MEET THE LOCALS
While you are with us, why not check out the local area. The Riverland is a gorgeous region with much to offer and Roonka is conveniently located for you to be able to head out and explore some of the local attractions.
Blanchetown is the home to Lock 1 and is the closest town to Roonka – just a short 10-minute drive away. You can wander along the old Blanchetown bridge to get a better view of the lock or drive to the Griffens Marina and admire the array of houseboats or around to the Paisley Lookout.
If you head North from Roonka, after about 30 minutes you will hit the town of Morgan. Here you will find the PS Canally and what was once the longest inland Wharf in the Southern Hemisphere. Head to the Morgan Museum or to the old tea rooms which now house the Morgan craft shop. You can wander along the Morgan Historical walk or up to the Billy Goat Hill Lookout to take in the amazing view of the limestone cliffs and the River Murray.
Waikerie is located 35 minutes from Roonka and is one of the larger towns in the Riverland. It is home to some spectacular silo art as well as the Riverland Citrus fruit industry. Waikerie is the best place to stop for some shopping or a trip to the bakery or you can spend some extra time and head to the Rain Moth Gallery or the Riverglen View Art Studio & Gallery. If your love a round of golf then head to the Waikerie Golf and Country Club or if walking is more your thing then the Hart Lagoon walking trails are for you. If you have the time to spare you can even jump on one of the cruises on offer by Rivergum Cruises.
Cadell is one of the smaller towns on the Murray and is about a 40 minute drive from Roonka (just past Morgan) You can go for a wander around the towns wetlands or visit the museum. If you are there at the right time of year you can visit the Cadell Harvest Festival and see the giant pumpkins in the Murray River Giant Pumpkin Competition.
The Riverland boasts some stunning flora and fauna and the local parks give you plenty of opportunities to check this out. Just West of Blanchetown Brookfield Conservation Park is a sanctuary for a wide variety of birds and native animals. You can even jump on one of the 3 self-drive tracks to explore the park. One of the other local parks is the Morgan Conservation Park. located on near Morgan, this park is filled with lagoons and River Red Gums and is a great place to go for a wander, drive or spend an afternoon fishing. Meanwhile, if birdwatching is your thing then Gluepot Reserve is the place for you. Approx. 50km North of Waikerie, Gluepot is filled with an array of unique bird species and walking trails. It is easy to spend the day wandering the park. Finally, If you are more interested in the Indigenous history of the area be sure to visit Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park South of Blanchetown. The traditional landowners (the Nganguraku people) will guide you through the park and give you some insight into their culture and history. Ensure to book a tour ahead of time though.
There are many places to explore across the Riverland that boast some of the best food and wine in SA. The Destination Riverland website has information about great food & wine options, including a cellar door guide.
Illalangi Gourmet Foods in Waikerie is locally owned and brings together a range of local foods and products. Located close buy, Viewpoint Café overlooks the Murray River and is a great place to stop for a quick coffee, some takeaway or to enjoy a meal. While further down the River Caudo Vineyard is a favourite of many and is located just out of Cadell. Stop in to pick up some of their famed sangria or stay for a wood fire oven pizza and a spot of wine tasting on the banks of the Murray. Burk Salter Wines is a boutique Cellar Door that are located just out of Blanchetown. They offer a great wetlands tour on a restored 1927 Chevrolet Truck as well as some great wine tasting.
HOW TO GET HERE
Roonka is located approximately 7km north of Blanchetown on the banks of the River Murray. How to get here:
- From Adelaide, travel towards Blanchetown via Truro
- Turn left towards Morgan (on Murraylands Rd) by the Shell Roadhouse.
- After approximately 6.5km, look for ‘Roonka Water Activity Centre’ sign on the left-hand side.
- Drive another 400m along the road and you will see another “Roonka” sign. Turn right through a gateway and across a cattle grid.
- Cross a second cattle grid and proceed to a T intersection.
- Turn right and proceed down the hill until you reach our sign-posted first gate.
- Proceed through the gate and continue to the second gate (Next to this gate is a private residence, please be as quiet as possible at night).
- The second gate may be open or closed (leave it as you found it) – proceed through – following signs to “Wardens Cottage” for booking in and allocation of a camping site or Bunkhouse.
- Park vehicles in the car park after you are settled in.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR GUESTS
FRUIT FLY OUTBREAK – Blanchetown and the greater Riverland area currently have a number of fruit fly outbreaks. This has resulted in restrictions applying to the movement of at-risk fruit and vegetables within our region. To further understand these restrictions, please visit fruitfly.sa.gov.au when planning your visit.