An historic town and popular holiday retreat on the Murray River, Morgan was the busiest port in South Australia at the height of the paddle steamer era. It preserves its history with flair. The restored wharf precinct captures the early river trading days and the town's museums bring to life the stories of the paddle steamer era.
A 'must do' for visitors is Morgan's heritage walk, taking in historic landmarks and leading to a panoramic view of the town and river. Charles Sturt passed the site of the town on his voyage down the Murray and back in 1830. Known originally as North West Bend, the Great Bend or the Great Elbow, it became a point for overlanders, on their way to Adelaide with stock, to leave the Murray and make for Adelaide.
In 1878 the town was proclaimed and the Kapunda to Morgan railway officially opened. The purpose of the railway was to tap the river trade from the Darling and Upper Murray regions by providing quicker access to a coastal port and thereby forestalling similar efforts by the Victorian Government.
In its glory days, as a port, Morgan was the second biggest port in the state, behind Port Adelaide, dispatching six trains a day to Port Adelaide and saw long queues of laden steamers and barges stretching downstream from the Morgan wharf awaiting their turn to unload. Reminiscent of Morgan's early days was the great River Ramble of 1986, when two flotillas, 536 craft of all shapes and sizes, converged on Morgan at the culmination of this week-long Jubilee 150 event.