The Unchartered Southern Coast
Discover how religion, politics, business & extraordinary maritime explorations resulted in the south-east coast of New Holland being the final piece of the international puzzle to chart the entire world map, and how the complex story of oceans, rivers, MORE politics, business & extraordinary explorers created Australia and the province of South Australia.
The SA Maritime History Cruise
Explore the Port of Goolwa and Port Pullen (the Murray Mouth)
Discover the fascinating story of how oceans and rivers shaped our landscape and influenced major early settlement decisions, especially the controversial location for the capital. Discover the extraordinary history of the Port of Goolwa, the birthplace of Australia’s river-boat trade, a major industrial & transport hub and a key player in the international wool trade that was so influential to Australia’s early growth.
Learn the key moments in SA history that shaped the town, the South Coast and the paddle-steamer river-trade, a remarkable yet poignant story that even today describes the complex challenges of doing business across Australia.
These are cruises are limited to a MAXIMUM of just 4 passengers, providing you with the personalised experience of a unique part of Australian history.
A two hour Experience
As a *non-essential* business cruises are unable to operate due to SA Health Covid-19 restrictions.
Departing the Goolwa Wharf we cruise to the Barrage, discovering the ancient geological history that created this unique river system, the Lower Lakes and the Coorong.
We then cruise through the Coorong Quays, the largest freshwater marina in the southern hemisphere, discovering the timeline of European events that ultimately created South Australia.
Cruising under the Hindmarsh Island (Kumarangk) bridge we learn the sombre story of the Ngarrindjeri nation then head back along the shoreline discovering the story of paddle-steamers and the river-trade, investigating four shipwrecks along the way.
Cruise cost is $60 per person
10% discount for concession & children under 13 or;
Total of $200 for a full FOUR person booking (20% discount)
Optional Cruise Route (add $40)
We also offer the option to traverse through the Goolwa Barrage lock and fast cruise to & from the Murray Mouth.
The history content is the same, however due to time we do not explore the Coorong Quays marina.
This is optional due to the additional fuel surcharge of $40. This is a single charge per cruise and paid on the day (by cash or EFTPOS).
- for ONE person total is 60+40 = $100
- for FOUR persons total is 200+40 = $240
Alternative dates & times
We can also offer the cruise to suit your visiting schedule, conditions apply. Please email for more information.
Port of Goolwa
The final destination of 6,500kms of rivers, cruise through safe, shallow and protected waters that have been a transport & trading route since the Ngarrindjeri, the first Australians here.
This unique natural water resource was the catalyst for a unique colonisation plan that led to King William IV issuing Letters Patent establishing the British province of South Australia in 1836.
Unlocking the doorway to the ocean allowed paddle-steamers to create a bustling and vibrant river-trade, for many years Goolwa was a major industrial & trading port and aptly described as Australia’s New Orleans.
The mighty Murray River
The backbone of Australia’s agricultural production, approximately 50% of our farms are located within the Murray-Darling basin. Learn how the enormous economic value of water dramatically affects this ephemeral river system.
The head waters of the river were originally discovered by Hamilton Hume (and Hovell) and named ‘The Hume’ after his father. Charles Sturt planned to explore the rivers with his friend Hume in 1829 but could not, so the lower section of the river was discovered by Sturt and named after a British politician, George Murray , and since the mid 1970’s has this become the official name for the entire river.
An ancient river system dating back to the ice ages, learn the hidden mysteries of her geological past, including gorges large enough to swallow America’s Grand Canyon.
What are you waiting for?
Despite a public message encouraging visiting regional areas and learning about our own backyard, SA Health Covid-19 restrictions apply the 4m² per person rule to non-essential business, so I am restricted to just one passenger per cruise which makes it impossible to operate a small business charter boat.
Although I only take small family groups (hence low increased risk of transmission), unlike large large multi-nationals (like Uber) or gambling/alcohol-related business (casinos, pubs, wineries, etc.) which are classified as *essential*, our small niche tourism industry simply does not have the political influence to obtain exemptions from the blanket restrictions to operate.