The gateway to the Coorong and the mighty River Murray and Lakes system‚ Goolwa is a popular holiday spot within easy reach of Adelaide. This charming old river port is steeped in steam and riverboat history. In its heyday between 1850’s to the 1880’s‚ Goolwa was a prosperous port at the end of the Murray Darling river system. However‚ after the Morgan to Port Adelaide railway opened in 1878 the river trade on the lower reaches dwindled and the town declined to become a small regional centre. Today‚ visitors may explore some of the area's pioneering history at the National Trust Museum on Porter Street.
Many of Goolwa's numerous recreational pastimes and annual events are water based‚ on the Murray and out of Hindmarsh Island Marina. Also worth seeing are the SteamRanger Heritage Railway and several wineries which are within reach of the town.