While you might be bummed to miss out on another overseas holiday this summer, it doesn’t mean travel has to be off the cards completely. We’ve got an idea that will help you start chipping away at those bucket list items, and it’s right here on our own soil - no passport required.
Keep it local with a summer staycation at Murray Bridge’s new $45 million, six-storey, riverfront Bridgeport Hotel.
During your stay, squeeze in up-close animal experiences, leisurely days cooling off by the pool or river, walking along our waterfront trail networks or letting off some steam at our upcoming music festivals and race days.
Where better to take a mini-break than the new Bridgeport Hotel? With 100 rooms boasting river and city views, a few nights spent here will give you ample time to get to know our laidback river lifestyle, while also being in the heart of our action-packed region.
While the Bridgeport has been a part of the local Murray Bridge landscape since the late 1800’s, its new $45 million look has revitalised your visitor experience.
The multiple dining options make it feel like you’re getting a new feel each time you sit down – whether it be on the Terrace for a casual lunch overlooking the riverfront, the Rivergum Restaurant for an intimate dinner with a glass of SA wine or beer, the lounge for cocktail night or high tea, the CODS Bar for some live sports action, or an exceptional room service brekky delivered to your room.
But, we won’t spoil what else is waiting for you. Keep reading to get a few ideas to include in your itinerary while staying here with your partner, friends or family.
Options for families:
Cool off at the local pool. The Murray Bridge Swimming Centre has a recently-upgraded Olympic size pool, a medium sized learner’s pool and a toddler’s pool making it great for the whole family.
The kids will most likely make a beeline to the water park. With a 48 metre Supa Slide, 5 smaller slides, tipping bucket and mushroom water feature, who could blame them!
Find a spot along the shaded grass for a picnic lunch (free barbeque facilities available), or pop to the local bakery or café just across the road.If you’re planning to book your stay over January, you’ll make it just in time for the annual Murray River Splash Fest which launches on New Year’s Eve across the road at Sturt Reserve - you might even be able to see a preview of the action from your Riverview room or while dining on The Terrace!
Each Thursday to Sunday, this riverside Splash Fest event offers some of the most fun activities a kid can have, including circus school, laser tag, skate park events, ‘come and try’ canoeing, rowing, dragon boating, a range of workshops and other entertainment. And of course, it’s not a trip to Sturt Reserve without visiting Bertha the Bunyip!
Options for couples and friends:
The Bridgeport’s infinity pool is exclusive for guests (and the only one in the region) making it an absolute-must while staying here. So make sure to pack your bathers and let the holiday vibes roll!
This might be one of the most pictured areas in the hotel, and once you’re up here you’ll understand why! The panoramic views over the riverfront are unforgettable. Plus, with access to a bar (bring on the cocktails and beers!) you’ll be glad you escaped the crowds to this slice of paradise.
Spending time on the river is obligatory while in the area. If you’re keen to have someone else take you places, try Four Knots Murray River Cruises, the Captain Proud, Proud Mary, or for something a little different - Juggle House Experiences can chauffeur you around the region for stargazing, wine tasting and more on pre-planned itineraries.
If you like to keep active while away, give the Hotel’s modern gym a go - or better yet, get outdoors.
We have numerous walking trails that take you along the river’s edge, through wetlands, over and under the iconic Murray Bridge car and rail bridges - right in the mix of nature.
Tip: If the kids are tagging along, there are many Geocaching spots found around the town.
The newly built Trail Head at Sturt Reserve (a steel structure by the rowing club), marks out the six local routes included in the Murraylands trails network.
A few of our favourites include:
Rocky Gully Wetlands; and
Thiele Reserve to Long Flat (along the levee banks).
@Rural City of Murray Bridge
If you’re a paddler, launch the kayak from a nearby boat ramp, and take off on the Water Discovery Trail, stopping at cultural and historical sites including Riverglades Wetlands, Mobilong Pump Station, Pomberuk/Hume Reserve, the Round House, the historic twin bridges, Wharf Precinct, Sturt Reserve, Lentelin/Long Island and Swanport Wetlands.
Once you’ve had enough, make your way back to the Bridgeport’s Rivergum Restaurant to rehydrate and refuel with tasty eats like the chargrilled beef sirloin, slow-cooked lamb rump, haloumi burger, shredded Thai salad or a classic margherita pizza.
Check out the kid’s menu here.
If you have a wildlife warrior on your hands (or simply crave the adrenaline of being only centimetres away from a lion’s teeth during the Lions 360), then you’ll be tempted by an afternoon at Monarto Safari Park.
This is the largest safari park that exists outside of Africa - and has the reputation to boot. It has more than 500 animals, including 50 species of exotic and native mammals, birds and reptiles - some of which, you can get within a whiskers distance from.
If not the famous lions, then perhaps try hand-feeding giraffes on the Giraffe Safari, saying hello to the curious chimps or having the pitter patter of meerkat paws over your lap. These experiences are a little more light-hearted for the kids. Make sure to hop aboard the free Zu-loop bus to conveniently travel around the open plains of the Park and hop off at the various viewing platforms.
Our region’s lively events calendar makes for a worthwhile excuse to plan a weekend away with us - and the Bridgeport Hotel is the perfect spot to unwind from all the fun.
Upcoming events to plan your 2022 holiday around include:
Mannum’s Sounds By The River (8-9 April); and
Often the Bridgeport has live free music, drink specials and bingo nights so you can keep the good times going - check out what’s on here.
Tip: Take a look at our regional visitor guide for more on our annual events.
Now that you’ve got a few ideas to fill your summer staycation, go ahead a book your week away at the Bridgeport Hotel!
Please remember to observe social distancing and good hygiene habits and use the QR code check-ins, to keep yourself and others safe while travelling. Some listed venues/experiences may be closed or have restrictions – be sure to check ahead to avoid disappointment. Visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au for current COVID-19 alerts, restrictions, and information.