Morgan, South Australia

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South Australia
Morgan is located in South Australia
Coordinates 34°02′0″S 139°40′0″E / 34.03333°S 139.66667°E / -34.03333; 139.66667Coordinates: 34°02′0″S 139°40′0″E / 34.03333°S 139.66667°E / -34.03333; 139.66667
Population 426 (2006)[1]
Postcode(s) 5320
LGA(s) Mid Murray Council
State electorate(s) Stuart
Federal Division(s) Barker

Morgan is a town in South Australia on the right bank of the Murray River, just downstream of where it turns from flowing roughly westwards to roughly southwards. It is about 161 kilometres (100 mi) north east of Adelaide, and about 315 kilometres (196 mi) upstream of the Murray Mouth. At the 2006 census, Morgan had a population of 426.[1]


The locality was at the boundary of several ancient and traditional owners - the Ngarrindjeri to the south and riverland people to the east. The first Europeans to visit were the expedition of Charles Sturt, who passed by in a rowboat in 1830. The first Europeans to visit overland, by horseback, in March 1838, was the expedition of Hill, Oakden, Willis, and Wood.[2] They noted a large Indigenous population.

The locality was originally known to Europeans as the North West Bend, or Nor'west Bend, or Great South Bend, due to an acute change in the trend and direction of the Murray. The westward flowing stream of the river turns here to flow southward. The nearby pioneering pastoral station, Northwest Bend Station, established in the 1840s, still bears that name.

The town was proclaimed in 1878, the year the railway line from Adelaide via Kapunda was opened. A large wharf was built, and Morgan became one of the busiest ports on the Murray. At its peak, Morgan was the second busiest port in South Australia (behind only Port Adelaide), with six trains a day carrying freight from the Murray to the sea at Port Adelaide. As road transport improved through the early part of the 20th century, river transport declined. The railway to Morgan finally closed in 1969.

Modern Morgan[edit]

Morgan today is well known for its number of houseboat moorings and services, and a houseboat marina is currently under construction. A free road transport ferry service operates 24 hours for river crossings. Just southward (downstream) from Morgan is a riverfront development named Brenda Park, which has flourished since WWII, originally as rustic shacks, but now as prestige waterfront holiday homes.

Despite these new developments, many historic buildings remain in the town. A number of these buildings have signs showing their former use and appearance. The two hotels, both historic, sit opposite each other, facing the riverfront. A caravan park is sited near the riverfront. Morgan is in the Mid Murray Council local government area, the state electoral district of Stuart, and the federal Division of Barker.

During World War II, the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline was built from the Murray River at Morgan to supply fresh water to the city of Whyalla.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Morgan (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  2. ^ Register, 17 March 1838, pp 3-4.

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