Mannum itself, adhering itself to the crumbling riverbanks, is quite a sight. The Mannum Visitor Information Centre incorporates the Mannum Dock Museum of River History, featuring info on local Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal communities, an 1876 dry dock and the restored 1897 paddle steamer PS Marion, on which you can occasionally chug around the river.

About 9km out of Mannum on the way to Murray Bridge, Mannum Waterfalls surge impressively over granite boulders after it's been raining (not much action in February). Head to the top car park for the best access.

From Mannum heading north to Swan Reach, the eastern riverside road often tracks a fair way east of the river, but various lookouts en route help you scan the scene. Around 9km south of Swan Reach, the Murray takes a tight meander called Big Bend, a sweeping river curve with pock-marked, ochre-coloured cliffs.

Sedentary old Swan Reach (population 280), about 80km north of Mannum, is a bit of a misnomer: there's an old pub, a museum and plenty of pelicans here, but not many swans.