Moods of the Murray

The Murray River at RenmarkIt stretches for over 2,500 kms, starts its journey from the Australian Alps and ends at the mouth of the Southern Ocean in South Australia. Almost 2000 km of it is navigable, making it the third longest navigable river on the planet, with only the Amazon and Nile rivers behind it.

The Mighty Murray. It’s Australia’s longest river and, not surprisingly, has become a favourite camping destination for many Aussies, us included. Over the years we’ve camped along many of its shores and recently, in our new off-road van, we enjoyed another part of it.

Cobram Regional Park

This is where we recently spent a weekend in our new Journey Outback, her maiden voyage.

This tranquil spot is just three hours from home, in the Cobram Regional Park which spans the Victorian border and Barooga in the Murray Valley National Park NSW.  It’s an area that encompasses many sandy river beaches and free camp spots.

There’s places like Bourkes Bend, Scott’s Beach, Old Toms and Dead End camp on the Victorian side. Across the river on the NSW side there’s Quicks Beach and more than enough space for everyone to have their own piece of river paradise.

We set up the new van at Horseshoe Bend, a peaceful spot to immerse ourselves in river life … and lots of ducks. Brilliant!


I love this area. It’s home to paddle steamers that cruise the Murray and loads of music festivals at various times of the year. In June you can combine the two with a blues cruise on board one of the steamers.

There are plenty of caravan parks on both sides of the border. In July we stayed at Moama Waters for the Winter Blues festival, our very last trip in the Dove. We packed up in torrential rain which proved pretty memorable.

In the latest (Nov/Dec) edition of On the Road Magazine my story on the Winter Blues Festival appears, as well as my caravan park review on Moama Waters.


A flashback in time with our beloved Bluey in Mildura

Mildura, at six hours from home, is a bit more of a hike but generally warmer than the rest of the state. Basking in a semi Meditteranean climate there’s lots of appealing reasons to visit … glorious renowned restaurants like Stefan’s, freshly grown produce, events all year round and an easy pace of life that makes me think I could easily live here.

One of our earliest camping trips was here with our beloved Bluey, pre kids. Years later we went hot air ballooning here, seeing the river from a completely different perspective. So many memories.

All going well, we’ll be heading up there again in a few weeks, en route to Mungo National Park, making new memories.

Barmah Forest and Mathoura

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.  A.A Milne

Peaceful fishing, relaxing by campfires and searching for brumbies (for our horse mad young daughter) are memories that stand out from our visits to the Murray near Mathoura and the nearby Barmah Forest.

Brumbies have lived in the Barmah forest since the beginning of last century. The issue of culling them is a controversial one that continues today. Just don’t bring it up around my daughter!

In here you’ll find the world’s largest River Red Gum forest adjoining the river. There’s camp grounds, sandy beaches, lagoons and prolific birdlife.

Renmark, SA

All bridges can be crossed … some even go up.

This is the Paringa Bridge in South Australia, which spans the Murray River in Renmark. It was built in 1927, only one of two bridges that open in the state.  It opens to let vessels through at various times of the day. Our campsite was on the other side of the bridge where we stayed whilst travelling home from the Eyre Peninsula.

During the day the river was full of activity – water skiers, jet skis and house boats.  At night time the mood was more subdued, quiet and peaceful as river life slowed and we walked along the pedestrian track of the bridge, where once a railway line saw trains transporting freight.

One of the highlights of our stay was an awesome ride on Elka the air boat, gliding through the swamps and lagoons of the area. Feeling immersed in nature always fuels the senses and is the perfect way to explore the waterways.


Romance and harmony
River swimming, tangled hair and flowing in harmony

We spent four hot summer days and nights at Walwa Riverside Park and I remember most of our time was spent in the water. Located on the Murray between Albury and Corryong (another favourite place) Walwa is lush, peaceful and surrounded by rolling green hills.

One night a storm came through, turning the sky black. Harry, who was sleeping inside the car, in his angst, chewed through the interior lining. When we realised and got him out, he was spooked and bolted, and there began our midnight river search.


Cohuna Me in river
Life is about holding on, letting go and learning to laugh at yourself along the way

The sites at the Cohuna Waterfront Holiday Park are great value but that’s not what I remember most about this place.

When I think of Cohuna I’m reminded, embarrassingly, of the swing that sent me flying into the river, fully clothed. I’m not sure what I was thinking but everyone else got a good laugh.

Despite, or perhaps because of my jungle swinging antics, it was a relaxing, memorable trip spent with good friends, one filled with lots of fun and laughter. At the end of the day I guess that’s what camping, and life, is all about.

When the rivers flow and the years go by …

Oh yes, the Murray has many moods … just like us. She can be calm and tranquil. She can be playful. And she can be deep and forbidding. She’s a river to treat with respect.

