In its hey day, Morgan was South Australia’s busiest river port. The township is located on what is often referred to as the Great Bend, the Great Elbow, or more commonly, North-West Bend.
You can enjoy the rich history of Morgan with a historic town walk as it has preserved its history with considerable flair and authenticity. The town walk is a great way to explore the unique history of this river community. Stop in at the Landseers’ building now the Morgan Museum.
There is small supermarket, two hotels, a swimming area, golf course, bowling club, caravan park, Conservation Park with camping sites and plenty of good fishing areas. The town is also great for watersports and skiers who enjoy local riverfront shacks/accommodation and the riverfront reserve for mooring.
Morgan, during the 1800’s was the home port of hundreds of paddle steamers which carried cargo and passengers up the Murray–Darling River system. Part of the historic walk takes in the Morgan Wharf still remains one of the most impressive examples of its kind on the entire Murray Darling system. Morgan became a successful port, During the height of the steamer trade between 1880 and 1915, the massive red gum and blue-gum wharf was extended. The large structure was progressively lengthened and built in three stages. The first section in 1877, the second section in 1878 and the final only remaining section we see today in 1912, combining an overall length of 168 metres, or 550 feet.
The wharf was more than just a timber loading platform; it was in the prime of its working life, a complex of five water hydraulic cranes with associated piping, gearing and drive shafts linked to the steam boiler house and engine house. The rear section of the platform carried a railway line and an extensive part of the platform was covered with a large goods shed.
A network of stairways, ladders and decking descended through the massive timber piers and girders to provide service to landing stages at lower levels. Gangs of up to fifty men worked continuous 24 hour shifts, while six trains a day were dispatched to Port Adelaide, and long queues of paddle steamers and barges laden with wool, wheat, and other goods to be unloaded, were a common sight.
Morgan, incidentally, is also the commencing point of the 320 kilometre Morgan/Whyalla Pipeline.
There are many reserves in the area; notable among these being Cadell, Morgan and Hogwash Flat. Hogwash Flat. In this locality there are quite a number of stranded barges from the paddle wheel era, some are high and dry, other are submerged. These are well worth seeing and good fishing.
Disappearance of Henry Bryan Trail. Take the path of the 1839 expedition party led by Governor Gawler from Morgan to Mt Bryan. A journey that ended in tragedy with the mysterious disappearance of one of its expedition members – a young man from England, Henry Bryan. The trail will lead you on the expedition’s land adventure around Morgan and what are believed to be the sites of Henry’s last known whereabouts.
Only a short drive from Morgan across the free ferry towards Waikerie is Cadell. A best kept foodies Riverland secret. Beautiful produce, outstanding wines and unique country town feel. Cadell has a general store and licensed community club, or you can enjoy the riverfront lawns that offer majestic limestone cliff views, a playground and free barbecues. There is the local wetlands, Cadell Museum, The Old Pumping Station Chimney and Scenic Riverfront Walk.
There are two wineries in the area Spook Hill Wines and Caudo Wines, and both are available for cellar door sales.