23 Things to do in Loxton

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Spending some time along the Murray River? Take a look at all these things to do in Loxton while you are there.

I’ve not spent an awful lot of time in this part of South Australia, and when I have, I have been drawn to Renmark. This time I chose to spend some time in Loxton instead, and it was worth the change.

I stayed for two nights, giving me plenty of time to look around. Loxton would be the perfect location for a relaxing week escaping the city or a nice stop if you are travelling around Australia with your RV or caravan.

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Here are the things to do in Loxton

Keep busy during your visit with these Loxton activities.

Explore the Loxton Historical Village

A street of historical shopfronts in a tourist village

The only reason you should not visit the Loxton Historical Village during your stay is if you are only here on a Monday – because that is the only day it is closed.

Otherwise, this glimpse into rural life in the past is a must. Over 45 buildings in the village, mostly brought here from surrounding locations for preservation, were set up to portray life a hundred years ago.

See everything from the chapel to the blacksmith, the lockup to the train station, the cellar to the tractor shed – it’s all here.

For me, having grown up in a rural community, there were so many reminders – like some of the items in the schoolhouse and the old telephones with the handle to wind and link to a manual exchange.

Look out for “Alive” days where local volunteers dress up in character and bring the village to life.

Search for the River Red Chairs

Two red chairs on a riverbank

As you are travelling around the Loxton area keep your eyes peeled for red chairs sitting in beautiful locations. Take a seat for a few minutes and appreciate the surroundings.

Then snap a photo to share with your friends 🙂

There are eight sets of red chairs around the district to discover. I won’t tell you all of them, but the first set can be found right on the riverfront in the centre of Loxton in the town wharf area.

(If you do want to whole list, pick up the “Discover Loxton” information pamphlet which can be found all over town. I got mine from the Loxton Historical Village)

Learn from the Tree of Knowledge

A large gum tree with placards with years nailed onto it to show the levels of floods over time

Being a river town, this area lives and dies to the rhythm of the Murray. This means that occasionally there are some pretty crazy floods – most recently in the summer of 2022/23.

There are many places around the area to see markers that show exactly how high the water levels came in during floods over the last 100 years or so, but the one I recommend taking a look at is the Tree of Knowledge.

The recent floods were mind-boggling, but just take a look at how much higher the 1956 floods were – insane. For context, if I stand next to the tree, I am approximately the same height as the 1973 level.

Taste the Local Wines

Whistling Kite Biodynamic Wines

The Riverland may not be the best-known wine region in South Australia, but it is the biggest by a huge stretch. Not only is it huge, it produces about one-third of all of Australia’s wine.

So why is it not better known? Most of the wine produced here is exported in bulk to international markets. But there are a few cellar doors around the area making interesting and unique wines.

When you are staying in Loxton, check out Whistling Kite Biodynamic Vineyards or Selena Estate.

If you are venturing further afield, you can find more Riverland cellar doors here.

Play a Round of Golf

A paved path with a sign saying Loxton Golf Club in front of a manicured green

My family are all crazy about golf at the moment, (me, not so much!) so we seem to notice golf courses much more than we did in the past.

This one at Loxton looks beautiful to my untrained eye, and I am told it’s a challenging and rewarding 18-hole course. So if golf happens to be your thing, give it a go.

If you are travelling on a budget, they have a handful of powered sites here too, so you can stay the night in your RV or caravan right next to the fairways.

Attend an Event

Loxton seems to punch above its weight when it comes to events, so there is a reasonable chance that you might find something happening here while you are in town. Here are some to look for

  • River Fringe (I can’t really call it the Adelaide Fringe here) – 16th Feb – 16th Mar 2024
  • Loxton Mardi Gras – 24th Feb 2024
  • Easter Picnic – 30th Mar 2024
  • Arts on Terrace – 11th Aug 2024
  • Loxton Show – 6th Oct 2024
  • Christmas Wonderland – 23rd Nov 2024
  • Loxton Light Up Day – 30th Nov 2024
  • Loxton Lights Festival – 30th Nov – 31st Dec 2024

See the Loxton Tree Sculptures

A carved wooden statue in a garden bed

As you drive along Bookpurnong Terrace, look out for the Loxton Tree Sculptures in the centre of one section of the divided road.

