Swan Reach

Big Bend on the Murray River, South Australian Tourism Commission

Population 237

This quiet little township on the Murray River was once one of five large sheep stations; the original homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel. Established as one of the first river ports for Murray River trade, the introduction of rail, and Morgan's rise as one of the state's busiest ports, saw the era of paddlesteamers in Swan Reach decline. Today the picturesque river scenery and excellent fishing make the town a popular holiday destination.

Visitor Information

General Store, 47 Anzac Ave; (08) 8570 2036 or 1800 442 784


Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Mannum

    Mannum is one of the oldest towns on the Murray River, at the romantic heart of the old paddlesteamer days. In 1853 the 'Father of Mannum',...more

  • Angaston

    Angaston takes its name from George Fife Angas who purchased the original plot of land on which the town now stands. He was a prominent...more

  • Waikerie

    Waikerie, the citrus centre of Australia, is surrounded by an oasis of irrigated orchards and vineyards in the midst of the mallee-scrub...more

In Town

Museum: local history displays with special interest in Swan Reach's flood history, the waters having devastated the town in the early 1900s; Nildottie Rd.


Yookamurra Sanctuary This sanctuary represents an initiative to restore 1100 ha of land to its original state. Fittingly, the sanctuary is named Yookamurra after the Aboriginal word for 'yesterday'. The mallee vegetation that was found here before European habitation has been replanted; keep an eye out for the rare and endangered numbat or the bilby and woylie. Walking tours and overnight stays are available. Bookings are essential, (08) 8562 5011; Pipeline Rd, Sedan; 21 km W.

Murray Aquaculture Yabby Farm: catch your own yabbies; 1.5 km E.

Ridley and Swan Reach conservation parks: both parks represent typical western Murray vegetation and protect the habitat of the hairy-nosed wombat; 7.5 km S and 10 km W respectively.

Ngaut Ngaut Boardwalk: guided tours of archaeological site, established when an ancient skeleton was discovered; Nildottie; 14 km S .

Big Bend: imposing Murray cliffs, the tallest found on the river, home to diverse flora and fauna. Spectacular nightly tours are available; inquiries (08) 8570 1097; 20 km downstream.

Bakara Conservation Park: mallee-covered plains and sand dunes, important habitat for the mallee fowl; 32 km E.

Brookfield Conservation Park: bushwalking in limestone country to see hairy-nosed wombats, red kangaroos and a variety of bird species; 40 km NW.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Wine-tasting - Nuriootpa and Angaston 56 km

Elderton Wines near Nuriootpa is a carbonneutral winery. Its cellar door is partially solar-powered and the vineyard is using biodynamic methods of production. Yalumba in Angaston has three organic wines and an... Find out more

Cycling in the Barossa 59 km

In the Barossa, you can hire bikes from the visitor centre in Tanunda and take the paved 7-kilometre cycle path to Nuriootpa. For a guided, multi-day supported bike tour, sampling the best of the region’s cuisine... Find out more

Campsites around town

Ridley camping area (bush camping) 10 km

Self-sufficient bush camping is permitted in the park, 8 km south of Swan Reach on the way to Mannum.... Find out more

Swan Reach camping area (bush camping) 10 km

Sites for self-sufficient bush camping are signposted off Swan Reach–Sedan Rd, 10 km west of Swan Reach. Near here, on an unsealed road off the Swan Reach–Walker Flat Rd, are spectacular views of the Murray... Find out more

John S Christian Reserve camping area 18 km

There’s self-sufficient camping on Marne Valley Rd, 15 km north-west of Walker Flat, beside the Marne River.... Find out more

Hettner Landing camping area 21 km

On the northern side of Walker Flat village on Walker Flat Rd, this camping area is on the Morgan-to-Mannum stretch of the Murray River.... Find out more

Walker Flat Boat Ramp Reserve camping area 21 km

On the southern side of Walker Flat village, 31 km north of Mannum, this campsite is on the Morgan-to-Mannum stretch of the Murray River, with great natural cliff views.... Find out more

Caurnamont Riverside Reserve camping area 31 km

Just across the water from Purnong, Caurnamont is a small cluster of riverside shacks on the Morgan-to-Mannum stretch of the Murray River. The reserve is in the village, beside the ferry.... Find out more

Purnong Riverside Reserve camping area 32 km

In Purnong village beside the ferry on Purnong Rd, this camping area is on the Morgan-to-Mannum stretch of the Murray River. This is a large grassy clearing next to the ferry landing, shaded by mature river red gums.... Find out more

Haythorpe Reserve camping area 45 km

This reserve is in Mannum, on the eastern side of the river on Bowhill Rd, north of the ferry. The site has a boat ramp.... Find out more

Lowan camping area (bush camping) 46 km

Offering self-sufficient bush camping, with no facilities, this camping area is reached from the park entrance on the northern boundary on Bow Hill–Karoonda Rd, 13 km south-east of Bow Hill. There’s plenty of... Find out more

Bolto Reserve camping area 47 km

On Khartoum Rd, this camping area is south of the ferry on the east side of the river, in the Morgan-to-Mannum stretch of the Murray River. Pay fees to the council.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

BIG4 Blanchetown Riverside Holiday Park 24 km

This well-maintained park is in a picturesque spot on the banks of the Murray River, just below the Blanchetown lock. It is a smaller, good quality park with a range of accommodation, about 500 metres from the town... Find out more

Barossa Valley Tourist Park 56 km

This good quality Barossa Valley caravan park has a large number of sites, a choice of accommodation and a range of facilities including tennis courts. It is within walking distance of the town centre and close to... Find out more

Waikerie Caravan Park 56 km

A large council park close to the river on the edge of town, this is in a pretty setting, easily located, with good amenities and a range of facilities. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Tanunda Caravan and Tourist Park 60 km

Enjoy the Barossa Valley experience from this popular park; it is a great base for exploring the fabulous wine-producing region. Located 1.5 km from the town centre, with easy access, it offers patrons a good range of... Find out more

Murray Bridge Resort Caravan Park and Marina 69 km

This park is in a great location, away from busy roads and a marina on the shores of the Murray River. The spacious park has good amenities and is pet friendly. It's about 3 km from the town centre. Bookings are... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Griffens Marina Houseboats

Take your pick from two luxurious and generously sized houseboats based at Blanchetown. Being moored above Lock 1 means you’re poised to take off along the spectacular cliff-lined stretch of the river leading up to... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Annadale rest area 25 km

29km E of Truro (L) or 17km W of Blanchetown (R)

Just off the highway among trees. 

Truro East Rest Area 46 km

1 km E of Truro (L) or 45 km W of Blanchetown (R)

Small area just off the highway among a few large trees. Good shade.

Waikerie Lookout park area 57 km

2km E of Waikerie (L) or 46km W of Barmera (R)

Just off the highway with good views over a river.

Holder Bend camping area 57 km

T/O 3km E of Waikerie (L) or 45km W of Barmera (R)

On the banks of a river 2km north of the highway via Holder Top and Holder Bottom rds.

Moppa Road rest area 58 km

29km NE of Gawler (L) or 3km W of Nuriootpa (R)

Just off the highway behind a few trees.

Angus rest area 63 km

24km E of Morgan (R) or 64km W of Sturt Hwy (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Rosies rest area 63 km

25km E of Morgan (L) or 65km W of Sturt Hwy (R)

Surrounded by scrub just off the highway.

Jackmans Lookout rest area 69 km

0.5km E of Swanport Bridge (L) or 19km W of Tailem Bend (R)

At the lookout overlooking the river.

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