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  • Where to Waterski & Wakeboard in South Australia

    July 13, 2022 8 min read

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    Where to Waterski & Wakeboard in South Australia

    Submerging yourself in any type of water is a popular pastime for Aussies. Spending the warm days in the water is a quintessential Australian activity, whether it's in the surf, a backyard pool, a river, or a lake. Many Australians spend hot days on the water, enjoying water sports like water skiing, wakeboarding, and more. Those who are passionate about water sports will have strong feelings about the best place to enjoy them. Many Australians, we know, have special traditions involving trips to the water that may have been passed down through the generations or to a particular region of Australia that holds a special place in their hearts.

    We at Auski are proud of our entire sun-drenched nation, and to prove it, we've compiled a list of our favourite places to go water skiing, wakeboarding, doughnuting, and the like all over Australia. You can read our guides of Top Places to Waterski & Wakeboard in Queensland, 5 Best Places to Waterski in NSW, Where to Waterski in Australia by State, and Top Cable parks in Australia.

    Whether you're a seasoned pro at water sports, looking to buy your first wakeboard or set of slalom skis, or just want to find a new place to spend some time on the water with, here’s where to hit the water in South Australia.

    Where to waterski on the Murray River, South Australia

    The Murray River

    To put it simply, the mighty Murray River is unbeatable, and pretty much the main watercourse for all watersport action in South Australia. One of the best and most popular places in the country for water activities, the river runs through three states and hundreds of kilometres. As a result of its division into 17 sections, the river is easily accessible and a popular destination for many people in Australia. There are a plethora of entry points along this river, which runs from the South Australian border all the way to the Victoria and New South Wales borders. Avoid coming during the summer because it gets very hot, and the winter because it gets very cold.

    All skill levels are welcome on the Murray, from novices to seasoned veterans. Professional ski shows and competitions are also held here, which should tell you something about how great the river is for water skiing. Whether you're wakeboarding from your house boat in Mannum or one of the many private and public boat ramps along the river, the Murray is a wakeboarder's paradise. Overcrowding can be an issue in popular waterskiing spots, such as those on or near the River Murray.

    As the Murray is so long, the below are the best areas to stay and play with great access to the Murray.

    Where to waterski on the Murray River, South Australia

    Murray Bridge

    Murray Bridge is a thriving rural town that enjoys a riverfront location on the Murray, only 78km (roughly 1 hour) from Adelaide. Murray Bridge has a long history, both Aboriginal and European, and was officially named in 1879 after the iconic bridge that spans the Murray River. Water sports, relaxing by the river, hiking, and a wide variety of restaurants and bars are what bring the most tourists to this town today. Murray Bridge is a great starting point for exploring the surrounding area, with its picturesque river views and typically South Australian landscapes. Float away to a world of relaxation on a houseboat, or grab your wakeboard, water skis or tube and hit the water. For avid star gazers out there, at night, when there is little or no light pollution, the area around Murray Bridge is one of the best in South Australia for stargazing.

    Ankara

    Some 110 kilometres from Adelaide, Ankara Youth Camp can be found on the banks of the mighty River Murray in the Murraylands Region (approximately one and a half hours drive). The property is located near the Walker Flat ferry and public boatramp on a 1.4-hectare plot of land between the River Murray and Lake Bywater. Ankaya are not a caravan park; instead, they provide overnight lodging in private bedrooms and cater to only one group at a time, perfect if you’re heading away with a big group.

    Mannum

    Located 85 kilometres east of Adelaide, the historic town of Mannum sits on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia. You can take a relaxing cruise up the river on a historic paddle steamer, and then stop at one of the many pubs along the riverbank, such as the Pretoria Hotel or the Mannum Hotel, to take in the breathtaking scenery. In a short amount of time, you can be in the world-famous Hermann Gass Bird Sanctuary, paddling past river red gums and spotting a wide array of birdlife, or you can lace up your hiking boots and find the Mannum Waterfalls. Water sports, fishing, and dining in a serene and picturesque river setting can all be found in Mannum, which is also a great home base from which to explore the neighbouring regions of the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, and the Fleurieu Peninsula.

    Renmark

    Renmark, a small town in the Riverland region of South Australia, is situated on the banks of the Murray River, 254 kilometres north-east of Adelaide. Renmark is a majestic city on the flourishing banks of the River Murray, a little more than three hours' drive from Adelaide. This town, which was founded in 1887, is the largest in the Riverland region and is known for its ochre cliffs, bird-filled wetlands, and kayakable riverscapes. One of the most popular gins in South Australia is made at the revitalised 100-year-old Twenty Third Street Distillery in Renmark. Relax at the luxurious Frames Retreats with views of the River Murray, or enjoy the scenery while sipping a beer at Wilkadene Brewery's historic sheering sheds. Renmark also make a great base if you plan on spending some time on the water.

