Loxton on the Murray

Posted by barbara on January 19, 2013

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South Australia's Loxton on the Murray River is 246 km east of Adelaide and noted for its annual December "Loxton Lights Up" Christmas Festival and its annual February 120m Loxton Gift handicap sprint race. 

Of all the Murray towns we visited, there was a sense that Loxton was genuinely trying to capitalise on its river frontage by installing the kind of sophisticated style of marina you'd see on Sydney Harbour or the Brisbane River. The damage from the 2011 floods was still evident on the foreshore, with what looked like old mud plastered around the fancy mooring poles.

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Explorer Charles Sturt and crew rowed a 25 foot whaleboat down the Murray in Sturt's heroic search to discover where all the rivers flowed. In doing so, he bypassed in January 1830 what would eventually become the 'locality' of Loxton, as the town memorial attests.

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The Murray River was noticeably wider at Loxton and the fringing river red gums more spread out.

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The marina and boat launch attest to its popularity with water sportsmen, including fishermen. While anglers are advised to return undersize native fish to the river, the same edict does not apply to the introduced carp and mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) that was introduced to Australia in 1925 to help control mosquitoes, and by 1934 had reached South Australia.

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The so-called Tree of Knowledge is an unusually large and irregularly shaped Murray River water guage that records the heights of all floods on record.

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