I’ve barely skimmed the surface of her length and breadth but one thing’s for certain, there’s never a shortage of places to play and stay along her shores. Half the joy is discovering them, just as we Journey and discover the different phases of our life.

Solitary on the Murray (800x600)

Here’s to embracing all of our moods, going with the flow of life and enjoying every new adventure and discovery along the way.

Happy travels everyone.

In love and light

Camped at the Coorong

“Think like a river and leave a legacy of beauty and life.  Flow with the current and float with joy and peace.” 

(Photo taken earlier this year at Lake Albert, the Coorong, part of the Murray-Darling basin)

59 thoughts on “Moods of the Murray

    1. The Journey was great Carol, we love it, lots of room and very easy to tow. And I’m looking forward to visiting Mungo again. We went years ago and it was amazing, this time we’re taking my sister.


  1. Rivers are so thought provoking! I don’t know what it is but whenever I see one (rare these days!) I just want to stop, sit next to it, and think.

    Thank you for the lovely views, my friend! Stay safe (and dry! lol) on your voyages!

    xoxox ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ness, I so agree with you. Any body of water, a river, lake or ocean makes me slow down, relax and just contemplate life. One of the beauties of camping.
      Thank you as always for your lovely words my friend. Hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy to have found you and to read about you and your blog through Andrew’s words. You are an inspiration

    Love these images and the way you write and express your adventures and thoughts.
    Many hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Miriam, I just put on some Xavier Rudd songs and dreamed myself to Murray river. Would love to try out that airboat ride myself sometime, and check out those Blues festivals! Your writing reminds me of why I fell in love with Australia in the first place, and the relaxed and life-affirming Aussie mindset shines through beautifully in your gorgeous writing. If i keep reading your posts – which i bloody will :P- I´ll be back in Down Under in no time mate! Lol. Enjoy your day lovely xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful comment Maria! Xavier Rudd would have been the perfect accompaniment to my river post. So glad I was able to induce a bit of Aussie nostalgia for you, hopefully I can take you along on many more journeys. Hope you’re having a wonderful week. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Miriam – Thank you for taking us to this beautiful area. Good memories, family and friends, beautiful surroundings…what could be better?
    Once again, your words here are very wise. Life is about holding on, letting go and learning to laugh at ourselves along the way. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful river, Miriam. Your photos convey a sense of relaxation and leisure. We lived in Sydney for a few months and loved every minute. Driving along the southern coast to Adelaide is a great memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Murray appears to offer tons of amazing adventures (that swing looks like it has a lot of potential for fun). It looks like you chose a beautiful location for the maiden voyage of your Journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Miriam, thank you for bringing us along the Mighty Murray! I loved reading about your antics along the way, chucking at your swing rope (mis)- adventure, poor Harry in the storm. A wonderful place to explore, with stunning views and novel bridges. I’m glad you all had special times along the way as well as resulting in a superb article (wish I could read it all!). Happy Travels, my friend! 😀🌺❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Annika, the Murray has certainly been a place of many adventures over the years. So glad you enjoyed, it’s always nice to have you along for the ride. Hope you’re having a good week. xx ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Murray sounds like river for me. I have always dreamed about going the full stretch of the Amazon, the Nile and the Congo river. Now I have to add Murray to my bucket list. Thank you, Miriam, always fun to learn about new places.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s nothing like water…a lake, a river, or even the ocean….to cause us to relax and unwind. The photos are are fabulous (and funny in the case of the one of the swing). The river reminds me of the Mississippi, near where I live. It’s awesome and we have to respect it, but it also offers so many opportunities to get out and enjoy nature. Thanks for sharing this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You betcha, it’s a mighty river, no doubt Jo! And thankfully, no fires where we are, though it’s pretty devastating further north. Scary considering our summer hasn’t even begun!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. oh Miriam you’ve brought back so many fond memories! I lived for years in Deni [Deniliquin] and the Murray was our playground. You’ve captured it’s spirit well 🙂

    but no comment on the new van, how did it go?

    This didn’t come into my reader and guessing it didn’t make into others as well … maybe repost it? WP has some shocking gremlins at the moment, and it’s super slow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks so much Kate. I’m glad my post brought back happy memories for you.
      The new van is awesome. We love it. A few minor hiccups but all good. Second trip coming up in it to Mungo next week, that’ll be a much bigger one and I’m looking forward to taking my sister this time. She’ll be swagging it so getting the full camping experience. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, no jungle swing for me right now PC though I’m happy to say the van is fabulous. In fact we’re heading out again this Friday for a few days of desert touring. Hope you’re doing well. 😊


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