Tailem Bend, South Australia

Great cliff-top town overlooking the Murray

  • Dump point
  • caravan
  • shopping
  • accommodation
  • food
  • petrol
  • playground
  • golf
  • toilets
Adelaide to Tailem Bend
Morgan Ferry
Tailem Bend looking towards Murray Bridge, SA
Located 99 km east of Adelaide and 21 metres above sea level, Tailem Bend is one of those Australian towns where no one really knows the origins of its name. Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Ngarrindjeri people. They made bark and reed canoes, and lived on the fish and animals residing beside the river.

Following Captain Charles Sturt, the whole area along the Murray was opened up by overlanders who moved sheep and cattle across the land. By the 1840s there was a ferry across the Murray River at Wellington which meant that the more difficult terrain, particularly the high cliffs, around Tailem Bend were overlooked in the development of the river bank.

Tailem Town, Tailem Bend, South Australia
Tailem Town, Tailem Bend, South Australia

The town's real roots lie in the railway. It is essentially a railway town - created when the railway came through the area in 1886. The town was proclaimed in 1887. If you doubt the importance of the railway, recall how many towns you have visited where the railway line (and the attractive local railway station) run alongside the main street. Source

Railway Terrace, Tailem Bend
Railway Terrace, Tailem Bend

A lower Murray town at the junction of the Dukes and Princes Highways in South Australia's Big River Country, Tailem Bend is dominated by the river and the railway which was for so long its lifeblood. Its importance as a railhead and workshop in the state's railway network may have diminished with the passage of time, but gandy dancers are still thick on the ground and the views across the Murray as the river takes a sharp bend toward Wellington 11km to the south are as enchanting as ever.

Riverfront caravan, camping and boating facilities make fishing, strolling and bird-watching a joy. Houseboats moor at a pontoon and cliff steps lead directly to a comfortable watering hole and a choice of restaurants. A short drive out of town on the Princes Highway takes you to Old Tailem Town, a pioneer village whose 90 restored buildings vividly capture the early days of Mallee settlement. A scenic drive and ferry crossing leads to Jervois and the chance to taste some of the south-east's finest cheeses.

Karoonda Services

  • information Visitor Information
    Tailem Bend Visitor Information Centre
    87-79 Railway Tce, Tailem Bend
    SA 5260 • Phone (08) 8572 4277
    Open: 7 days - 10am-4pm
  • Rivers Edge Caravan Park
  • Tailem Bend Hotel
    77 Railway Tce, Tailem Bend SA 5260
    Ph: (08) 8572 3515
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south australia - victoria
south australia - victoria
Southern Mallee Southern Mallee District Council
Day Street, Pinnaroo SA 5304
Ph: (08) 8577 8002
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