the opportunity to take a guided walk through the towering sand dunes, view Indigenous middens (mounds of shells deposited from many years of fishing) scattered along the sand, and walk along a bush tucker trail down to the spectacular 90-Mile Beach – if this name sounds familiar, it’s one of the filming locations from the 2019 Storm Boy movie remake.
If you haven’t already worked up an appetite by this time on the tour, there’s one more thing to attempt before meandering back to Goolwa with afternoon tea - the 'Coorong Shuffle', a technique used to dig for Pipis. So dig your toes and heels in, and have a go a catching your next (incredibly FRESH) snack!
While there’s multitudes of ways to explore the Coorong, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of the area and its culture after spending a day taking in all of its delights.
Do we even need to tell you that photo opportunities are absolutely everywhere in this patch of paradise?
Watch the breathtaking landscapes pass by from inside the cabin or from up top on the open-air deck. The further you drift into the Coorong National Park, the more you’ll get lost in the glimmer of the lagoons, the textured golden sand dunes and vibrant native flora.
This 6-hour Adventure Cruise gives you plenty of time to reconnect with the outdoors. This experience replicates the Discovery Cruise with a couple more added extras for your day out.
Picking up where the Discovery Cruise finishes, in the following three hours remaining you’ll be served a taster of Pipis to try, uncover more Storm Boy filming sites, and take a second guided walk to a significant Ngarrindjeri cultural site. We’d be surprised if you didn’t spot a resident emu or kangaroo during your time here too!
If you want a taste of the Coorong, but don’t have 3-6 hours to spare, then the Murray Mouth Cruise is the perfect bitesize sample of the area as you sail leisurely towards the Mouth, with insightful commentary from the cheerful captain and crew along the way.
But before you begin your journey, make a pitstop at one of the many delicious eateries found on the main street of Goolwa or along the Wharf Precinct. There are plenty to choose from too – and you can grab a takeaway (or sit down) meal and coffee, or park yourself for a while to refresh. Some of our favourites include, Motherduck, Bombora on the River, Hector’s on the Wharf, Goolwa Bakery, 90 Mile Wines: Wharf Barrel Shed or the Saltwater Café.
This cruise departs year-round every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30am. So if you’re looking to do something different, these upcoming school holidays – give this a go! The kids will love spotting the lazy fur-seals and birdlife along the way. Plus, you’re sure to leave with new knowledge on the significance of the Murray Mouth and Coorong environment and its native wildlife.
If you have some time to hang around after the cruise, a few of the best nearby playgrounds to visit are, the Bristow Smith Reserve nature playspace, wooden boat and treehouse at Amelia Park, various climbing and swinging play equipment at Arthur Neighbour Reserve, or the Goolwa skatepark and pump track.
Visiting with friends or family? River’s End Retreat is the perfect luxury group getaway offering five guest bedrooms, arguably the best uninterrupted views of the river and the Hindmarsh Island bridge and leisure facilities including a heated salt pool and indoor/outdoor games (not to mention the pet alpacas who you’ll come to know well!).
A great choice for families is the Goolwa Holiday and Caravan Park, or a spacious holiday home available through Airbnb.
Whichever cruise you choose, your next expedition to the Coorong and Murray Mouth will have you marking this spot on your ‘places to return to’ list.