One of our main targets of visiting South Australia was to take a cruise of Murray River .Shuvro booked a day cruise of Murray River in the cruise Ship Proud Marry for 29 December 2013. We were picked from Motel in the morning and other visitors were also collected in a large articulated bus from different hotels and motels of Adelaide. We were driven through picturesque South Australia countryside for about 45 Minutes to reach the Murray River basin where Proud Murray a traditional cruise ship was anchored.
Murray River Cruise:
Cruising the Murray River is one of the most amazing and surprising experiences that a visitor can have .The Murray is much more than a river, it is quintessentially Australian experience. Within a relatively short distance from Adelaide and Melbourne one can experience jaw-dropping beauty, diverse history and luxury all surrounded by a sense of peace that has to be experienced to understand.
As the Murray carves its way through our sun-burnt and contrasting landscape the tourist can discover a new part of the world that's not overrun with tourists and will allow time to reconnect with family and friends
The Murray River and its surroundings are normally overlooked as a significant cruising region of international appeal but many visitors are now discovering the Murray River is a wonderfully natural and great place enjoy. A slow river that easily touches your soul and satisfies the inner spirit.
Spud Hilton, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer recently stated "The Murray is the ultimate lazy river, a 100-million-year-old ribbon that winds 1,470 miles through South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, passing farms, Aboriginal homelands, red gum forests, holiday cottages, arid scrub and towering ochre-colored limestone cliffs festooned with snow-white cockatoos."
Mornings you'll find mirror-perfect water, not yet disturbed by a sole. As the mist gently rises over the water, golden sunrays pierce the huge river red gums and pelicans silently look for fish as they'd done the night before. One can find incredible wildlife including kangaroos, emus, koalas, goannas, kookaburras and much more. Early risers will enjoy the serenity but there are plenty of quiet spots to view and a nice cup of tea or coffee.
Traffic along the river is fairly minimal. Milk boats, fishing craft, some ferries in South Australia, occasional small paddleboats and a diverse amarda of houseboats (Murray River is the house boating capital of Australia) are found. The Murray is used for by water sports enthusiasts with ski boats and canoes and kayaks.
Part of the rich history of Australia is its Murray-Darling paddle steamers. The Murray River was used by more than a hundred paddle steamers and barges during the heydays to the late 1800's to deliver supplies to settlements upstream and returned loaded with wool and wheat. When the railroads opened up the territory by 1890, the paddle steamers ceased as a popular mode of transportation. Nowadays a few remain for leisure cruising on the Murray yet Australia still has the largest range of active paddle steamers in the world.
Naturally on each cruise you'll receive a mixture of information on river history, folklore, environmental information, free time to chat, relax and much more. Some longer cruises allow the tourists the opportunity to get off the boat and experience Aboriginal culture, shearing exhibitions and other tours to learn, engage and explore the local region. One can enjoy local walks at some of the historic towns or cliff top climbs.
Back on board while the rugged and beautiful world of the Murray River landscapes slowly pass by, one will stay in comfortable and clean cabins on overnight accommodation for the longer cruises. Most cruises offer meal and food options. Short river cruises may offer you light snacks or cafeteria style food, while the longer overnight cruises offer great dining with food that is professionally prepared (and yes one can even experience Vegemite if one wants one of Australia's great challenges).
One of the greatest things a visitor take away from your Murray River cruise is an appreciation of the Murray's abundant beauty and intrinsic value to Australia's culture and meaning. Aboriginal occupation of the region in some parts dates back over 40,000 years. There are opportunities for guided indigenous walks, where guides talk and showcase the importance of the land and their relationship with the river. A tourist will enjoy the dreamtime story as different Aboriginal tribes and clans offer their stories of the land and river. The stories connect the tourist to the ancient culture and give a deep insight to the need to protect Australia's most important river.
As one sits back and absorb one of the worlds most incredible and diverse river systems one can watch the captain slowly guide the boat around the myriad of river bends. Each bend unfolds a new view, new landscape and new secret that will keep you guessing and wondering. But the biggest question one may have is "will the captain let me drive?" now that would top off one Murray River "no worries" cruising experience!
Our Experience of Proud Marry:
A very first look at Proud Marry rekindled our memory of the Steamer Ostrich which we availed several times in our childhood to travel to Dhaka from Goalando in the 1960s. The top decks, cabins, dining halls looked the same. The Murray River also can be compared with Meghna and Padma that we used to travel through in 1960s excepting that here around us we could see rain forests, developed villages, wild animals, birds on either side as the ship started its journey after the captain of the ship announced HSE policies. The refreshment served with coffee was delicious.Rozy and Shuvro were busy with the newly purcahed Nikkon DSLR camera capturing views of either side .We were lucky to see some Kangarroos and Wallabis. Many beautiful birds were flying around .Murray Darling is one of major River system of Australia. We met few couples some newlywed and some of the ages of my grandparents if they were alive. They were in the Proud Marry for a week long program .They explained to us their rich experience of staying overnight at Proud Marry. We were provided with exceptionally well cocked lunch .There were mostly fish varieties from fresh catches from Murray River and vegetables grown in the area. The pumpkin and karola soup was exceptional. We reached a city after an hours journey where we visited a museum which preserves many historical documents of migrants from Europe settling in South Australia .We witnessed a document of Paddle Ship which was the early mode of Riverine transport in the area. The journey lasted for about 3 hours.
At the last stage the captain offered to us to take control of the ship for few minutes .Shuvro and Ivolunteered. Both of us were in charge of the ship for ten minutes each. It was a proud moment for both of us.
We were driven back to Adelaide through an alternate way .We were taken to some hill tops for marvelous views of South Australian countryside .The bus driving kept of entraining us with his rich knowledge of South Australian heritage . She explained what Murray Rivers meant to Australians. We were thinking why Padma, Meghna, Jamuna could not continue to play similar roles for Bangladesh. For Murray other country could not deprive the lower riparian regions from legitimate share of water flowing through the river .There are some issues of sharing Murray Darling River system among Australian states .But Australian Federal Government has ensured that these are resolved through discussions . Murray river water is the principal source of Water for South Australia which is otherwise very dry.
BDST: 1205 HRS, OCT 08, 2014