Location / Climate

As its name implies, the Club is located in the historic river-port of Goolwa, near the mouth of the River Murray, at 35.30.61S 138.46.98E. The Murray-Darling river system is Australia’s longest, stretching 2,589 kilometres (1,609 miles). The name of the town comes from the local Aboriginal word for "elbow", which describes the course of the River Murray in the area as it makes an almost 180 degree turn before running out to sea.


The port was formerly used by paddle steamers bringing their cargoes of wool and wheat down the Murray for trans-shipping on to seagoing vessels. Goolwa is now a popular tourist and resort town with a resident population of about 4,000. It is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Adelaide (population 1 million), the capital of South Australia. Most of the Club's members live in Adelaide and come to Goolwa for weekends and holidays. Water sports are now major contributors to the local economy.

The GRYC’s on-water activities take place on the River Murray, the two large Lower Murray lakes (Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert) and the area known as the Coorong. The Coorong is a unique lagoon abundant in fish and bird life, and includes breeding areas for pelicans and 200 other species of birds. It is about 145 kilometres (90 miles) long, but only 3 kilometres (2 miles) wide, and is separated from the sea by a band of sand hills. A walk of about 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) through these sand hills leads to the spectacular Ninety Mile Beach. The area is part of the Coorong National Park, which has been recognised as a wetland of international significance.

The area enjoys a Mediterranean type climate, with hot dry summers and mild wet winters. Prevailing winds are southerly to westerly, and fresh afternoon sea breezes are common in the warmer months.