Town in South Australia
Barmera is a town in the Riverland region of South Australia. It is on the Sturt Highway A20, 220 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, the capital of the state of South Australia. It is primarily an agricultural and viticultural town and is located on Lake Bonney Riverland, a freshwater lake.
Barmera, the edge of an aquatic playground of Lake Bonney
Barmera is one of the most popular aquatic playgrounds in South Australia. Situated in the heart of the Riverland, Barmera is a pretty town situated on the shores of Lake Bonney, a lake renowned for its sunsets.
Barmera is approximately a two and a half hour drive from Adelaide and two hours from Mildura. The Barossa and Clare Valleys, Mid-North and the lower Murray are all comfortable day tours away, whilst the other Riverland towns of Berri, Renmark, Loxton and Waikerie are all within a half hours drive.
The Riverland enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long hot summer days, warm autumn and spring and generally mild winters. The area receives approximately 250mm of rain a year and enjoys more sunlight hours than Queensland.
Lake Bonney is a fresh water lake fed from the Murray River through the Chambers Creek wetlands. Because the lake is shallow and has a sandy bottom, it provides safe swimming and is ideal for sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, jet skiing, boating and fishing. The lake also abounds with bird life.
Rocky’s Hall of Fame is situated in the main street of Barmera, has a host of memorabilia for country music enthusiasts including Rocky’s radio desk. Dean ‘Rocky’ Page was a show business entertainer. Rocky was involved in both TV and radio and including a national tour with Slim Dusty. Rocky also set up the first S.A. Country Music Awards held for 10 days in June.
There are also many other events held throughout the year in Barmera such as the SA Carp Frenzy, Murray Man Triathlon, SA Sheepdog Trials and the Running of the Sheep, Riverland Field Days in September and regular Barmera Main Street Markets including the hugely popular Twilight Easter Market with its Open Air Cinema on the edges of Lake Bonney. Click here for Barmera’s events.
Nearby is also the Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum. It has approximately 12 open days a year when the train and traction engine steam up for rides. The museum is the home of the unique gas driven Humphrey Pump, the only working model in the world and also houses material and photographs from the Loveday Internment Camp.
The Barmera region has some great wineries nearby. The Berri Estates Winery at Glossop, which is the largest distillery in the Southern Hemisphere, are both open for sales and tastings.
Visit Lock 3 on the western side of Lake Bonney. The native flora of the region is second to none. Giant river red gums line the course of the Murray and there is a magnificent range of other native plants including red Mallee, yorrell, oil bush, sugarwood, native boxthorn and wattles. There is an abundance of birdlife thrives around the lake and in the creeks and wetlands as well as along the Murray River itself, such as sulphur-crested cockatoos, sacred kingfishers, crimson rosellas, pelicans and many other species.
The Nappers Ruins are on the north side of Lake Bonney. The Ruins once stood strong as a hotel built for former workers of Cobdogla Station. It was originally called Lake Bonney Hotel. The hotel is now nothing more than ruins and includes interpretive information around the site.
Nearby you can explore Chambers Creek, Loch Luna, The Moorook Game Reserve and Katarapko Conservation Park which are all accessible and abound with wildlife. Canoe hire is available with or without a guide. The creeks and the river are ideal for fishing and yabbying.
Only 21km from Barmera on the road to Morgan is the Riverland’s oldest pub the Overland Corner Hotel. The heritage listed pub was a convenient watering place and camp site for the overlanders and drovers and paddle steamers during the 1800s. Now you can enjoy the peaceful setting and take a local walk, have a soothing ale or good pub meal.
Rural scenes around the Barmera district provide a constant variety of contrasts from irrigated fruit blocks to mallee scrublands. Dry farming with crops and grazing, marshlands, wetlands, riverside and lakeside are all within close proximity. If a change is a holiday, life in Barmera is one continuous holiday… so why not come and see for yourself? You will be most welcome.
Tennis courts, a yacht club, an aquatic hire, basketball and volleyball courts, football club and cricket ground are all part of the sporting facilities available at Barmera.
The Barmera Recreation Centre comprises of a sports stadium (for Basketball, Netball and badminton) and a physiotherapy and fitness centre with a 24 hour gym. The Lake Bonney Caravan Park provides a holiday program of activities for children in conjunction with the recreation centre. Golfing enthusiasts can play on the landscaped greens at Barmera Golf Club, while bowlers are welcome to use the excellent greens and Barmera Bowling Club facilities. Both venues are popular for the Autumn Carnivals.
Shoppers are well catered for in Barmera with ample parking and seven days a week supermarket. Shopping Centres in other major towns also provide a wide range of goods and services.
History of Barmera
Barmera is steeped in history, being part of the original Cobdogla Station which was established in 1846. The first European to discover Lake Bonney in 1838 was overlander Joseph Hawdon.
The Donald Campbell Obelisk records the fact that the famous English speedster, Donald Campbell unsuccessfully attempted to break the world water speed record on Lake Bonney in 1964. He reached 347.5km/h but the lake was too small and the waves created by the speeding vehicle were too dangerous. More Barmera history.
Barmera Main Events and Festivals
- SA Carp Frenzy
- SA Sheepdog Trials
- Murray Man Triathlon
- Twilight Easter Market
- Riverland Field Days – September
- Barmera Main Street Markets
- Open Air Cinema
- Barmera Pageant & Fireworks – December
- SA Country Music Awards