Murray Bridge Profile.

Thanks to the Murray Bridge Visitor Information Centre.

   The Rural City of Murray Bridge is situated 78km from Adelaide at the end of the South Eastern Freeway on both sides of the River Murray. It is the Regional Centre for the Murraylands with three large supermarkets and many variety shops. Murray Bridge has exceptional educational and medical facilities.
Home of the three bridges, it is a vibrant oasis for water sports, boating, fishing & swimming. The climate is "Mediterranean" with less rainfall than Adelaide.
Murray Bridge boasts an immaculately manicured 18 hole golf course and an excellent horse racing complex. There is an Olympic swimming pool, and almost every imaginable sport is represented in the city.
The riverbank at Sturt Reserve is the major riverfront reserve with the redevelopment concept well under way. Already a new playground, lawned picnic area, river cruises, rage cage, skate ramp and push bike track make this a popular spot for visitors and local residents.
here is a varied range of eating houses including Dundee's Diner, Kentucky Fried Chicken & McDonald’s. Entertainment centres include cinema, drive-in, go-kart park and ten pin bowling.
The Ngaralta Aboriginals were one of eighteen proud tribes known as the Ngarrindjeri, who lived in the area from Mannum along the river, lakes and Coorong to Kingston in the south east and Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The area was plentiful with food for the hunters, who used spears, boomerangs and waddies to kill game.
They cut bark canoes from trunks of red gums, the canoes being used for fishing and transportation along the River into swampy areas, which abounded with bird life.
   Aboriginal homes were wurlies made of sticks and branches and then covered with reeds, grasses and bark.
   In 1830 Captain Charles Sturt and seven companions travelled down the river in a whale boat. They were on a mission to see where the westward flowing river went.
They discovered the large river which Captain Sturt named River Murray, then journeyed down its entire length.
On 8th February, 1830, the party camped where Sturt Reserve is now.
When the group reached the mouth of the river, they were disappointed to see that it would be too difficult for ships to navigate because of sandbars and the unpredictable Southern Ocean.
Sturt’s crew retraced their voyage, rowing most of the way. His report recommended the Murray Valley to be ideal for settlement.
The first paddle steamer on the River Murray was the Mary Ann, built at Noa-no near Mannum by William Randell. The Mary Ann steamed past Murray Bridge in March 1853.
Within the next 10 years, there were 30 steamers, and by 1880 about 100 steamers and 200 barges were engaged in river trade on the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Darling Rivers.
   Murray Bridge has had many names during its time. The local Ngaralta tribe of Aborigines called the area, Moop-pol-tha-wong, meaning "haven for birds".
White man adapted the Aboriginal name to Mobilong. The river was known as Moorundie to Aboriginals. Captain Sturt named the River Murray in 1830.
When the first resident, Mr. George Edwards, bought property, he called it Coninka. The property was near what is known today as Hume Reserve, just north of the two bridges. Stock swam across the River near the Edward’s house, and the place came to be known as Edwards Crossing. At the same time, the site was also known as the Turn-Off, because drovers would divert from the north to Adelaide, cross the River, or follow the river south. As more people came to live in the area, the settlement was called Mobilong.
When the first bridge was built over the River Murray (1873-1879), the town became known as Murray Bridge, but it was not until 1924 that the name became official.
The first Murray Bridge Cemetery was in Murray Park, Thomas Street. It was used from February 1885 through to August 1886. The cemetery was closed because the underlying limestone made it too difficult for grave digging. The cemetery holds 5 adults and 15 children.
The second cemetery on Adelaide Rd. was opened in March 1887. This cemetery was almost filled by 1990.
A new site was made available on Bremer Road, west of the town, the first funeral being conducted in 1990.
1856 First white settlers, Edwards family arrived.
1879 First bridge across the Murray completed.
1884 Local Government, District Council of Mobilong began.
1885 Rail line to Murray Bridge, after which the town grew quickly.
1886 Rail line was extended across the ‘old’ bridge to link Adelaide with the eastern states.
1905 Reclamation of swamps began.
1919 Murray Milling Co opened, and supplied electricty to town.
1923 80 buildings to be erected, many of cut limestone.
1925 Railway bridge opened, rail lines removed from ‘old’ bridge.
1929 Bitumen road to Adelaide completed. Daily bus service to Adelaide. (four services week days 1993.)
1940 During World War 2. guards were posted on both bridges.
1945 to 1977 Population and horticultural explosion, Housing Trust, glasshouses and chicken sheds.
1956 Record flood inundated low lands, cattle moved to high lands, some agisted to the south east Hills and Mallee. Milk factory flooded.
1979 Swanport Bridge opened, Princes Highway bypass Murray Bridge.
1983 539 building applications were processed, including 127 homes.
Council responsible for 1089 km roads. Council area 145,000 hectares.
1987 Mobilong Prison opened.
1991 Restoration of Pumphouse Gardens, & building was completed in 1992.
1993 District declared the Rural City of Murray Bridge.
Land reclamation, irrigation & agricultural development opened up the Lower Murray in the early years of the 20th century and Murray Bridge became an important centre for trade and milk production. The opening of the road bridge in 1879 developed the area, more business was attracted when the railway crossed the river.
A milk factory was established in Murray Bridge, milk being collected by boat from dairies situated along the surrounding river flats. As the industry grew, paddle steamers were replaced by a fleet of motor launches owned by the milk factory & Farmer’s Union.
Cargoes carried included bales of wool, sheepskins, tallow, flour, tea, sugar & tobacco. They also delivered mail and groceries to the farm along the river banks.
In 1853 the first bale of wool was run up to the masthead of the "Eureka" to celebrate the opening of the steam navigation and commerce of the River Murray.
P.D.L.INDUSTRIES- Electrical manufacturers 8532 2933
Joseph St, Murray Bridge
Staff of 90. Parent Company is in New Zealand
Sales sent throughout Australia and New Zealand
RIDLEY’S AGRI PRODUCTS - Stock foods 8532 2422
Mary Tce, Murray Bridge
Staff of 50. Murray Bridge is State Office
Manufacture stock foods bulk and bags for all types of livestock, poultry & pigs etc. Have 26 feed mills throughout Australia. Company is the largest supplier of Stock foods in Australia.
Mannum Rd, Murray Bridge
Staff of 70 - 80. Standard first printed 1934
Printed at Murray Bridge are the Stock Journal, Financial Review, Barossa News, Adelaide Review, Victor Times, & Southern Argus.
NEWELL GROUP - Fibreglass Vessels 8532 2455
191 Adelaide Rd, Murray Bridge
Staff of 12. Business first began in 1967. The Newell Group produce highly specialised corrosive resistant vessels, wine storage vessels, waste, aquaculture, settling tanks, hot water tanks, cooling systems etc. Have exported to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East as well as most Australian states. Dennis Newell the Managing Director is responsible for the Murray Bridge Bunyip.
NATIONAL FOODS LIMITED - Cheese Factory 8532 1166
Maurice Road, Murray Bridge
Staff of 180. First opened in Murray Bridge as S.A.Farmer’s Co-operative
Union in 1922 on the banks of the Murray River adjacent to the Community Club. Current factory opened in early 1970. Products are Cheese, Whey protein concentrate, Cheese packaging and Sour Cream.
CLIPSAL - Electrical Switchgear 8532 6266
Clipsal Rd, Murray Bridge
Staff of 165. Official opening September 1988, producing electrical accessories and products, including Safety switches.
T & R PASTORAL, Murray Bridge Division. 8532 1955 (Previously Metro Meats International)
Lagoon Road, Murray Bridge
Export Abattoir, processing cattle & sheep. Employs 300 people.
Cereal crops, citrus fruits, stone fruits, grapes, dairies, sheep, chickens, pigs, onions, glasshouses - tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers, broccoli, herbs.
A skating rink was on the site of 56 Bridge St. [ChemMart]. An Open Air Picture Theatre was once on the site of 35 Bridge Street [Hay Chemist]. Williams Assembly Hall was on the south east corner of Bridge and Sixth St. [Opposite Town Hall]

