RDA Murraylands and RiverlandEconomic profile
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RDA Murraylands and Riverland

About the area

Name origin

Renmark is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "red mud", or derived from the name of Bookmark station, or named after William Renny, an early settler in the area. Paringa is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning “big bend in the river” or “whirlpool” or “land near or about the river”.

Location and boundaries

The Renmark Paringa Council area is located in the Riverland Region of South Australia, about 250 kilometres north-east of the Adelaide CBD. The Renmark Paringa Council area is bounded by Unincorporated South Australia in the north, the Victorian border in the east, the District Council of Loxton Waikerie area in the south, and the Berri Barmera Council area and Unincorporated South Australia in the west.

Included areas

The Renmark Paringa Council area includes the localities of Chaffey, Cooltong, Crescent, Gurra Gurra, Lyrup, Monash (part), Mundic Creek, Murtho, Old Calperum, Paringa, Pike River, Renmark, Renmark North (part), Renmark South, Renmark West, Wonuarra and Yamba.

Economic region
Renmark Paringa Council area

Land use

The Renmark Paringa Council area is predominantly rural, with a township at Renmark, and smaller townships at Paringa and Lyrup. Land is used largely for viticulture and fruit and citrus growing, with some vegetable, cereal and nut growing and sheep grazing. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 900 square kilometres.


The Renmark Paringa Council area is served by the Sturt Highway.

Settlement history

European settlement of the area dates from the mid 1800s, although population was minimal until the late 1800s. Renmark was established as an irrigation settlement in 1887, with Lyrup established as a village settlement in 1894. Land was used largely for vineyards and fruit growing. The township of Paringa was established in 1917, spurred by the opening of the railway line. Renmark functioned as a port for paddle steamers until the railway line was extended in 1927. The population of the Council area increased gradually from the 1960s, rising from about 7,200 in 1961 to about 8,900 in 1986. The population increased slightly during the 1990s, rising from about 9,100 in 1991 to about 9,700 in 2001. The population then declined marginally, falling to about 9,300 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Renmark Paringa Council area were the Naralte Aboriginal people.