The largest town on the Murray River in South Australia, Murray Bridge has everything the visitor could need, including a large regional shopping centre, accommodation, restaurants, hotels and sporting facilities. It is also home to the riverfront Sturt Reserve, which has a playground, BMX track, barbecues and a kiosk.
Formerly known as Edwards Crossing, because of an early settler's hospitality to passing drovers, Murray Bridge is rich in river history. The first bridge to span the Murray was built here in 1879, and was joined in 1925 by a rail bridge and in 1979 by the Swanport Bridge. The local Ngaralta Aboriginal people call the area Mooppolthawong, which means 'haven for birds'.
The Captain's Cottage Museum tells the history of the town through memorabilia, photographs, vintage machinery and model riverboats. Beneath the surface of the river between Sturt Reserve and upstream from the bridges, which range in depth from eight metres to 18 metres, there are nine sunken paddle steamers and barges.
Murray Bridge is a good base for water sports, boating and fishing and there are also several cruise operators based in the town, including MV Expedition, which runs regular morning tea cruises. Regular short cruises can also be had on the PB Captain Proud departing Murray Bridge together with the MV Barrangul. Walkers can take the five kilometre Rail and River Walk, which takes in the town's major historic sites, or the 105 kilometre Federation Trail, which meanders its way to Tungkillo at the 79km point and continues onto Springton completing the 105km trail.
Those wanting to explore the town's sights by car can take the Murray Bridge Scenic Drive; copies are available from the local Visitor Information Centre. Major attractions like Monarto Zoological Park only a short drive from Murray Bridge, Avoca Dell Mini Golf, Cottage Box Chocolates and the Sturt Reserve Bunyip, make Murray Bridge a good base for families. Further afield, Willow Point Wines and the Swanport Wetland, an important habitat for fauna, are worth a visit.