What to See & Do in Murray Bridge

 


Murray Bridge is a surprisingly big city that has to, at least once, be experienced on foot. The best way is to follow the directions and information supplied in a brochure called "Let's Walk Around Murray Bridge" which is available at the Tourist Information Office on South Terrace (where the walk also starts). It will take you on a circuit around the centre of town including Edwards Square (with the Lyric Theatre facade), Diamond Park (named to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897), the St John Baptist Pro-Cathedral (the smallest cathedral in Australia), the World War II Memorial Playground, the Community Mural on Third Street, the old Limestone Homes (1893), the Railway Station (1886), the local Post Office, the railway tunnel, the Roundhouse (1874), the National Trust 700 metre iron bridge (1873-79), the Old Pump House (1897), Bridgeport Hotel (1884), Town Hall (1910), Bells Store (1884), Ruges Arcade (1920s) and the new Mobilong House.

You can visit the mystical "Bunyip". A coin operated monster at the town's popular riverfront resort the Sturt Reserve. When a coin is inserted in the machine the Bunyip raises from the depths of its cave, booming forth it's loud ferocious roar. The Bunyip is a legendary animal in which Aboriginals firmly believed. It was supposed to have haunted swamps, rivers and shallow lakes in Australia and Tasmania. When tired of a crayfish diet it turned to eating black fellows. According to Australian natives, the Bunyip still lives, but Europeans are unable to see it. The Bunyip can best, and only, be described as fabulous. Seeing the Bunyip while visiting or travelling through Murray Bridge is a must.

Aborigines told European settlers of the 1800s about this creature. The Bunyip was said to live in creeks, riverbeds, waterholes and swamps, emerging at night to terrify and devour any animal or human prey in the vicinity. Its terrifying cries were said to ring out, disturbing the stillness of the night. Lonely and isolated white settlers heard these unfamiliar sounds, wondering and worrying about the existence of an animal monster, native only to Australia. Aborigines seemed genuinely afraid of the creature and would not go near any area of water where they thought a Bunyip might be lurking. Settlers were anxious to prove or disprove its physical existence. Various believed the sightings of Bunyips and were reported in the press with the findings of fossil bones being scientifically examined. It was not until the turn of the century that the physical existence of the Bunyip was disproved.

 Looking for a bit of History? Then visit The Captain's Cottage Museum, on Thomas St (south of the main highway through town), which was built for Captain Johnson in 1890. It has been carefully restored and features unique displays of memorabilia, photos and machinery from the local area.

The Monarto Zoological Park, north-west of Murray Bridge on the Princes Hwy, is a 1,000 hectare open-range sanctuary undertaking a major role nationally and internationally in breeding programs for rare and endangered species.

The Zoo is located 45 minutes (70 kms) from South Australia's capital city, Adelaide and is the gateway to the picturesque Murraylands region. This unique adventure features, South Australia's first ever Southern White Rhinoceros, Australia's largest Giraffe herd and the largest revegetation project of it's kind in South Australia's history!

Adventurous safari bus and walking tours operate every day of the year, which are led by trained volunteer tour guides.

Want to dine-out with a difference? The
M.V. Expedition (paddle steamer) is a modern boat built in 1985 and offers a variety of cruises ranging from morning tea cruises to 2 and 5 day journeys up the Murray River. The M.V. Expedition offers a fully licensed restaurant offering lunch and evening cruises and caters for up to 40 guests in 18 Deluxe Riverview Cabins. Their executive chef provides 3 delicious meals daily within their well appointed dining room and lounge or utilize their ample open and covered sun-deck. This boutique location offers a unique and original wedding experience, catering for 100 people cocktail style and 50 people sit down dinner.

 

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