The Riverland is an animal lover’s paradise and there is always a feathered or four-legged friend close by. The Murray River supports a diverse and large range of bird species many of which can be seen a few minutes from The Frames like swans, pelicans, spoonbills and darters.
Many other animals can be seen, if you know where to look, here are our favourite 7 and where we can help you spot them!
Purple swamp hen
You will find these compulsive ‘tail flickers’ foraging along the banks of the Murray River, their rather odd looking and lengthy toes designed especially for hanging onto the reeds. The Purple swamp hens residing along the Renmark riverfront are quite curious and will happily to share your lunch spot with you. I’m sure they would perch themselves right on their picnic rug if you let them!
Lazy like a Sunday morning, koalas are known to hang around the Renmark area. It takes a keen eye to spot these fury natives napping in the eucalypts and koala spotting is our number one aim during a Backwater Secrets Tour. Quietly cruising past the tall gum trees, necks are craned towards the canopy to try and spot a rare sight in this part of South Australia.
We all know that emus can run the pants off a kangaroo, but did you know that they can swim the pants off an Olympic Swimmer too?! Yes, emus will swim across the river and we have seen them do so on many occasions during our Backwater Secrets tour. When they aren’t at their daily swim practice, we also see emus quietly blending in with the bush, their distinctive drumming throat sounds reminiscent of tribal drums.
The mighty and majestic pelican is a huge bird with a wingspan up to 3 metres wide and their bill is 50 centimetres long. It is quite a sight watching them take off into flight and land again, they are the true King of the waterbird world. They say to never smile at a crocodile, and we are sure that looking into a pelicans beady eyes would not be wise.
Did you know that kangaroos in these parts come in the colour red, blue and grey?! Common species in the Riverland include the Red Kangaroo (of which the female is known as a Blue Flier) and Western Grey Kangaroos. On the rare occasion you may even spot a white kangaroo. Many kangaroos are seen while cruising through the creeks of the Murray River National Park, they often just stop and star as we quietly move past.
Just as dolphins will ride the bow waves of a boat in the ocean, tiny welcome swallows fly back and forth in front of our Gondola as it quietly cruises along the river. Wearing their navy coat tails and red breast, the swallows are always a welcome sight on the river, sending us off on another river cruise and welcoming us home when all is done.
Fiercely cute, the echidna is hard to spot, their spines the perfect camouflage in the Australian bush. Sometimes you will hear them before you see them, leaves rustling as they dig into the cool soil for ants. Sometimes echidnas are seen along the banks of the creeks during our Backwater Secrets tour. As soon as they are spotted, they will dig themselves into the ground, spines exposed, to ward off potential threats. We only wanted a selfie!