Combining nature and art, the trimmed trunks of these Aleppo Pine trees have been transformed into fun public sculptures.

Riverland artist, Tim Baulderstone, was selected for this task and created the sculptures with his chainsaw and angle grinder.

Year 9 art students from Loxton High School were also involved in the project, each group designing one of the 16 sculptures. Their instructions? To focus on native Australian animals, plants, and wildlife.

Relax in the Community Conservation & Heritage Park

A small electrical building painted with a mural of green parrots and a pelican

Just a little further out along Bookpurnong Terrace, the next section of the divided road has been turned into a beautiful and relaxing park.

This was a great place for us to sit in the shade and relax for a few minutes on a very warm day. There is over 800m of winding trail though, with information about the levels of the Murray River.

Look out for the beautiful mural by Jarrad Loxton – an appropriate (and Riverland local) artist for this town.

(You might even find another pair of Red River Chairs here too)

Take a Walk

A sign showing a series of walking trails against a back drop of the Murray River

There are several walking trails in and around Loxton, so lace up those shoes and get out there!

Start with some of the paths of the Loxton Nature Trails which wind through the towering gum trees along the banks of the Murray.

You can also meander up the centre of the main street, reading the interpretive signs about the history of Loxton.

Catch Some Carp

European carp are an invasive species in the Murray River so by catching them you are doing the environment a favour.

So much so that there are often carp fishing competitions in the Riverland area to help remove them from the river. There is the SA Carp Frenzy at Barmera, but a new competition is coming to Loxton too.

You don’t need a competition to help out though, so why not grab a rod and enjoy some time on the banks testing out your fishing skills? Kids will love this Loxton activity too.

Just remember, no throwing the carp back. Humanely kill them and dispose of them. They are not considered good to eat.

Watch Sunset over the River Murray

Yellow hues of sunset over red cliffs near the river

One of the great things about Loxton is that it is on the southeast side of the Murray River, so if you pick just the right spot you can get an awesome sunset over the river.

The first night I watched it from Habel’s Bend, but you could also get up higher at the same spot by visiting Heaven – the Heaven clifftop viewpoint that is.

Take the Kids to and Awesome Playgroud

A playground with a large castle structure with a climbing frame and slide

If you are travelling with kids, I am sure you are always looking for opportunities for them to burn off a bit of energy, and there is a fantastic playground right in the centre of Loxton that they will love.

The Loxton Pioneer Playground has a huge climbing frame among the activities that kids will love. You will also find an accessible swing here, along with toilets and BBQ facilities to allow you to settle in for the afternoon.

Read the Time at Counterbalance

A large abstract metal and glass sculpture that doubles as a sun dial

This sculpture was created in 2007, and to be honest, I don’t really understand it. It does stand out as you drive into town, and it is set up as a sundial, but I’m not exactly sure what it is meant to be.

Take a look when you come into town and let me know what you think it is.

Take a Swim

If the weather is warm, you may like to take a dip in the river.

I am not at all knowledgeable about swimming in the Murray River, so I suggest you check with locals before just jumping in so that you can avoid any hazards.

I did see people swimming in the river near the Tree of Knowledge and also near Habel’s Bend during my stay.

Get Curious at the Cemeteries

An isolated cemetery with four graves

Okay, this just might be a “me” thing, but if you also like to explore old cemeteries on your travels there are two more obscure ones here to check out after you have taken a stroll through the beautifully manicured Loxton Cemetery.

On the road to Berri, you will find the Kaesler Landing Cemetery. While large in size, there are only a few marked graves here. Interestingly, there are a handful of children’s graves from a century ago.

The cemetery seemed to fall into disuse, but just recently it has started to be used again, with three burials in 2023.

Another funny roadside stop is the two children’s graves on the corner of Pioneer Landing Drive and the Karoonda Highway. The two girls were from well-known local families and died at ages 2 and 3.

