Rufus River Accommodation, Hotels, Tours & Information

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Rufus River

It was Charles Sturt who named the Rufus River, apparently in honour of his 'friend McLeahy's red head'. He was also the first white man to encounter the Aborigines of the area, as he and his crew rowed down the Murray in 1830.

Following Sturt was an influx of European traffic in the form of 'Overlanders'; moving sheep and cattle along the Murray from the eastern colonies to South Australia.

This movement disturbed the Aboriginal people's pattern of life - and conflicts between the two cultures arose, culminating in a clash that became known as the Rufus River Massacre of 1841. Where it is said 35 people died and a further 16 were injured.

There are two areas, where camping is permitted. At the Rufus River campsite (near Lake Victoria), with water, shade and toilets or The Murray River site, which is 'bush camping' only.

Rufus River: Where To Go / Sightseeing

Rufus River


It was Charles Sturt who named the Rufus River, apparently in honour of his 'friend McLeahy's red head'. He was also the first white man to encounter the Aborigines of the area, as he and his crew rowed down the Murray in 1830.

Following Sturt was an influx of European traffic in the form of 'Overlanders'; moving sheep and cattle along the Murray from the eastern colonies to South Australia.

This movement disturbed the Aboriginal people's pattern of life - and conflicts between the two cultures arose, culminating in a clash that became known as the Rufus River Massacre of 1841.

There are two areas where camping is permitted. The Rufus River campsite has water, shade and toilets or The Murray River site, which is bush camping only. The Frenchman's Creek leaves the Murray River and enters Lake Victoria and Rufus River leaves Lake Victoria and enters the Murray River.






Rufus River,
Approximately 65 kilometres west of Wentworth
Wentworth, NSW, 2648

Located 15.7K from Rufus River

Lake Victoria


Lake Victoria is a captivating place that embodies both Aboriginal and military history in addition to being a major water source for people in New South Wales, Victoria and other major towns and cities throughout South Australia.

In 1994 when the lake level was lowered for maintenance, a wealth of Aboriginal history was discovered. Artefacts such as camp sites, stone tools, grindstones, shell middens and hearths and many more, along with extensive aboriginal burial sites were uncovered. It was estimated that up to three or four thousand individual graves existed in the large burial grounds.

The significant number of remains provided evidence that dense populations of Aboriginal people had lived around the lake for many thousands of years.

During World War two, Lake Victoria was used as a training ground for the RAAF's two operational training unit. Six fatalities resulted from these activities and to this day two airmen and their aircraft remain missing in the lake bed.

For visitors to Lake Victoria there is a viewing point from which to overlook the magnificent lake, or contact the Wentworth Visitor Information Centre for any enquires you may have about Lake Victoria.






Rufus River Road
Wentworth, NSW, 2648

Located 19.4K from Rufus River

Chowilla Game Reserve And Regional Reserve


Located 50 kilometres north of Renmark, Chowilla is a tranquil world away from the hectic pace of modern life.

Comprising over 18,000 hectares of floodplain and wetland, its meandering waterways lined with majestic river red gums provide many relaxing ways to spend the day.

Paddle peaceful backwaters by canoe. Find a quiet spot to try your luck fishing for callop or yabbies. Sit quietly and watch numerous water birds feed at the water's edge. Select a campsite along the parks 46 kilometres of river frontage and experience the sights and sounds of life on the river.

Chowilla is also an integral part of the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve and offers interpretive trails. The Cliffs Customs House Wetland walking trail provides an introduction to the riverland's diverse flora featuring river coobas, hardy black box and dryland tea-trees. The Old Coach Road vehicle trail explores the natural and cultural history of the Chowilla floodplain.

Self-registration and payment for camping is available at the park.




Old Wentworth Road
Renmark, SA, 5341

Located 23.6K from Rufus River

Rufus River Map

Rufus River Map - Legend
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