Jessica Zimmerman is the venue manager of Renmark’s Twenty Third Street Distillery, a sleek modern offering housed in a century-old landmark that has been named Vintage Cellars’ Distillery of the Year for 2019.
Using vintage copper stills and traditional craftsmanship it produces a range of spirits with interesting and innovative flavours, such as a signature gin with local mandarin and lime, and brandy with dried apricots and raisins. Each spirit is beautifully bottled with labels designed by mostly local artists.
Here, Jessica shares her tips on the best things to do when in Renmark, SA.
Some 260 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, Renmark is located on the banks of the Murray River.
Renmark is the closest river town to the Victoria and NSW borders, the place of the first irrigation scheme in Australia, and the country’s largest rose garden. The town serves as an important historic stop for people cruising on the Murray and is home to an array of water activities, wine producers, great cycle paths and a five-kilometre riverfront heritage walk.
What to do
8am: Get your coffee fix
Get up early for the best coffee fix in town. The lovely people at Arrosto Coffee roast their own beans and have a beautiful little cafe in the old Renmark Fire Station (built 1959) in the middle of town.
9am: Stroll along the riverfront
Head down to the Jarrett Memorial Gardens (about a 10-minute walk) and take a morning stroll along the mighty Murray River, the longest river in Australia. You may spot some houseboats meandering up the river or speedboats zipping past with wakeboarders and skiers in tow.
10.30am: Appreciate local art
The Riverland Artists Hub at Renmark Square is worth checking out with a collection of local work on display. Erin Harrald Ceramics is a personal favourite – she makes the loveliest dinnerware.
11am: Blend your own gin
Book ahead for Twenty Third Street Distillery’s Gin Blending Experience. Enjoy a Signature Gin and Tonic on arrival and tour the century-old distillery before sitting down to create your own gin to take home in a 200ml bottle. Taste some of our other products while you’re here – the Riverland Rose Vodka is unique with rose petal and vanilla flavours and tastes divine in a Turkish Delight martini!
1pm: Grapes and Greece
Head up the road to Eleni’s Greek Restaurant for lunch. This quaint little restaurant is part of Mallee Estate Wines, so do a wine tasting before ordering a glass to pair with lunch. I recommend the quail – it’s delicious!
3pm: Paddle the Murray
Meet Kym and Karen from Canoe Adventures at the Berri Visitor Information Centre, a short drive from Renmark. Kym will take you on a guided tour of some of the most beautiful creeks and wetlands in and around the Murray River. Keep your eye out for birds and kangaroos, and enjoy a hot cuppa on the bank of the river midway through your paddle.
6pm: Dinner with the Queen
Dine at the Murray River Queen, a paddleboat moored permanently at the Main Town Wharf. They do delicious modern Asian cuisine so snag a table at the rooftop bar, watch the sun go down and enjoy one of their amazing salads – the pork belly with green apple and barramundi salad is my favourite!
8pm: Retreat for the night
The multi-award-winning Frames Retreats are the height of luxury and owners Rick and Cathy Edmonds truly go out of their way to cater for guests. Overlooking the river, the retreats have spas, heated pools, luxurious bathrooms and the comfiest beds… you won’t want to leave!