"Murray Bridge" Top 5 Page for this destination State of South Australia Off The Beaten Path Tip by iandsmith
State of South Australia Off The Beaten Path: 34 reviews and 58 photos
Just 78 km from Adelaide, Murray Bridge (pop 17,000) is a major centre on the Murray River north of Lake Alexandra and is a mere 26 metres above sea level.
It's one of those towns that tempts one to explore and one is not disappointed.
The area originally was inhabited by the Ngarrindjeri Aborigines. The river provided abundant food and they lived well off a diet of kangaroos, emus, wombats, goannas, lizards, ducks, turtles, fish, snakes and bird eggs, none of which except roos can be found on a menu today.
In his futile search for an inland sea but also an understanding of where all the westward flowing rivers finished, the first European into the area was Captain Charles Sturt who rowed a whale boat down the Murrumbidgee and reached where Murray Bridge now stands in early February 1830.
From this point onwards there was always the thought that the Murray River could be used for transportation and access to the western areas of New South Wales and Queensland. With the formal establishment of Goolwa as the port at the mouth of the Murray in the 1850s this became a reality.
The area was established when a road bridge was opened over the Murray River in 1879. It was followed in 1886 by the Adelaide-Melbourne railway line which cemented the town's importance as a vital link across the river.
The town was laid out in 1883 and was called Mobilong. Land was sold in Adelaide in 1884 under the advertisement 'Murray traders, woolwashers, builders and all men of enterprise. Give heed to what is now offered to you.' Later it was called Edwards Crossing but it became Murray Bridge when a new railway bridge was constructed across the river in 1924.
The town's most recent Swanport Bridge, built five kilometres downstream from Murray Bridge, was completed in 1979.
Today the town is an agricultural centre driven by dairying, chicken raising, pig breeding, tomato and snow pea growing.
Wandering around its historical centre (start from the Tourist Centre who will supply you with a free map) is an interesting diversion.
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