The name Waikerie is said to mean ‘many wings’, after the giant swift moth ‘wei kari’, the name given by the local Aboriginals.
Waikerie is the only village settlement on the river to emerge as a major town with its own hospital and schools. Today the district of Waikerie covers an area of approximately 3000km2. Approximately 5000 hectares are irrigated producing wine grapes, citrus, almonds, fresh and dried stone fruits, tomatoes, rockmelons, vegetables, avocados, olives etc. Waikerie is truly the centre of citrus and fruit industry in South Australia sending thousands of tonnes of quality produce to Australian and overseas markets.
One of the main features of Waikerie is the long stretches of scenic accessible riverbank, offering endless opportunities for water activities and camping. The Waikerie riverfront has attractive lawned areas with free BBQ facilities, boat ramps with a Lions playground and shelter to cater for all occasions and weather. You can cross the Murray here on the free 24 hour ferry. Be as active or as relaxed as you wish, with lots to see and do not far from your base or enjoy the cliff top walk.
The district is full of wildlife, natural history and ecological attractions that are very hard to surpass for beauty, selection and availability. Brilliant weather all year round ensures a most desirable climate for outdoor activities during short or long stays. Waikerie is a centre that caters to the interest of a wide variety of both visitors and residents alike and offers a great choice of country cafes, accommodation, hospitality and shopping.
From the town’s lookout you can see the western orchards which were amongst the first planted by Village Settlers. The all electric Pumping Station at the foot of the cliff was built in 1965 to replace diesel pumping units which had in their time replaced the earlier steam engine and pump.
Waikerie boasts some of the best thermals in the world for soaring and is home to many gliding competitions. Joy flights are available depending on weather conditions and pilot availability.
Eco-tourism at its best is at the Birds Australia Gluepot Reserve 60km north of Waikerie, a bird watcher’s paradise. Gluepot is “one of the conservation miracles of the 21st century”, there are few areas of the world that support such a concentration of threatened species.
On the Sturt Highway near Kingston-on-Murray take some time to visit the Riverglen View Art Studio and Gallery. The gallery showcases a range of original, kiln-fired glass artworks by Clint and Liz Frankel. The Frankel’s glasswork range from assorted functional glass platters, to elaborate hand painted glass tile murals.
At nearby Kingston-on-Murray is the world famous Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre. Sit on the deck, sample a wine, enjoy a light lunch or walk the wetlands trail. Heading west of Waikerie you’ll discover the wonderful riverside winery of Caudo Cellar Door near Hogwash Bend right on the banks of the Murray River.
Waikerie Visitor Information Centre
Strangman Road, Waikerie SA 5330
Phone: (08) 8541 0708
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm; Saturday 9am-4pm; Sunday & Public holidays 10am-4pm
Closed: Christmas & Good Friday