1910 The Town Hall was built. The Banquet Room was added in 1971.

1924 Lyric Picture Palace, [later Ozone Theatre] corner Bridge St. and West Tce.
1958 Drive-in Theatre, Swanport Rd.
1972 Cameo Theatre, First St. Various Sports Clubs and Church Halls were built.
1973 Bridge Players, and Singers combined to perform their first musical. "Showboat".
1924 Murray Bridge Rowing Crew of eights, called "Cods", were recognised when chosen to represent Australia at the Olympic Games in Paris.
1927 Duke and Duchess of York visited. [King George VI and Queen Elizabeth- (now Queen Mother)]
1967 Kings Cup rowed at Murray Bridge
1974 The Duke of Edinburgh opened the new Rowing Club premises.
1984 100 Years of Local Government Cairn located in park adj. Bridgeport Hotel.
1988 25 years incorporation of M B Sporting Car Club & Motor Cycle Club - 30 years of speedway operation.
1992 Visit by her Excellency the Governor of S A, Dame Roma Mitchell, AC, OBE.
1934 First newspaper printed, the Murray Valley Standard - Mr M W. Parish was the Proprietor and Mr F. Hambidge was Editor. Radio 5MU was built on the corner of Thomas St and Eleanor Tce. ‘78’ records and one commercial were played.
1970 A free newspaper, the Observer, was circulated for a few years.
1980 5MU had a studio in Third St. and ran their own programmes. The Standard moved to new premises on Mannum Rd.
1988 A new studio was built on Seventh Street and 5MU changed from 1458 to 1125 on the dial.
Distance from Adelaide: 85Km.
Longitude: 139’16 mins
Latitude: 35’ 7 mins
Rainfall: 340 mls (13.5 inches)
Temperatures: Summer average Max 28    Min 14
Winter average Max 17    Min 6
Humidity Yearly average 9 am 68%  6 pm   45%
Height above sea level: Murray Bridge Main Street   25 m
SA Water, Maurice Rd  14 m
River: 1956 - 340,000 megalitres of water passed under bridges
Width - average 200 m. Varies from 50 to 300m.
Lake Alexandrina - 20 km wide
Road Bridge - clearance levels
underside of bridge 10 - 45 m est
nominal River pool level 0 - 80 m est
clearance at Pool level 9 - 65 m est
Railway Bridge - clearance levels
underside of bridge 9 m
clearance of nominal pool 8 -24 m
Area: 1832.480 sq kms
1993 Road lengths: 901 km
Sealed 201 km
Formed & surfaced 505 km
Formed & natural 97 km
Unformed & natural 89 km
1884 1,700

1930 3,700 5,000

1977 13,000
1981 13,320
1986 14,634
1991 13,000 15,900

1996 13,500 15,893

Council’s Logo is a unique design. Depicted in abstract is the Township of Murray Bridge [MB] surrounded by the Rural hinterland, through which two lines signifying the original road and rail bridges are drawn. Below is a third line depicting the South Eastern Freeway and newer Swanport Bridge. Within the river is Long Island. All these lines cross the life blood of the Murray Mallee, the River Murray.
3 South Terrace, Murray Bridge.
Telephone: Phone 08 8539 1142 or Fax 08 8532 5288.