I’ll never forget my first glimpse of the P.S. Murray Princess on the Murray River.
Moored at her homeport of Mannam where I peered down towards her from the cliff tops.
There she was looking absolutely regal with her two tall ornamental smokestacks, coupled with the ornately decorated superstructure reflecting a glorious time gone by.
The red carpet rolled out before we boarded and ports delivered to the cabin, we called the Murray Princess home for the next seven days.
I was soon to discover that the interior of the Murray Princess was just as stunning!
Floor to ceiling windows in the paddlewheel lounge allows passengers to watch the stern wheel working, while the upper deck lounge is serviced by twin polished brass spiral staircases.
The Murray Princess is an authentic paddle wheeler.
She is not one of the imitation paddlewheels which adorn many tourist watercraft where the smaller paddlewheel is nothing more than ornamental.
My 12sq metre stateroom opened onto the outside deck, offering some truly spectacular views.
The room held a large double bed with twin electric blankets as the outside temperature can be a little nippy during winter on the river.
The double wardrobe, chest of draws, bar fridge, toiletries, and essentials such as electric jug, tea & coffee ensured that I was very comfortable.
Accommodating only 120 passengers, the Murray Princess is able to foster warmth and friendliness that often gets lost on larger cruises.
The Captain and crew know the river intimately and are delighted to share with you their knowledge and stories.
The lounges and dining saloon are spacious with a character and charm of yesteryear – grand in name, yet relaxed and informal by nature
Stunning as she is, not even the Murray Princess could overshadow the incredible scenery and wildlife that we encountered on this trip.
Following our afternoon departure, we found a world of flowering wattle trees, overhanging willows, and flocks of pink & grey galahs.
The roosting pelicans’ stately flypasts into the sunset was a sight to behold.
Along the way, we made stops at some of the riverside ports which give life to the beautiful South Australian outback.
We were able to take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the local cultures on the Murray River
During our stop in Blanchetown, I took the walk to the Burk Salter’s Station Winery where the locals told stories about how it is to live on the land, raise a family, and make good wine.
To verify his stories, I made sure I sampled some of his craft.
Story checks – in fact, the wine! Is so good that I ordered a case for home!
One of the highlights of the week! Sunnydale onshore woolshed show complete with a big bush bonfire BBQ.
Everybody got into the spirit of the night and plenty of passenger participation when it came time to hockey pokey.
The crew bush band and choir also made an appearance that evening.
Each stop gave passengers many choices, If you wanted to have a relaxing day or a day full of activities
So many wonderful options being presented, most people took advantage of many activities.
- Wonderful boardwalk trails.
- Guided nature walks.
- Small boat safari tours of pristine wetlands.
- Discover the ancient trees with scars from the local indiginious people cut the bark to make canoes.
These trees have been hanging around the Murray River for the last 800 years!
One of the land stops had delicious bush tucker!
The BBQ marinated beef & kangaroo fillet, lamb kebabs, gourmet bangers, and chicken drumstick along with grilled veg, and potatoes & pumpkin baked on the coals.
Another highlight has to be the stop in the Barossa Valley.
We were able to get lunch, sightsee, and of course drink wine!
I made sure that I paid a visit to the iconic Chateau Tanunda.
Built 1890, some vines are 165 years old making it Australia’s oldest chateau.
The next stop was McGuigan wines, the home of the very impressive looking Chateau Yaldara.
The afternoon’s wine tasting was a great experience and both vineyards are well worth a visit.
Sadly all too soon the cruise was over.
I could not have asked for a more perfect week of Australian history, mystery and romance all rolled into one.
From the ancient red gum forests to the limestone cliffs.
This cruise gave me a whole new appreciation of the life this river brings.
This is some of the driest, yet most stunning parts of Australia.
Captain Cook Cruises offer 3,4 & 7 night Murray River cruises with a variety of accommodation options available.
For bookings and information, please visit www.murrayprincess.com.au
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.