William Randell, romantic son of a pioneer pastoralist, fulfilled a lifelong dream when he launched a paddle steamer named Mary Ann at Noa-No on the Murray River in 1853. That launching 5km upstream from the present town of Mannum paved the way for the glory days of the paddle steamer era in south-east Australia. Randell, in fact, was also instrumental in the founding of Mannum through his decision to move his entire river boat transport operation from Noa-No to the site of the town in 1853. The boiler of his historic steamer is the centrepiece of the Mary Ann Reserve. The paddle-steamer Marion, which was built in 1897, was pensioned off as a Lake Alexandrina pleasure craft for a number of years before being refitted to operate as a cruise craft out of Mannum. Set on the broad reaches of the Lower Murray, accessible by the South Eastern Freeway from Adelaide or via the scenic route through Gumercha and Birdwood, Mannum enjoys some of the best cruising waters on the entire Murray system and a number of houseboat operations are based in the town.