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“Very Educational”

Spirit of the Coorong Cruises
Ranked #1 of 10 Tours in Goolwa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Cruise from the old riverport of Goolwa, through the Barrage lock and across the River Murray mouth into the wetland wilderness and spectacular sand dunes of the Coorong National Park. See a seal colony lazing on the Barrage, flocks of native and migratory bird life and hear some of the Aboriginal and European history of the area. Expert commentary by the captain, lunch, afternoon tea and guided walk(s)are included on 3.5 hour DISCOVERY and 6 hour ADVENTURE cruises. For a shorter alternative a 2 hour MURRAY MOUTH cruise operates on Saturday mornings & Thursday mornings of the school holidays, during the months of October and April.
Albury, Australia
Level Contributor
234 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Very Educational”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Partner & I went on the 4 hour Cooyong Discovery Cruise as we were in Goolwa on a Thursday. Great trip with a lovely lunch of mixed cold meats and salads, bread roll, biscuits & cheese, tea & coffee.
The skipper Bain was very informative about the Coorong & the Barrages and had many stories of early days and the recent drought. Because of the silting up of the mouth we had to start from Hindmarsh Island – a 15min drive there from Goolwa. We had a short walk on the sand of the Mouth of the Murray, as well as a guided nature walk from the Coorong through to the Southern Ocean by Brendan which was also very informative. Lots of birds to see even though it wasn’t peak bird season.
A very enjoyable trip and totally recommended.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Shirley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Dunkeld, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“The Wonderful Coorong Explained and Visited”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

The Spirit of the Coorong truly comes to life on this six hour cruise. A visit to the Murray River Mouth is followed by two great walks,one more challenging than other with wonderful explanations of the ecology of the area and indigenous people's history. An understanding of the control of the waterways by the 75 year old barrages, which allow the environment to flourish, is gained , by the enthusiastic, humorous and educational commentary.On top of this a plentiful, well presented, individual lunch and coffee and cake for afternoon tea made this great value.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edenderry
Level Contributor
154 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Day trip to dream about in years to come”
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We were taken on this trip as a joint birthday present and it was a super gift! We set off from Adelaide in the morning and spend the whole day on the boat. The day included lunch and afternoon tea. We landed twice and each landing place was entirely different from the other.

The first time we got to have a look at the mouth of Murray. It is amazing that the mouth of such a huge river is actually so small because of the amount of sand deposits and the way water is taken upstream. The crew warned us not to step in too far as there are such strong currents. So we all had to resist the temptation. There was a beautiful variety of shells and the sand was so fine, it felt wonderful under our feet. You could see where the river currents met the sea currents.

Then we cruised up along the peninsula and had all the different wild life identified for us. We didn't spot an Emu, but to be honest, we saw so many other species, that we had no complaints.

When we stopped for lunch we had our longest walk to the ocean side. It was a bit of a slog, but really well worth the effort. the hardest part was getting up the first set of big sand dunes. From there on to the ocean, it was just interesting and beautiful. We were shown how to collect wild cockles or chippies. They were delicious although I couldn't get any myself but other passengers who were more adept were generous with their catches. The leader made sure that everyone who wanted to try some, was given the chance. The ocean was awesome, although I had expected much bigger breakers.

On the way back to the boat for lunch, we stopped at an Aboriginal midden and were given a very interesting history of the Ngarrindjeri people who were the original inhabitants of the area. Sadly they were driven out as the supposedly more sophisticated civilization took over. Thankfully, the sacred sites, while they are displayed to tourists like ourselves, they are treated respectfully by the tour company. We were a bit shocked that, despite the instructions from the crew, some of the party actually did walk out onto areas which contained small middens and some sacred remains. White people are so strange!

When we got back to shore, the crew, who had bought chippies from a local supplier, had cooked them off in white wine and cream. Talk about delicious! My only complaint was that we didn't have any bread to dip in the gorgeous sauce.

Once we'd boarded after our snack, we took off out into the Coorong again and lunch was served. It was in pre-prepared trays and included salad, cold meat, hard boiled egg, coleslaw, bread and butter, cheese and biscuits. Although it looked a bit like an airline meal, it tasted much better and fresher. They also provided a vegetarian option too and those choosing this seemed very satisfied too.

With our cuppa in the afternoon we had a homemade treat, the name of which I have completely forgotten. Some of us even managed to get seconds!!

We then cruised back to the dock, watching the wildlife all the way. I couldn't tell you just how many species of birds we actually saw that day but it was definitely in the high two digits. The crew were fun and very well informed. They identified everything kind of bird we saw, and when we came home, we were able to verify their names in the books at home. Unfortunately I had forgotten to charge up my camera so I have no photos, but my memories are wonderful. It was a lovely idea and a very special birthday present. We'll remember it for many years to come.

It was not a cheap outing, but it was worth every penny.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank contactcarmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“informative and relaxing cruise with an excellent lunch”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

We did the 4 hour cruise, which was just a touch too long for us (couple in our 50's) The scenery is lovely, but unless you're a bird watching enthusiast, the shorter cruise would be just as informative, especially if you are stretched for time.

We travelled from Goolwa to Victor Harbor and return, on the Cockle Train in the morning and then did the cruise in the afternoon. The Spirit of the Coorong boat usually leaves from Goolwa Wharf, right next to the train station. The day of our cruise, the boat left from Hindmarsh Island, which was a 15 minute drive by car from the booking office. Would be wise to check this in advance if you don't have a vehicle, as they didn't offer to drive us to the Island.

The guides were informative and entertaining, especially the boat Captain. The four hour cruise features two stops where we got off the boat. One was for a short walk along the beach, the other stop was a longer walk, right across the Coorong, to the ocean side. Although it is boardwalk for most of the way, several older people on our cruise struggled with the distance.

The pre-packed lunch was very enjoyable, with meats, salads and plenty of choice. Afternoon tea was cup of tea/coffee and two biscuits.

Overall a most enjoyable afternoon. Glad we visited in April, it was quite warm, especially with the walking. On the way home, we sat up on the top deck of the boat, which was great for taking photos.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Us2Aussies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Spirit of Coorong cruise is highly recommended.”
Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

The spirit of the Coorong must flow in the veins of the professional, knowledgeable and enthusiastic skipper and crew. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the 4 hr cruise and learnt about the Coorong's social history, local and migratory bird life, shifting sands and Murray mouth, effects of drought and floods, barrages and modern cockle fishermen . Ample lunch plus tea and biscuits. Easy walks on beaches and on boardwalk through vegetation with talk on its indigenous uses eg insect repellant.
I'd love to repeat this cruise in a different season . Highly recommended .

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank jeeves2576
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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