    Where to wakeboard in South Australia

    Berri

    The town of Berri got its name from the Aboriginal word 'bery bery,' which means "big river bend." Before the 1870s, this was the territory was the traditional homeland of the Erawirunga people. The beautiful Martin Bend Wetlands are just outside the township on the Riverside Trail. Katarapko National Park is right next door. There are 3,000 irrigated hectares of vineyards and orchards surrounding Berri. Some of Australia's most impressive wineries can be found in Berri meaning there’s always great dining experiences to be found. The nearby Loveday 4x4 Adventure Park provides a unique opportunity to drive a four-wheel vehicle. You can drive all over the private property's 8,000 acres of land and 14 kilometres of riverfront if you have your own vehicle.

    Loxton

    Loxton on the Murray River's southern bank, is home to luxurious lodgings, interesting points of interest, a nationally acclaimed golf course, award-winning wine and outdoor pursuits like swimming, boating, waterskiing, fishing, and bushwalking. The town's historic recreation of its early days, known as "The Village," is a major tourist draw, but the main draw is the Murray River, and the parks along its banks.

    Waikerie

    Waikerie is only 175 kilometres from Adelaide, and it enjoys a picturesque location on the banks of the Murray River. The original indigenous population gave the area its name, Waikerie, which is said to mean "many wings" after the giant swift moth known as "wei kari." Given the abundance of avian life in the lagoons and wetlands along the river's banks, the name is quite fitting. Waikerie has grown out of a deep love for the Murray River and all that it represents. One of the longest stretches of easily accessible riverbank can be found here, while the river's ample width makes it a favourite spot for boating, watersports, fishing, and mooring houseboats. Beautiful lawns line the river's banks, and there are amenities like barbeque pits, covered picnic areas, trees that provide shade, a playground, a swimming jetty, and bathrooms.

    Where to wakeboard and waterski SA, Australia

    Meningie and Lake Albert

    Meningie, at the northern end of the Coorong on the shores of Lake Albert, has all the quaintness of a small country town along with the breathtaking scenery of the Coorong and the freshwater Lower Lakes Albert and Alexandrina of the Murray River. Enjoy the tranquilly and easygoing pace of life in this picturesque harbour community. Located in South Australia, not far from the mouth of the Murray River, is Lake Albert, also known by its Ngarrindjeri name, Yarli. This lake is great for watersports and a stay at Lake Albert Caravan Park will give you prime access. On this lake, you can safely engage in activities like kayaking, water skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, fishing, and more.

    Goolwa Jet Ski Park

    An hour and twenty minutes from Adelaide you’ll find Goolwa Jet Ski Park, a great location for jet skiers. All jet skis used in South Australia, must be registered in South Australia. If you follow the rules set forth by the South Australian government, you can use your personal watercraft (PWC) in both open and closed water at either Goolwa Beach or the River Murray. Approximately 300 metres before reaching the Goolwa Barrage parking lot is where jet skiers and other watercraft enthusiasts should head to use the designated jet ski area. You can park your car, use the restrooms, and launch your personal watercraft from a small beach at this location at the present time.

    If you’re heading out on the Murray River for watersports, most locations can be remote, so it is essential to stay up to day with safety measures, and enjoy your sport safely.

    Waterski locations in South Australia

    Watersport Safety

    Waterskiing has its own set of rules designed to keep participants safe. You should avoid other boats, especially those without motors, such as rowing boats and canoes, and be aware of the impact your boat wash has on the environment.

    • Between the hours of sunset and sunrise, waterskiing is prohibited.
    • Towing capacity is limited to no more than three people or one device with a maximum capacity of three people.
    • Skiers, observers, and drivers are all subject to a.05 blood alcohol concentration limit.
    • Every person waterskiing or being towed in any other way must wear a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket, rated level 50 or 50S.
    • If a skier goes into the water, they should raise an arm or their skis vertically in the air to let others know they are there (unless they are injured).
    • Both the skipper and observer need to be at least 16 years old. As long as the boat's skipper is at least 18 years old, anyone between the ages of 12 and 15 is allowed on board as an observer, but only if they have a special boat operator's permit.
    • An observer is required to ride along with the skipper in waterskiing boats. For the skier's safety, the observer must keep a close eye on them and relay any instructions to the boat's driver.
    • The observer should be familiar with the internationally recognised hand signals, which can be found in the SA Recreational Boating Safety Handbook.
    • Skippers, keep to the starboard side of the waterway when making a turn when leaving, approaching, or passing a takeoff area counterclockwise.
    • Take-off area traffic should be given priority, so departing boats should not block the path of arriving craft. That's right, boats heading for takeoff have the green light to go ahead.
    • Bringing skis or ski ropes to a take-off area requires first pulling them out of the water.
    • Skis that have been accidentally thrown into the water should not be left there because they pose a danger to boaters.
    • No vessel is permitted to approach within 100 metres of a person being towed by another vessel, or to follow closely behind one.
    Watersport safety tips

    If you’re after any local tips for waterskiing, wakeboarding or surrounding country towns, send us an email or hit us up on Facebook.


    See you out on the water! ✌🏻

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