Goolwa is an attractive sea side town
located at the mouth of
the Murray River on Lake Alexandrina. Once a thriving
river port Goolwa is the ideal fishermen's vacation
resort with both
and salt water. For
Goolwa is a starting point for a day or multi-day
trip into the Coorong National Par or the Lake Alexandrina
area. For water sports enthusiasts as well, Goolwa
has it all.
The town has been restored to its old
world charm with many of the local buildings painted
in heritage colours. Old hotels such as the Corio
Hotel have been beautifully restored and other historic
buildings are now homes to art galleries,
cafes and bed and breakfast accommodation.
Goolwa township was surveyed
around 1840 and then again
in 1853. The same year
a road was constructed between Goolwa and
Elliot. By 1860 a road was built to Adelaide over
the hills. The port of Goolwa was officially proclaimed
in 1857 and was Australia's first inland port. It
quickly grew serviced the vast inland of western
New South Wales and Queensland. At its peak in
1880s about 25,000 wool bales passed
through Goolwa port. In the 1890's Goolwa's
importance as a port died due to the railway. and
the silting up of the Murray
River Mouth which meant the port was no longer accessible
The Cockle Train has been operation since
1887. The name is derived from the broad sandy
beaches famous for large cockles that the train
passes on its journey. The section of train track
between Goolwa and Port Elliot was the
railway built in Australia.
Today the horse drawn carriage can still be viewed
in the main street of Goolwa.
Coorong National Park
The Coorong National Park is one
of the best South Australian eco destinations.
The coorong presents visitors with an abundance of
Known especially for its bird life the Coorong National
Park is located at the mouth of the Murray River.
The Goolwa Barrage was built to separate the freshwater
of the Murray River from the Saltwater
of the Southern Ocean. The seawater is prevented
from entering Lake Alexandrina, Lake Albert and
Murray River by the barrage which measures 632m
in length. Small boats can still enter via a lock.
There is also a bird hide on the way to the barrage
offering visitors the perfect opportunity to watch
is the ideal place for swimming and other water sports.
At Goolwa beach you can even dig for cockles when
Hindmarsh Island has recently been famous for on going battles between developers
and the local Ngarrindjeri Aborigines due to the building of a bridge from
Goolwa to the island and the possible damage to sacred sites. There is a
ferry that crosses to Hindmarsh Island and it is a delightful way to get
to the island for a visit.
National Trust Museum
The National Trust Museum is located in an old Blacksmiths shop which was built
around 1872. The museum has a wonderful collection
and offers visitors
insight into the history of Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island.
Signal Point Centre
Signal Point is a modern building located
at the Wharf near the ferry across to Hindmarsh
Island. The Centre was completed in 1988 and opened
by Prince Charles. It is devoted to the
mighty Murray River.
The area has a Mediterranean style
climate with an annual rainfall of approximately
500mm or 20 inches. The majority of rain is received
from May to September.
Average winter temperatures 10-18 degrees
Average summer temperatures 24-35 degrees celsius
Goolwa is easily accessed by:
Port Goolwa is an easy drive about 90 kms taking approximately 1 hour 20
minutes from Adelaide CBD
Seaside accommodation in Goolwa
ranges from heritage bed and breakfasts, hotels,
motels and self contained beach holiday homes.
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