A Unique Getaway – Hindmarsh Island: From Utility Gateway to Holiday Getaway
Hindmarsh Island was named in 1837 for South Australia’s first governor, Sir John Hindmarsh. At the time, the island was more utility than utopia. Serving foremost as a surveying outpost for the mouth of the Murray River, the island eventually graduated to hosting a main signal mast for notifying ships of the conditions in the surrounding waters. Hindmarsh Island would also become important in the animal husbandry of the area, as the first introduction point of Hereford cattle and Shropshire sheep into South Australia in the late 1860’s.
But the Island would not be a utilitarian waypoint for very long. Industrious developers soon realized that this unique island, with salt water on one side and fresh water on the other side, would be a perfect spot for a ocean-focused holiday destination that could draw visitors from all over the southern hemisphere. Today, Hindmarsh Island’s natural beauty, thoughtfully integrated attractions, and plentiful high-end rental accommodations make it a very attractive place to spend your time off.
Visitors to Hindmarsh Island will find no shortage of things to do. No matter your predilection, a holiday here will be a time of cherished memories.
Nature lovers can enjoy fantastic sights all along the waterfront. Start out with a visit to the Murray Mouth, where Australia’s largest river dumps into the ocean. You can see the elaborate sand dune formations from land, but it is best viewed from onboard a chartered boat or a sea kayak.
Once you’ve seen the Mouth, stop by your holiday rental home for a cleanup, and then drive over to Angus Wines. This Hindmarsh Island vineyard focuses on one product, an excellent Shiraz, to the exclusion of all else, with an outstanding result. On your second day, consider a canoe tour of the Coorong National Park. The content of your tour is up to you – shall it be sand dunes and bird watching, a sunset tour, or an all-day “let’s see what we find” with the whole family?
Those who need a bit more adrenaline can hire a bicycle and set out on the Encounter Bikeway. Stretching from Hindmarsh Island all the way to Victor Harbor, the 30 km trail is a mixture of on-road and multi-use trails, open for cyclists, skaters, and rollerbladers. The trail is also available for walking, is wheelchair accessible, and has areas that are suitable for riders of all skill levels. Ride for one kilometer, or take the challenge of a round trip ride. Just remember your camera! On the way back to Hindmarsh Island, stop off on the Goolwa side and have a refreshing beer at the Steam Exchange Brewery.
If you’ve brought along the children, or if you’ve decided to indulge your inner child, visit Narnu Farm and Urimbirra Wildlife Park. At Narnu you can get up close and personal with domestic farm animals. Available activities include hand milking one of their dairy cows, horseback riding, and animal feeding. Observers are also welcome at the chicken hatchery. A visit to nearby Urimbirra shows the other side of the coin, educating families about the wildlife native to South Australia.
For every taste, there’s an activity in Hindmarsh Island. Be sure to plan in advance your agenda, so that you can book rental accommodations that are convenient to all the venues you want to visit. Spending too much time in the car is not the best way to spend your holiday!
How’s the Weather?
The weather on Hindmarsh Island is similar to Adelaide. In the December to February time frame, expect daytime highs in from 26 to 28 degrees Celsius, with nighttime temperatures dropping to the 14 to 16 degrees range. Cooler weather comes from June to August, with highs of about 16 degrees and lows reaching 7 degrees on average. In either case, rainfalls are moderate and the climate encourages you to get out and explore. Holidaymakers who will be taking advantage of the peak seasons (summer and Easter) should plan on booking rental homes on Hindmarsh Island early to have the best choice.
Reaching your Hindmarsh holiday is simple. Book a flight from any of the major carriers from your choice of London’s airports to Adelaide. Once in Adelaide, hire a car and drive about 1.5 hours south-southeast to Hindmarsh Island, via the bridge from Goolwa.
Enjoy your stay!