Featured In: NZ Herald – February 2021
Acclaimed travel writer, Marie Barbieri, was one of the first to experience our Murray River Safari tour and she shared her story with NZ Herald in February 2021, part of which we've shared below.
The full article can be read by clicking here.
Excerpt from Marie's Story
There's a new tour in town writes Marie Barbieri, and it takes place on Australia's famous Murray River.
A paddlewheeler rests on the banks, its launch languidly swaying on its leash. Rustic shacks hold onto their prized real estate. Houseboats sit anchored as their well-heeled owners recline with one hand on the fishing rod and the other around the stubby. Call it multitasking. Nonchalant koalas wedge into impossible forks, while Australian darter birds stare vigilantly at the ripples ready to spear. And tents peep through bushes as smoke rises from barbecues. It's just just another day in SA…
I too am in nirvana, joining Tony Sharley of Murray River Trails on his new wildlife safari. A true-blue South Australian tourism operator, Tony created the tour as an addition to his Murray River Walk (one of the 12 Great Walks of Australia). Cruising upstream from Paringa in the snazzy pontoon-style launch, our group of eight begin three days in search of iconic wildlife species in their natural aquatic and dryland habitats. We're exploring the Lower Murray: on foot, in a kayak, and from our beds on a houseboat named Desire.
Tony shushes us. A male white-winged fairy wren arrives, lifting all camera lenses. This striking bird sports metallic feathers of cobalt blue, paint-white wings and a cocked tail. It's believed to be one of the most promiscuous of the bird world. Indeed, we too fall in love when we hear its trill-like call.
Little white star-shaped myoporum flowers delicately dress the ground, pocked by the circular entrances of trapdoor spiders. Emu droppings sit caked with seeds waiting to germinate, while box saplings from the 2010/2011 floods enter teenage-hood. And when Tony mounts his tripod and lens to observe a Gilbert's whistler, a chestnut-rumped thornbill, a striped honeyeater, and a red wattlebird arrive. The forest is heaving with birdlife.