The Murraylands region takes its name from the River Murray, which runs through it for 200 kilometres (120 miles)
The South Australian Railways constructed 715 kilometres (444 miles) of lightly built railway lines to encourage agricultural development throughout the Murraylands in the 1910s

The Murraylands is a geographical region of the Australian state of South Australia (SA); its name reflects that of the river running through it. Lying due east of South Australia's capital city, Adelaide, it extends from the eastern slopes of the Mount Lofty Ranges to the border with the state of Victoria, a distance of about 180 kilometres (110 miles). The north-to-south distance is about 130 kilometres (81 miles). The region's economy is centred on agriculture (especially vegetables, grains and livestock), and tourism, especially along its 200-kilometre (120-mile) frontage of the River Murray.[note 1]

The main towns in the region, in order of population at the 2016 census, are:[note 2]

These towns' populations totalled 24,600.[2] People living outside the towns approximated 8,000.[note 3]

The region has a Mediterranean climate, with warm to hot, dry summers and mild winters. Mean maximum temperatures range from 22.3 °C (72 °F) in the south to 23.6 °C (74 °F) in the north; minimums are from 8.8 °C (48 °F) to 8.8 °C (48 °F) respectively.[4]

Regional context

The Murraylands region is long established in South Australia and the name is widely used by residents of the region and elsewhere in the state, but there is a multiplicity of names that refer to the geography in that part of the state. Local Government Areas and South Australian Government Regions continually change, and in the case of the Murraylands, its boundaries no longer correspond exactly with other types of divisions. The 2018 state electorate of Hammond had the nearest-equivalent borders.[5] The South Australian Government region of which it was part was Murray and Mallee, extending about 170 kilometres (110 miles) north of the Murraylands to include the Riverland region; and extending to the south of the Murraylands to The Coorong.[3] Of similar size to the Murray and Mallee region is Regional Development Australia's Murraylands and Riverland Region.[6] A generic term, applied to a larger area than the Murraylands, is Murray Mallee. Tourism regions are different again: the South Australian Tourism Commission includes the Murraylands with the lakes at the mouth of the Murray, and The Coorong, in an area that earned $148  million in 2018.[7] The area extends well into the state of Victoria, where it is known simply as The Mallee.[note 4]


Wheat farming dominates much of the Murraylands landscape

The Murraylands economy is strongly reliant on primary industry. In 2014–15, primary production accounted for 41.6 per cent of the gross regional product in the SA Government's Murray and Mallee region. Within the Murraylands, the top three commodities were vegetables, grains and livestock.[11][12] From 2001 to 2009 and 2017 to 2019, the Murraylands region was one of many regions in south-east Australia afflicted by severe drought, which significantly degraded the economy.[13][14]


As of 2021, local government councils within the Murraylands were:

Recreation and tourism

Recreational opportunities are abundant in the region. There are many sport facilities, reserves, parks, and trails for walking, cycling and horse riding.[15] Many are connected to the River Murray. A major government program has funded a Murray Coorong Trail initiative, which will eventually connect a range of loop trails and experiences beside or near the river for 250 kilometres (160 miles) from Cadell in the Riverland to Salt Creek in the Coorong National Park; as of 2021 a 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) walking trail had been completed at Parnka Point in Coorong National Park and others were being constructed.[16]

Recreational fishing and watersports are especially popular. The Murray Bridge Rowing Club, founded in 1909, is one of South Australia's oldest rowing clubs[17] and has fostered many champions, including recent world champion and Olympic medal winner, James McRae; and Walter Pfeiffer, Walter Jarvis, Frank Cummings, Ted Thomas (rower), Herbert Graetz, William Sladden, Robert Cummings, Arthur Scott, and Alf Taeuber.

Festivals and events

As of 2021:

  • January: Asian Le Mans Series car races and other motorsport events, The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend
  • January: Murray River Splash program (family fun activities)
  • February: Murray Bridge Fringe, a three-day event
  • March: Revolve24, "fast, safe, fun-on-a-bike weekend festival of cycling, The Bend Motorpsort Park, Tailem Bend
  • September–April: Murray Bridge Speedway events
  • September: Australian International Pedal Prix, Murray Bridge
  • October: Callington Show
  • October, March: Country by the River, a two-day music festival, Murray Bridge
  • October, December: Motorsport Australia Championships, The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend
  • November: All Steamed Up – engine, blacksmith and classic boat festival, Mannum
  • Every month: Mannum Cars and Coffee, in Arnold Park, Mannum
  • Various days: Murray Bridge Racing Club events and races.