Admire the Churches

An impressive gothic church

I did not expect to see a church as grand as the St Peter’s Lutheran church here in Loxton. This gothic church was built in the 1920s, and the bell was shipped all the way from Germany.

The church is still used for services (10 am Sundays) and they will allow you to tour the church at other times with prior arrangement.

There are several other churches around town too, but no others match the distinctiveness of St Peter’s.

Pick up an Op-Shop Bargain

When visiting a new place there’s always time to browse the local op-shops in search of a bargain or a treasure right?

In my family that invariably means searching for some elusive books we’ve had on our wish list, or a rare Australiana book my father has not yet read, since he seems to have read all the common ones.

Here in Loxton, there are three op-shops, with a number more in the surrounding towns. They are all closed on Sundays though, so I recommend a different day for your shopping.

Stroll Through the Gardens of The Pines Historic House

A grand stone historical house

“The Pines” was donated to the people of Loxton in 2002 by Ella Kingdon. The beautiful sandstone villa was built in 1909 and has been preserved as left by the family.

The beautiful gardens are open to stroll through any time free of charge, and tours of the house are conducted at 2 pm Sundays (or by appointment) for $10

Take the Loxton History Tour

Download the Storytown app and listen to interesting stories about Loxton history. The unique tales are told by local characters to really bring them to life.

You will find stories about the Historical Village, Tree of Knowledge, the Loxton Institute and much more.

More Things to Do Around Loxton

The Riverland region has plenty to offer, not just in Loxton. So while there, jump in the car and take a look at some of the other things to do around Loxton too.

Take a Look at Lock 4

A view from a riverbank of a modern lock to allow boats to pass through the weir

Along the length of the Murray River are a series of locks, used with weirs to regulate the flow of water to help with irrigation in the surrounding areas.

The locks help boats navigate these weirs by lifting them up or dropping them down to suit the change in the level of the water.

Lock 4 is not too far out of Loxton towards Berri, and it’s worth calling in to take a look at how the lock works.

It includes a beautiful lawn area with picnic facilities, so if you have the time, bring some food and eat here while waiting for a boat to come through so that you can see the lock in action.

During our visit, we got talking to one of the employees and he pointed out an album of photos found on the porch of the building. It has some incredible drone photos of Lock 4 during the 2022 floods, which is the second-worst flood recorded in this area.

Visit the Surrounding Towns

Within half an hour of Loxton are the towns of Barmera, Berri and Renmark, along with numerous smaller towns. This makes it easy to explore some of those towns and the things to do in them all while staying at your base in Loxton.

Drive (part of) the Silo Art Trail

A large grain silo in Galga with murals of a man and a woman dressed up in historical WWI military attire

South Australia has a pile of silo art spread across the state. Just south of Loxton are some of the more obscure locations, with painted silos at Galga and Copeville.

Both can be found around an hour from Loxton and make a nice drive if you want to check them out.

Follow the River Boat Trail

From the South Australian Border all the way down to the Murray mouth you can find a number of significant historical sites related to the history of the river boats.

You probably won’t want to drive the whole trail in a single day, but you can tick off a few of the sites around the Loxton area while you are there.

Pop into the Loxton Visitor Information Centre and pick up a brochure with all the details, or you can download it here.

Where to Stay in Loxton

Looking between two cabins to the river beyond at sunset

During my visit, I stayed at the BIG4 Loxton Riverfront Holiday Park. These folks are still in the rebuilding phase after much of the park was flooded, but they have some great riverfront cabins and glamping tents.

We were camping and had a lovely grassy site right near the amenities, and loved waking up to the sounds of birds instead of traffic as it’s a little out of the centre of town.

If you want to look at an option in town, then the Loxton Hotel has a range of different accommodation options. We did look longingly at the pool as we walked past since it was very hot the days we were there.

Interested in exploring more of SA’s smaller towns? Read these next
Small Towns in South Australia to Visit
16 Things to Do in Burra
Visiting Quorn

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About the author

Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred, living here for her whole life. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.