4 of Australia’s best local cruises

If you’re considering a cruise holiday but you don’t have a lot of time, you may want to set sail on one of these fantastic Aussie mini-cruises to experience the best in Aussie cruising. For anyone thinking of visiting Australia, hopefully one of these will inspire you to come and visit us and our beautiful country!

1. Murraylands and Wildlife Cruise including the Barossa Valley

This 8-day mini cruise takes passengers to some of the Murray River region’s most historical locations, as well as some of its most rich wildlife.

You will love the authentic charm of the iconic Murray Princess, a replica paddle boat constructed to match the designs of the steamboats that used to frequent the historical moorings that this tour visits. What’s most special about this boat is that it’s actually propelled by a huge stern paddlewheel. The rooms, facilities and entertainment on board are both quaint and luxurious, and sure to impress.

From historical landmarks to wildlife shore tours, this cruise treats guests to a taste of the true character of the Murray River, as well as a visit to Australia’s most famous wine region, the Barossa Valley, including winery visits and the finest local cuisine. Embarking from Mannum and travelling to Craignook, the Barossa Valley, Blanchetown, Swan Reach, Sunnydale, Ngaut Ngaut and Younghusband then winding up in Mannum again, it’s the perfect round-trip for lovers of wildlife, wine and Australian history.

2. Outback Heritage Cruise on the Murray River

This 5-day tour of the Murray River, again onboard the charming Murray Princess, offers a relaxing and laidback way to experience some the Murray Riverlands’ most tranquil and interesting locations.

Departing Mannum, the first night of the cruise offers ideal opportunities for nocturnal wildlife spotting. Day two takes guests through teeming bird habitats to Blanchetown, a winery visit at Salter’s station, then a fancy dress and quiz night back on board. On day three guests can enjoy a guided walk to the Swan Reach Museum, an Australian woolshed show, a wildlife shelter visit and an Aussie BBQ dinner on the banks of the Murray, while day four takes passengers to see ancient aboriginal rock carvings at Ngaut Ngaut and a decadent farewell dinner, before arriving back in Mannum on day 5.

The best destinations to explore in Australia, as a couple
Image: Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island
3. Whitsunday Escape Cruise

For a tropical paradise escape, this cruise of the Whitsundays is the perfect mini-getaway for those who love the surf, sand, sunshine and sailing.

Hop aboard the Coral Trekker in Airlie Beach; a carefully restored 23m Norwegian rigger from 1939. With a maximum capacity of only 10 guests, passengers are ensured a quality, authentic sailing experience. Whether relaxing on the wooden deck or getting a hands-on lesson on how to handle the ropes, the Coral Trekker makes for a truly unique cruise experience.

The Whitsunday escape cruise will usually entail sailing, snorkelling, swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, hiking and wildlife spotting as well as fresh cuisine and personalised guidance in whatever activity guests choose to do. From Whitehaven Beach to Hamilton Island to South Molle Island and all the shores and waters in-between, it’s the express cruise that explores the highlights of the Whitsundays.

4. Powerplay Adventure and Dive Cruise

If a weekend is all you’ve got and underwater adventure is what you seek then hop aboard the Powerplay for this action-packed and luxurious 2 day and 2-night cruise.

The Powerplay is a 50ft vessel which carries a maximum of 18 passengers on this swift Whitsunday cruise, exploring all the most impressive dive and scuba sites in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. From beginner to expert, this cruise packs as many dives and shore visits into a weekend as you can handle. It’s the fastest catamaran in the Whitsundays, complete with flat screen TVs, onboard computer and projector, heated spa and gourmet meal service.

Watch: our ’48 hours in Bundaberg’ video

Phoebe Lee Profile ImagePhoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through InstagramFacebook and YouTube.


Little Grey Box

I'm a writer and presenter and my husband Matt is a videographer. Together, we run Little Grey Box; an award-winning travel blog and YouTube channel.

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