River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve

At the north-west corner of the Murraylands is the River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve, an area of 3200 square kilometres (1200 square miles) centred on the Swan Reach Conservation Park – one of the darkest locations in the world. The darkness is enhanced by the dry climate and low humidity with long periods of clear skies all year round. Low population, freedom from major development, and supportive policies of the Mid Murray Council regarding artificial light and future development were also crucial in the reserve being established.[18]


Respect for the natural environment on which they depend is a strong characteristic of people in the area. The region has a number of national parks and conservation areas where bush walking, sightseeing, bird watching, camping, caravanning, 4-wheel driving and orienteering activities are welcome. They include:[19]


As of 2021, the Murraylands region had 47 educational establishments within and immediately outside its boundaries, as shown in the table.

Educational establishments
Pre-school Primary Secondary and TAFE*
Morgan Preschool** Morgan Primary School** Swan Reach Area School
Swan Reach and Area Kindergarten Truro Primary School Mannum Community College
Mannum Kindergarten Blanchetown Primary School Murray Bridge High School
Murray Bridge Preschool Kindergarten Cambrai Area School** Unity College, Murray Bridge
Callington Kindergarten Swan Reach Primary School Tyndale Christian School, Murray Bridge
Tailem Bend Kindergarten Swan Reach Area School St Joseph's School, Murray Bridge
Meningie Kindergarten** Palmer Primary School Meningie Area School**
Coonalpyn Kindergarten** Mypolonga Primary School Lameroo Regional Community School
Tintinara Preschool** Murray Bridge South Primary School Murray Bridge TAFE
Lameroo and District Kindergarten Murray Bridge North Primary School
Pinnaroo Kindergarten Fraser Park Primary School, Murray Bridge
Concordia Kindergarten Murray Bridge State School
Callington Primary School
Tailem Bend Primary School
Meningie Area School**
Salt Creek Primary School
Coonalpyn Primary School
Coomandook Area School
Tintinara Area School**
Lameroo Regional Community School
Pinnaroo Primary School
Karoonda Area School
Mannum Community College Junior School
Tyndale Christian School, Murray Bridge
St Joseph's School, Murray Bridge
Unity College Junior School, Murray Bridge
*TAFE: Technical and further education college.  **Located just outside the formal Murraylands boundary.



  1. ^ It is customary in South Australia to use this word order when referring to the two major rivers of the state, as reflected in the naming principles issued by the Government of South Australia, which include: ... "'river' should be used as a generic term following the specific name of the feature – e.g. 'Onkaparinga River' – except when referring to the River Torrens or River Murray."[1] South Australians may also place "River" first when referring to the Darling River, the major tributary that joins the Murray in New South Wales.
  2. ^ A few kilometres outside the boundaries are Coonalpyn in the south and Meningie in the south-west, with populations of 1118 and 313 respectively; they are not included in this article.
  3. ^ Difference between 32,600 population of council districts[3] (adjusted for variations in settlements) and the total town populations.[2]
  4. ^ The term mallee applies to various species of trees or woody plants, mainly of the genus Eucalyptus, which grow with multiple stems springing from an underground bulbous woody structure (a lignotuber, or mallee root), usually to a height of no more than 2‑9 metres (6‑30 feet).[8] The term is also applied to land where mallee eucalypts grow – generally flat without hills or tall trees and where the climate is semi-arid.[9][10]
  5. ^ Only the lightly populated south-eastern part of the council district is within the Murraylands.
  6. ^ Only the northern half of the council district is within the Murraylands.


  1. ^ "Geographical names guidelines". Planning and property. Attorney-General's Department (Government of South Australia). August 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Advanced search". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Search result for "Karoonda, Locb" with the "SA Government Regions" dataset selected". Location SA Map viewer. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Climate data online: map search". Bureau of Meteorology. 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Interactive map: search results for Hammond in 2018-2022 districts". Electoral Commission South Australia. 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Murraylands and Riverland South Australia". Regional Development Australia. 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  7. ^ "South Australian visitor economy sector plan 2030" (PDF). South Australian Tourism Commission. 2019. p. 16. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Habit". Euclid. Australian National Botanic Gardens. Archived from the original on 9 February 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2007.
  9. ^ "Plants of the Mallee Shrublands" (PDF). Australian Government - Parks Australia. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Mallee Woodlands and Shrublands". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Regional Profile Murray & Mallee 2014-15 (final)". Data SA. Government of South Australia. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Murraylands and Riverland South Australia" (PDF). Primary Industries and Regions SA. p. 2. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  13. ^ "Annual Australian Climate Statement 2009". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Drought". Bureau of Meteorology. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Leisure facilities". Rural City of Murray Bridge. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Trails and walks". Coorong District Council. July 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Murray Bridge Rowing Club History". Murray Bridge Rowing Club. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  18. ^ "River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve fact sheet" (PDF). The Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Tourism Alliance. 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  19. ^ Murray River: Riverland, lakes and Coorong visitor guide. South Australia Tourism Commission. 2015. pp. 20–21.