The Riverland covers an area of 9,386 square kilometres (3,624 sq. mi) along the Murray River flowing into South Australia from New South Wales and Victoria and downstream to Blanchetown. The major town centres are Renmark, Berri, Loxton, Waikerie, Barmera and Monash, along with many smaller townships; the population is approximately 35,000 people.
The region has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and relatively mild winters, with temperatures a few degrees above those of Adelaide.
With a history strongly linked to irrigation and growing crops the area’s suitability thrives due to the warm climate and vast acres of fertile soil and a readily available water source in the Murray River.
The River Murray supplies all the water set up as separate irrigation districts with many towns established as post-war resettlement of soldiers from World War I and World War II. The Central Irrigation Trust manages most of the community and supplies to 13,000 ha. There is also the Renmark Irrigation Trust, which supplies water to 4,700 ha.
Primary production drives the Riverland’s economy with the ability to grow a diversity of crops including 7 per cent of Australia’s fresh stone fruit and 18 per cent of Australia’s almonds. The agriculture industry is the largest employer in the area with approximately 3000 farm-based businesses in the Riverland Region.
The Riverland is also Australia’s largest wine-producing region, growing over half (63 per cent in 2014) of South Australia’s wine grapes and supplying most major Australian wine companies with a significant amount of bulk wine.
Riverland juices and milk drinks are stocked on supermarket shelves across Australia and internationally.
Renowned for its natural wonders, the Riverland fosters many outdoor pursuits with the opportunity to go for guided and self-guided walks, horse-riding or bike riding (both mountain biking or cycling), canoeing or kayaking on the river and creeks. Lake Bonney also provides opportunities for sailing, zorbing or windsurfing.