5 Things To Do In Renmark
Renmark is the birthplace of irrigation in Australia and also where all of our tours depart from. A short 3 hours drive from South Australia’s Capital, Adelaide, Renmark is a beautiful river town that is a haven for foodies and lovers of beautiful scenery.
So how did Renmark become the birthplace of irrigation in Australia? By lucky chance perhaps?
The grand visions of the South Australian and Victorian Governments at the time brought the Californian Chaffey Brothers to Australia in the 1880’s. They tried to establish irrigation at Mildura, upstream on the Murray, however they failed and moved downstream to Renmark where they had success! Irrigation has been the major driving force of the Riverland economy ever since and the region produces almost every crop imaginable, contributing to much of Australia’s citrus, almond and wine grape production.
A Foodies paradise
1. Grab a coffee at repurposed Firehouse
The Old Renmark Firestation was decommissioned in the late 90s, but it found new life as a coffee roastery in 2011 and then became Renmark’s hippest coffee house. With fire station themed everything (the door handles are small axes!) Callum and Lauren Benda of Arrosto Coffee are responsible for keeping Riverlanders caffeinated and now their products (such as the popular cold drip coffee) can be found in Adelaide stockists.
Do not go anywhere without getting your caffeine fix here first folks!
2. Discover locally inspired spirits
The story of how 23rd Street Distillery came to be is best heard on a tour of the ‘old meets new’ facility. A fixture on the Renmark skyline since 1914, it was once a hub for Riverland harvests to be transformed into a range of beverages (you can see some of them in the Custom House museum). In 2016 it was transformed again, into an industrial-chic meets Riverland heritage venue complete with century-old copper stills, sweet-smelling barrel halls and spirits that pay homage to Riverland ingredients.
Whether you’re into gin, whiskey, vodka or beer, you’ll find something tasty and interesting here.
3. Spot a koala at Paringa Paddock
Take a walk through the beautiful floodplain bushland of Paringa Paddock. A short walk from the township of Renmark, there is a trail you can follow from the town’s riverfront, all the way out to Paringa Paddock where there are multiple walking trails to discover.
The area is teeming with birdlife and if you raise your eyes to the skies, you might be lucky enough to spot a Koala. There is a known population that resides in the area!
4. Lunch at a Historic Hotel
The Renmark Hotel was the first Community Hotel in the British Empire, established in 1897 and stands on the banks of the Murray River. If the day is sunny, take a table on the decking of the Nanya Bistro and you’ll be treated to views of the Murray River.
The menu features classical cooking with French influences, using seasonal produce which is always changing to utilise ingredients at the peak of their harvest.
5. Cruise on a paddle steamer
This historic PS Industry was built at Goolwa for the SA Government in 1911 and it was specially designed to remove snags from the river, clearing the passage for other vessels. The PS Industry removed over 3 million snags from the river and was also used during the construction of the locks and weirs and as a crane to remove and reinstate the weirs during floods.
Today it is moored in front of the Renmark Hotel and it was restored as a cruising vessel by locals in the 1990s. Enjoy a leisurely 90-minute cruise, the PS Industry departs with guests on the first Sunday of most months.