Swan Reach

Swan Reach (including Nildottie and Punyelroo)
An early river port now a holiday destination on the Murray River
Located 127 km north east of Adelaide on the Murray River between Blanchetown and Mannum, Swan Reach is a fascinating example of how slowly the Murray flows when it gets near Lake Alexandrina. At this point, although the traveller is still more than 80 km from the river's mouth, the river's elevation is only 0.75 m above sea level.

Swan Reach was first settled in the 1850s and was originally the largest of five sheep and cattle stations in the area. The original Swan Reach homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel and some of the old stables are still standing at the back of the hotel.

Swan Reach became one of the first riverboat ports in South Australia and was a loading port for grain and wool. Trading boats came through once a week to sell their wide range of goods. However they were soon replaced by the General Store when the rail link from Morgan to Adelaide was opened up. The paddle boat trade at Swan Reach dwindled as Morgan became South Australia¹s busiest port of the time. As a reminder of those historic days some old loading facilities still remain on the cliff face. The ferry has always been an important method of crossing the river and was first installed in 1897 and was operated by a hand winch.

Swan Reach is still basically a rural town for sheep and cereal farming with some irrigated fruit and vegetable produce also grown. Population in 1990 was 275 permanent residents (this has now dropped to 220). This population expands during weekends and holidays. The local tourist industry revolves, in the main, around Adelaide-based shack and cabin dwellers on the riverfront downstream from the town.

Things to see:

Nildottie
Nildottie is 39 m above sea level and has a rainfall 200 mm (less than 10 inches a year in old measurement). Nildottie has only a couple of dozen houses. It is located at a point where the Murray river's channels start to spread and anabranch across the landscape. There are numerous birds living in the area and the town's location is on vividly coloured and ancient limestone cliffs.

Punyelroo
The word 'punyelroo' is supposed to mean 'nice camping spot'. It is located only 7 km downstream from Swan Reach. It has the usual array of riverside attractions including excellent views across the Murray and a number of stores for those people travelling the river by boat. It is very popular with waterskiers.

Swan Reach Hotel
Main St P.O. Box 2
Swan Reach SA 5354
Telephone: (08) 8570 2003

Punyelroo Caravan Park
Riverfront P.O. Box 65
Swan Reach SA 5354
Telephone: (08) 8570 2021
Rating: ***

Swan Reach Caravan Park
Victoria St
Swan Reach SA 5354
Telephone: (08) 8570 2010

Swan Reach Hotel
Main St P.O. Box 2
Swan Reach SA 5354
Telephone: (08) 8570 2003

Swan Reach Takeaway
1 Victoria St
Swan Reach SA 5354
Telephone: (08) 7850 2211

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