The most successful of the State Government’s bold 1894 experiment to establish 11 village settlements on the Murray River, Waikerie has developed into a thriving rural town 170km north-east of Adelaide.
Oranges are the staple crop and, at the last count, the local citrus orchards boasted more than 1 million trees. With a population of about 2000, the town sits atop limestone cliffs and commands superb views of the river.
Waikerie takes its name from the Aboriginal word for ‘many wings’, which was also applied to the giant swift, or rain moth, which the original Australians regarded as a delicacy.
The Waikerie Gliding Club, which hosted the 1974 world championships, offers visitors joy flights which present unequalled views of the river and its hues, the sun-lit cliffs and the patchwork of citrus orchards and vineyards.
A large rental houseboat fleet operates out of Waikerie and, north-west of the town, you have the opportunity to take in the sights from the back of a camel.