It’s been about six years since we’ve visited Cordola near Morgan and we can report it’s still a beautiful place to camp.
While in past years it has operated using an honesty box system, an office has now been erected with staff in attendance. $15 per vehicle per day and a 12-noon next day checkout, works well and gives you plenty of time for a care-free morning and subsequent pack-up, which keeps you moving at a relaxed gait. Other venues take note!
If you haven’t been here before it’s an easy 2 hours drive from Adelaide. Simply turn off the Sturt Highway just before Blanchetown onto the Murraylands Road and follow the Murray River towards Morgan. While it’s sealed initially from the highway, it eventually yields to a well-formed gravel road. At the time of travel, it was in good condition, save for the occasional lump, and we were able to maintain a safe touring speed with our Lifestyle Reconn R2 camper in tow.
Cordola is signed; turn right onto the Pelican Point Road and within a few kilometres you’re turning right again behind the orange grove and towards the main gate of the campground.
There are two main camping areas – on the river, or on the lagoon. Last time we visited, we camped on the lagoon, a large shallow expanse of water to play in, without worrying about other river traffic. It takes a little longer to meander out there, and the last few kilometres are twisty and uneven. It’s best suited for off road campers or tent/swag camping rather than big vans. The tracks out that way don’t cope too well with inclement weather either. It quickly becomes greasy – I remember slipping and sliding around last time.
In contrast, the river sites are easier to get to and better suited to bigger vans. There’s a good cover of natural bushland and trees for shade. We booked one of the sites with an eco-loo which was exceptionally clean and saved digging a hole.
Due to COVID-19, some of the operational aspects have changed. There are no walk-ins for the moment; you must book a campsite before you get there. Visitors are controlled more tightly with a reduced number of campers at any one time and the toilets can only be used by those on the relevant attached sites to minimise the risk of infection from shared facilities.
Dogs on a leash are ok.
If you’re looking for something to do beyond lounging around camp, you can drive into Morgan for a picnic on the lush lawns facing the river; take the vehicle ferry across the river and explore the Conservation area; or map out a vehicle journey following the river.
Nearby, the Hogwash Bend free camp is always well populated, which impacts the serenity a tad. Being on the bend, there’s a nice sandy area for camping and the surrounding red gums all contribute to a beautiful riverside vista. However, there’s no facilities so plan on being fully self-sufficient if camping here.
On the upside, its within walking distance of Caudo Vineyards where you can prop at a riverside picnic table and soak up everything on offer. Parking caters for bigger rigs too if you happen to have your boat or camper in tow. Check opening hours and visitor restrictions due to COVID-19 requirements.
We very much enjoyed our time at Cordola and look forward to our next visit.
You can find the Cordola Campground at 42 Hausler Road, Morgan just off the Pelican Point Road. Book via Facebook or call 0427 716 560.