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Sometimes, it’s too easy to ignore what’s close to home. The Murray River is Australia’s longest waterway and the hub of our river cruising industry. It starts high in the Snowy Mountains and forms the border between NSW and Victoria for much of its length before meandering into South Australia and pouring out into the Great Australian Bight. The Murray, at 2,375 kilometres long, is almost twice as long as Australia’s second-longest river, the Murrumbidgee (1,485 kilometres in length).

Mild Australian weather means the vessels that cruise the Murray operate year-round, and are generally paddle-wheeled steamers maintaining a long and illustrious tradition. Early pioneers used these vessels to carry supplies into the country and grain and wool out at the inception of Australia’s export industry. Then and now, the main ports along the river are Murray Bridge, Echuca, Waikerie and Mannum.

A Murray River cruise is a great way to relive the rich history and ever-present magic of rural Australia. The scenery you’ll pass along the way has a distinctive grandeur, too. Whether you’re watching the afternoon sun illuminate red river cliffs as if lit from within or a flock of galahs take off as the boat approaches, the river puts you in touch with ‘true-blue’ Australia.