AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays


Why do we rate it?
Goolwa is the gateway to the western end of the Murray River, and has all the benefits of a beachside town with the heritage and history of a port.

Where is it?
Goolwa is 83km from Adelaide, or a 1hr 15min drive, on Lake Alexandrina near the mouth of the Murray.

Where to stay
Historic cottages in town have a bit of character: try Jackling and Joseph Cottages for comfortable, quiet stays. Narnu Farm on Hindmarsh Island is a farmstay where your stay include free horse riding, cow milking, animal feeding and bonfires. If this
isn’t enough to entertain the kids, there’s a tennis, basketball and volleyball court and playground. The self-contained cottages sleep 5-12 people and the big bunkhouse can sleep up to 54 in dorm accommodation.

How much is it?
Jackling Cottage a two-night minimum stay at $330 for two people. Joseph has a two-night minimum stay for two people at $290. Five-person cottages at Narnu Farm are $115 a night. Beds in the bunkhouse are $15 for children and $22 for adults. Rent the entire bunkhouse for $792 a night – that’s just $14.60 each per night.

Book J&J cottages before November 1 for January stays as they back out quickly. Narnu Farm fills up with families but book in advance for a short break during January.

What to do
Hop aboard the historic Cockle train as it begins its journey south to Victor Harbor on Australia’s oldest steel railway. Once the western port for the Murray, Goolwa is still home to paddlesteamers running tourists up and down the river. On dry land, catch a horse-drawn wagon to one of many museums or explore nearby wineries and Coorong National Park. The beaches and waterways between Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island are great for kayaking and boating.

Enjoy this article?

You can find it in Issue 35 along with
loads of other great stories and tips.