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(4.6/5 based on 750+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: outdoors, breweries, wineries
Goolwa is a historic river port on the Murray River near the Murray Mouth in South Australia, and joined by a bridge to Hindmarsh Island. The name "Goolwa" means "elbow" in Ngarrindjeri, the local Aboriginal language, and the area was known as "The Elbow" to the early settlers.Goolwa is approximately 100 km south of Adelaide, and is the seat of the Alexandrina Council. It is in the state electoral district of Hammond and the federal Division of Mayo. At the 2006 census, Goolwa had a population of 5,882.HistoryBefore 1837 the area was briefly considered for the site of the colony's capital; a 'special survey' was undertaken in 1839–40 with a sizeable township laid out at Currency Creek and land for a port with substantial warehousing on the river where Goolwa now stands; however, the treacherous waters of the Murray Mouth for shipping made it unsuitable as a major port. Goolwa was Australia's first inland port (1853) built to connect Goolwa to Port Elliot and later extended to Victor Harbor, allowing goods to move from river boats to sea boats, so that neither had to negotiate the Murray Mouth.The spread of railways to inland Australia put an end to the river trade and Goolwa's importance as a port. With the decline of the river trade Goolwa became dependent on local farming and fishing, as well as becoming a popular destination for holidaymakers from Adelaide.
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