Local Mannum self-drive tour
Start Point: Visitor Information Centre - Arnold Park
1. Arnold Park : Named after Capt.J.G. Arnold, an ex Swedish Sea Captain who was dismissed from
Service for his part in a dispute with Shipping Board. Travelling to Australia, he landed
At Port Adelaide where no work was available for him. Making his way to the River Ports
He arrived in Murray Bridge, took a job as a deckhand on a boat sailing to Mannum. He
Became so taken with this town he remained here. He regained his ticket eventually
And captained several ships before buying the Dry Dock (alongside) from Captain
William Randell which enabled him to build his own shipping line including the 135ft.
M.V.MANNUM. He also owned the P.S. MARION during her previous active life as a passenger ship.
Captain Arnold became a major developer in Mannum.
2. Woolshed Emporium : Turn right at corner of McLaren St. The first
Woolshed in Mannum. McLaren was then know as Woolshed Gully.
3. Shop opposite originally Thomas Randall’s Store.
4. House on right – Frank Randell’s home.
5. House on left – William Randell’s final home in Mannum. His first home was at
Noa No where P.S. Mary Ann was launched. Second home a four bedroom Cottage now
Part of Mannum Hotel.
6. Thomas Randall’s House : Thomas was the firth resident of Mannum. He was a
“Jack of all trades”. He helped to build the “Mary Ann”’ was a member of the crew in
the early years, built wood stacks for boats and collected leeches by sending Aboriginals
into the swamps to allow leeches to attach themselves to their legs ! He sold these in
Adelaide to Mr. F.H. Faulding and others.
7. First School House In Mannum, opened 1871 by Headmaster, William Ambrose. Now
8. House next door to (7) was schoolmaster’s residence built 1908 to replace original house built 1877. New house cost $1,578.
9. To Lookout : via Victoria Street, Albert Street and Crawford Crescent
10.Mannum Primary School : Land purchased 1917, first building erected 1921.
Now amalgamated with High School and no longer used.
11.Mannum Community College & Community Library.
12. Baseby Cottage : Home of early settler Benjamin Baseby. Cottage was originally
on high ground above town. It was demolished and rebuilt on this site as a
project by High School Students.
13. Council Chambers & Community Centre.
14. Horwood Bagshaw factory : Originally David Shearer’s factory built to replace
first factory in Randell Street.
15. Arnold Street named after J.G. Arnold mentioned in Ref.1. The houses in this
street probably among the first pre-fabricated homes in South Australia.
Originally all identical they became know as “Tin Town” and “Seven Sisters”.
Several have been enlarged but all retain the Galvanised iron finish. Arnold was
Responsible for the building of these homes and several other “conventional”
Homes still standing in King George Street.
16. Mannum Showgrounds, incorporating Sports Oval, Tennis Courts and Riding
Club grounds. It was on this land that Benjamin Baseby grew the first crop of
wheat in this part of South Australia which encouraged others to take up land for
wheat growing and later other crops.
17. The Esplanade : A popular residential street offering good river views.
a) No.47 Artistic Display of animals made out of Colorbond iron, from a horse,
Emus, sheep, kangaroos, elephant, koala, giraffe, butterflies – 45 individual
Cut-outs of the animal kingdom. Well worth a look .
18. Port Mannum Hill : The river flat below this Hill was favoured by Capt. Arnold
as a port and gazetted by the South Australian Government as the Town of Port
Mannum. Capt. Randell had other ideas and had the advantage of already having
a port which was already in use by the Flour Mill and the Shearer Brother and
regularly visited by growing numbers of River Boats. Randall named his port
“Port Mannum” and won the battle, but the area from Port Mannum Hill
upstream to Johnson’s Hill is still known as Port Mannum. A move to remove
the name was proposed in 1994, but when the proposal resulted in strong protest
the proposal was dropped.
19. Leonaville and Unforgettable Houseboats, which has won state tourism awards
and has gone on to win national awards for “Unique Accommodation”.
20. Pumping Station No 1 : from here water is pumped to Pumping Station No 2 at
Palmer which is 500 feet higher than No 1. From No 2. the water is pumped a
Further 500 feet to Station No 3 which is at the top of Palmer Hill. From there
Gravity takes the water to metropolitan Dams.
21. Coffer Dam.
22.Mary Ann Reserve, named to honour the first Paddle Steamer, the “Mary Ann”,
mostly built at Gumeracha by William Randell and his brothers, Francis (Frank).
Thomas and Elliott and dragged by bullock train across country to Noa No
Station owned by their father William Beavis Randell, 5 kms upstream from
Mannum. There is was launched in 1852 and so commenced the River Boat era.
Monuments have been erected in the Reserve to commemorate the “Mary Ann”,
Captain Sturt’s epic voyage with his men down the Murray passing this point in
February 1830 and a further memorial to the “Mary Ann”. The “square” boiler
That is mounted in the Rotunda is a replica of the original boiler from that boat.
The original boiler is now part of the new “Mannum Dock Museum of River
History”, located at 6 Randell Street. Another item of interest is the board
Showing heights of recorded floods. A second Rotunda was built 1989 in
Place of one built 1913 to commemorate William Randell’s death. This
Rotunda was destroyed by a falling branch in 1989. Boats leaving from the
Wharf area are “Murray Princess” ,“M.V.Expedition”, “Jester” and “Murray
23. If you have not visited the “P.S.Marion” previously make sure you finish your
drive at Arnold Park and have a look at this five vessel which was build in 1897
at Milang as a cargo boat. Later it was converted to a passenger vessel and sailed
the River for many years becoming a Boarding House at a Riverland town for
several years until in 1963 it was brought to Mannum and laid to rest in the Dry
Dock and used as a Museum. Restoration commenced in 1990 with volunteer
Labour and Re-commissioned in November 1994. She is now an integral part of
“Mannum Dock Museum of River History”, which is open daily. A cruise
schedule for the P.S. Marion is available from the Mannum Visitor Information
The Dry Dock once the only one in Australia, was purchased by Capt. Randell
And towed by him from Goolwa to Mannum behind his boat “P.S.NIL
DESPERANDUM” after a hair raising trip across Lake Alexandrina.
Try a local walk or Scenic Murray River drive