Goolwa Tourism & Travel
Situated on the Fleurieu Peninsula near the Murray River Mouth, some 90kms from Adelaide in South Australia, the historic river port town of Goolwa embraces all the good things in life. The relaxing fishing and boating haven boasts a beautiful family beach, and a wealth of attractions and vibrant events. Goolwa is the gateway to the magnificent Coorong National Park, and the starting point of the historic Cockle train, stopping at other delightful coastal towns.
The attraction-rich town of Goolwa has something for everyone. The fresh and saltwater lakes around Goolwa are a haven for boating enthusiasts and the Murray River Mouth is excellent for fishing. Motoring buffs shouldnt miss the Goolwa Motor Museum, exhibiting classic cars from all over the world, and golf-lovers can enjoy a relaxed game whist taking in the serene natural environment at the Goolwa Golf Course. The Artworx Gallery showcases beautiful artwork of all kinds by local artists, and visitors can take a trip down memory lane at the River Dolls of Goolwa, displaying a wide range of 20th century dolls and toys. When visiting the doll museum, a stop at Dollies Lollies lolly shop is a must for a wide range of Australian, English and Scottish sweets.
The expansive Goolwa Beach is popular for fishing, surfing, water sports, swimming, and long strolls along the sand whilst digging for cockles when in season. A kiosk and nearby boardwalk make it a great destination for a family day out. Not far west of Goolwa, Port Elliot boasts a scenic sheltered beach offering great swimming conditions and fishing from the jetty. The nearby Boomer Beach and Knights Beach are often frequented by surfers.
South Australian Wooden Boat and Music Festival
Held biennially at the historic wharf of Goolwa, the South Australian Wooden Boat & Music Festival incorporates three days of festivities for the whole family including hundreds of wooden boats of all shapes & sizes, music performances, arts & maritime craft workshops, boat building, regional food & wine and much more. Since 1980, the ever popular festival has drawn large crowds from far and wide.
Other Goolwa Events
The annual Goolwa Alive features an endless array of entertainment, whist showcasing local produce and businesses. The main drag is closed off to accommodate a street festival filled with pony rides, face painting, food and wine, art and craft and much more. The Club Marine Boating Extravaganza is proudly South Australias largest on-water boat and lifestyle show. This annual family fun-filled event features everything from luxury motor cruisers to the humble canoe. For some retail therapy, the fortnightly Goolwa Wharf Markets boasts around 80 stalls, offering something for everyone.
Goolwa - Near by
The popular Cockle Train operates between Goolwa and Victor Harbor, stopping at charming coastal towns along the way. En route, the historic Port Elliot boasts lovely beaches within the picturesque Horseshoe Bay, and the final destination of Victor Harbor houses an endless array of attractions, historic architecture, some of Australias most popular surf beaches, and many great pubs and eateries.
Accessed from Goolwa by bridge, Hindmarsh Island consists of the largest freshwater marina development in the Southern Hemisphere, offering excellent fishing and boating opportunities.
National Park - Coorong
Goolwa is the gateway to the spectacular Coorong National Park. The pristine eco environment consists of fascinating ancient Indigenous middens and burial grounds. Visitors can canoe on the waterways, spot a wide variety of bird species, and embark on a walking trail taking in magnificent coastal views. The historic Poltalloch Station pastoral property is also located within the National Park.
First surveyed in 1840, Goolwa became the first major shipping port in South Australia. Produce was barged down the Murray system for loading onto overseas vessels. Unfortunately, the port became inaccessible to the larger ships due to the silting-up of the Murray Mouth. Subsequently, the first railway line in South Australia was opened between Goolwa and Port Elliot in 1854. The early 1880s saw the diminishment of trade in Goolwa due to the Morgan railway directing it through Adelaide. By 1890, shipping began to cease at Goolwa.
Today, Goolwa has become a popular tourist destination. The boats servicing Goolwa now primarily carry tourists, and the numerous historic buildings about town have been restored as cafes, art galleries, and various types of accommodation. In the Alexandrina Council, Goolwa has a population of 5,882 souls.