By Ellie Schneider
There's plenty of unique accommodation experiences on offer in South Australia's Riverland with something on offer for just about everyone.
These three private, opulent clifftop retreats – Pastiche, Montage and Collage – are tailored to help couples rejuvenate. Tucked away in Paringa, near Renmark, The Frames commands views across the Murray River.
Each retreat offers a secluded balcony, private outdoor area, heated pool, spa and sauna. There’s no restaurant on site, but award-winning chefs are on hand to whip up a two or three-course meal with the best produce of the Riverland. Other experiences on offer include a sunset cruise with champagne in a beautifully restored wooden gondola, and a visit to a 100-year-old shearing shed that has been converted into the Woolshed Brewery.
Pike River Luxury Villas
These self-contained eco villas are among the most luxurious in South Australia. Each has a modern, open-plan lounge and bedroom, and a spacious balcony with hot tub. There are three villas and two apartments at Pike River.
The property is also home to Australia’s first privately owned solar farm, which powers the residences and feeds the grid. From your front door you have direct access to the river, which you can explore by kayak, and nearby you can while away the time at wineries and national parks. Just seven kilometres down the road is the historic village settlement of Lyrup.
Established in 1897, when it became the first community (or “crowd-funded”) hotel in the British Empire, the Renmark Hotel remains a popular choice among holidaymakers. It’s on the waterfront in the heart of town, and most of the hotel’s 67 rooms offer great views across the mighty Murray.
The ground floor has recently undergone a $3.5 million refurbishment, including the opening of a new bistro serving a good selection of local produce, as well as an al fresco deck, sports bar and gaming room.
Big 4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park
Travelling with the whole gang? The Big4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park offers facilities including a resort pool, giant jumping pillow, full-sized tennis court and movie room, so the kids will be entertained for days. Villas and cabins sleep up to eight guests and include fully equipped kitchens and decks with tables and chairs overlooking the river.
Alternatively, camping and caravan parks are set among shady trees close to amenity buildings, and guests have access to a camp kitchen with free barbecue facilities. Parents can unwind in the resort-style pool and heated spa while kids enjoy the waterslides and splash park. Canoes are available for hire.
Stonehaven Holiday Home
This historic manor in Loxton, dating back to the early 1920s, strikes the perfect balance between old and new. The spacious, elegant residence can comfortably sleep up to 10 in its five bedrooms, which include a luxurious master suite in a separate wing.
An impressive dining area and detached billiard room add to the charm, and there’s also a spa bath. The sprawling 2.5-acre grounds feature beautifully manicured gardens and the old Loxton gaol, a relic of a bygone era. The property is just five minutes drive from Loxton town centre.
Cascades On The River
It’s all about the view at this riverside spot. Perched on the banks just downstream from the town of Morgan, Cascades on the River offers premium accommodation for 12 guests, with two queen beds and eight singlebeds.
Spend the morning on the Murray or follow the Morgan historic walk around the town’s historic buildings and wharves. Then take a soak in the hot tub out on the balcony – it’s big enough for eight. Other features include a billiard table, private jetty (great for fishing) and playground.
Enjoy a leisurely few days on a houseboat exploring quieter sections of the Murray River. Self-contained houseboats are available to hire from most major towns, including Renmark, Morgan and Kingston-on-Murray, and are suitable for six to 12 people.
Houseboats come kitted out with everything except food. Throw in a line and catch a callop or cruise into a riverfront town for a pub meal. Houseboats are simple to operate. You’ll need an unrestricted driver’s licence and you’ll be given a quick lesson before leaving.
Virgin Australia flies to Adelaide from all major Australian cities. Most major hire car companies are at Adelaide Airport.