Mannum is a scenic and celebrated Murray River town, ideal for river holidays.
It has a beautiful riverfront and excellent recreational facilities including Mary Ann Reserve, home to a playground, boat ramp, picnic tables and kiosk. Visitors can hire water-skis, jet-skis, canoes, kneeboarding equipment or simply drop a line and enjoy the fishing.
Mannum’s attractive main street has an art gallery, antiques, craft and bric-a-brac shops, and there is a good choice of cafes and hotels, including the award-winning Pretoria Hotel, which offers quality riverfront dining. There are several scenic and historic walks in the town and nearby Mannum Falls has easy and moderate level tracks passing winter-flowing waterfalls, abundant bird life and interesting rock formations.
Having celebrated its 150th birthday in 2004, Mannum is a town steeped in history. Blacksmith brothers John and David Shearer spearheaded the settlement of the town after they established their farm machinery factory where they created a string of inventions. In fact in 1897, David Shearer produced one of the first two cars in Australia, which featured a differential gear in an enclosed case.
Mannum is also the birthplace of the Murray River paddle steamers, including the first ever built, the Mary Ann, which was constructed in 1853 by Captain William Randell. At the Mannum Visitor Centre you can discover the history of the river and visit the Randell Dry Dock. Installed at Mannum in 1876 it is listed on the National Estate and the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The visitor centre is also home to the PS Marion – a restored 114-year old paddle steamer that is open to the public daily, except when cruising. There is also an art exhibition and fossil display. The Mannum Olde Days and Olde Ways Museum also provides an insight into pioneering days, while Mannum Minerals, which has one of the state’s largest displays of gemstones, minerals, fossils and shells, tells the geological history of the area.
Mannum offers plenty of accommodation, including houseboats, hotels, and bed and breakfasts.