Murray Bridge and Wellington - Lower Murray Region, South Australia.

Murray Bridge was proclaimed in 1884 but settlement long preceded that. The road bridge over the Murray opened in 1879 and the original rail bridge in 1886, providing a vital link to Victoria. The town today is substantial and growing. There is a considerable amount of fine old housing left in the town but much of the commercial centre has been substantially redeveloped. There are a few examples of colonial ecclesiastical buildings remaining, including Australia's smallest cathedral church, which is unfortunately too difficult to photograph. On a visit in 2008 I was impresssed by the degree to which the town has spruced itself up. The nearby South Eastern Freeway is turning the town into a commuter suburb of Adelaide, with rising house values.

The nearby town of Wellington is also on the Murray and has had a ferry since 1849. However the place is barely a village today, although on the Eastern side of the River there is a pleasant man-made marina and settlement, with a most congenial cafe overlooking the water.

The colonial authorities saw the river crossing as an ideal spot to build a Courthouse, Police Station and Post Office. This building is now an excellent museum, B&B and cafe. The cafes and the river crossing make this a most relaxing place to visit !

Holiday visitors travelling from the south east corner of Australia (eg Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales) could do a lot worse than to cross the Murray at Wellington and detour via the Fleurieu Peninsula, rather than heading straight for Adelaide along the Freeway.

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