The Rural City of Murray Bridge is located in the Murraylands Region of South Australia, about 80 kilometres south-east of the Adelaide CBD. The Rural City of Murray Bridge is bounded by the Mid Murray Council area in the north, the District Council of Karoonda East Murray area and the Coorong District Council area in the east, Lake Alexandrina, the Coorong District Council area and the Alexandrina Council area in the south, and the District Council of Mount Barker area in the west.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge includes the localities of Avoca Dell, Brinkley, Burdett (part), Callington (part), Caloote (part), Chapman Bore, Ettrick, Gifford Hill, Jervois, Kepa, Lake Alexandrina (part), Long Flat, Mobilong, Monarto, Monarto South, Monteith, Mulgundawa, Murrawong, Murray Bridge, Murray Bridge East, Murray Bridge North, Murray Bridge South, Mypolonga, Nalpa, Naturi (part), Northern Heights, Pallamana, Riverglades, Riverglen, Rockleigh (part), Rocky Gully, Sunnyside, Swanport, Tepko (part), Toora, Wall Flat (part), Wellington, White Hill, White Sands, Willow Banks, Woodlane and Woods Point.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge is a rural and rural-residential area, with growing township areas. Most of the population live in the urban area of Murray Bridge, with the remaining population living in the smaller towns and villages of Callington, Jervois, Mypolonga, Wellington, Woodlane and Woods Point, and the sparsely settled hinterland. Rural land is used largely for dairy farming and sheep grazing, with some vegetable and crop growing. The City encompasses a total land area of about 1,800 square kilometres.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge was named after the bridging point of the Murray River.
The original inhabitants of the Rural City of Murray Bridge were the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates from the 1830s, with land used mainly for pastoral purposes. Population was minimal until 1879 when a road bridge was constructed over the Murray River. The township of Murray Bridge was laid out in 1883, developing as a port along the Murray River. Growth took place during the 1880s and 1890s, spurred by the opening of the Adelaide-Melbourne railway line in 1886, growth in farming and industry, and the development of irrigation. Population growth continued into the 1930s, aided by land reclamation and irrigation. Expansion occurred during the 1970s and 1980s, mainly within the urban centre of Murray Bridge, with the population of the City rising from under 9,000 in 1961 to over 15,000 in 1986. The population gradually increased from the mid 1990s, rising from under 16,000 in 1996 to about 19,500 in 2011, with most of this growth occurring in the township of Murray Bridge. Growth is expected in the future, largely from the mixed use development south of the township at Gifford Hill.
Major features of the Rural City include the Murray River, Lake Alexandrina, Ferries-McDonald Conservation Park, Kinchina Conservation Park, Monarto Conservation Park, Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park, the Murray Bridge Town Centre, Murray Bridge Marketplace, Monarto Zoo, Murray Bridge Speedway, Monarto Moto X Track, Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, Mulga’s Wildlife Sanctuary & Park, Captain’s Cottage Museum, The Bunyip, Sturt Reserve, TAFE SA (Murray Bridge Campus), Lavender Federation Walking Trail, various river cruises and the Great Southern Rail (The Overland Train).
The Rural City of Murray Bridge is served by the South Eastern Freeway and the Princes Highway.
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