The Renmark Irrigation Settlement was established in 1887 by George and William Chaffey, brothers who migrated from Canada. They used water from the Murray River to turn the arid river plains and surrounding mallee scrub into a flourishing irrigation district that now produces large amounts of winegrapes, citrus, stonefruit and almonds. Irrigators in the Renmark area are regarded as some of Australias most efficient water users.
Renmark, with a district population of 10,000 is located 250 km North East of Adelaide on the banks of the River Murray. Renmarks climate is dominated by long hot summers and cool mild winters with an average rainfall of 260mm.
Renmark is the first major South Australian town travellers from the eastern states will encounter when travelling the sturt highway.
Interesting Facts On Renmark
• Renmark takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning “Red Mud”.
• The Renmark Hotel opened in 1897 as the first community owned hotel in the British Empire. The hotel is still community owned.
• Local man, Ian Showell built the first commercial paddle powered houseboat on the River Murray, Launched at Renmark in 1961. The Houseboat industry has developed into one of the biggest tourism industries along the River.
• The Paddle Steamer ‘Industry’ holds the oldest boiler in a paddle steamer, which was built and installed in 1934 and is still in operation. The Renmark Apex Club volunteers many hours of Service work to the P.S. Industry.
• Rustons Roses, is the largest rose garden in the Southern Hemisphere.
• Renmark was the first irrigation settlement established in Australia
• The Paringa suspension bridge is one of only 4 still spanning the River Murray. Built in 1927 and still carries B-double trucks as part of the Sturt Highway. The bridge has a lifting section that is raised twice each day to allow the passage of large river vessels.