Goolwa is a town on the Fleurieu Peninsula near the mouth of the Murray River (Australia's largest). The town faces both the ocean and the river.
Explore the Murray River
The Murray is an integral part of life in Goolwa. The Murray/Darling River system is Australia's longest, with headwaters in the Snowy Mountains and in south-western Queensland. Goolwa is where the river system finally makes its way through its final lake system into the ocean.
Near the centre of Goolwa, you will find the wharf precinct. The tourist information, the old railway station, and the a historic interpretive walk line the river here. There is a map showing the extent of the lake system at the Murray mouth. There is also a cafe here on the water, and you can see the new Hindmarsh Island Bridge, and the old punt sitting idle underneath it.
The Murray at Goolwa and in Lake Alexandrina is fresh water. The salt water is held back by a series of 5 barrages built across the river and lakes. You can walk out half way across the Goolwa Barrages. You have to enter from the south, there is no access to the barrage (and you can't even really even see it) from Hindmarsh Island. There is a picnic area, interpretive signage, and electric barbecues at the site.
You can see the actual Murray Mouth from Hindmarsh Island in the Coorong National Park. Keeping the mouth open is an environmental activity undertaken by the constant dredging at the mouth. The exercise is undertaken to keep seawater flowing into the lower Murray, and stop the ecosystem from stagnating.
The Australasian Dining Room on the corner of the main street serves a Set Menu on Saturday nights cooked by Chef Juliet Michell.