Walker Flat is a popular camping destination on the Murray River, and for a good reason. With two great free camping locations to choose from, it is a great place to sit and relax or get active with fishing and water sports.
It boasts some of the best cliff views you will find and has multiple shops so you can re-stock before moving on.
Walker Flat is a great stopover if you are heading to Mildura via Swan Hill, but also a great destination on its own if you are coming up from Adelaide. Many even come up from Adelaide for a day trip.
Getting to Walker Flat
Walker Flat is 105kms from Adelaide and is a bit further up the river from Purnong, but not quite as far as Greenways Reserve. You can access Walker Flat via Mannum by turning left off of Purnong Road, onto Mcgormans Road (clearly signed).
This turns into Mallee Road, which you can follow all the way to the Walker Flat Ferry. The distance from Mannum to Purnong, or Walker Flat is similar, just with a different route.
Other common routes to Walker Flat are through the Adelaide Hills and Angas Valley, or coming from the other side of the river, many travels down through Swach Reach and Nildottie, and turn off of Hunter Road at the Swan Reach ferry turn off.
Walker Flat Camping Locations
There are two separate free camping spots at Walkers Flat – Swamp Hen Reserve and Hettner Landing. Though they are quite close in terms of their position along the river, you need to go along very different roads to access them. Each will be discussed below with pictures so you can get a sense of each one.
Swamp Hen Reserve
To access the free camping at Swamp Hen Reserve, follow Angas Valley Road right to the Walker Flat ferry.
Just as the road starts to veer right to the ferry line-up area, take a left hand turn onto Lakeside Road, follow it for about one kilometer, and you will arrive at the campground.
Lakeside Road puts you in the middle of the reserve near the boat ramp, and there are a range of sites to both the left and the right of the entrance.
The sites have varying degrees of river access. On some sites, you have a private beach, and in others, you have the view, but it is not very accessible.
The campsites are not specifically marked out but there are at least eight spots on each side of the boat ramp. You could fit multiple families in one of the spots.
If you are keen to stay there and the riverfront spots are gone, it would also be possible to park behind the boar ramp car park where there is a large graveled area.
Swamp Hen Reserve is equipped with a toilet, boat ramp, free BBQ, and two different undercover picnic tables. The grass area around the boat ramp is lovely and a great place to sit, while the kids play in the water, and have a fishing rod in.
Given the boat ramp is there, it does attract a lot of visitors and people putting their boats in and out throughout the day, especially on weekends, so it is not a very quiet campsite on a warm sunny day.
There is a small floating jetty (if you can call it that) to help people get in and out of their boats, but the kids enjoyed jumping off it and throwing a fishing rod off the end. During winter it won’t be as busy, but most weekends, there will be a certain amount of visitors.
From Swamp Hen Reserve, you can walk up to the ferry area and the Walker Flat Corner Store that sells drinks, ice, groceries, gas, fuel, and takeaway.
Hettner Landing is the second free camping spot at Walker Flat and offers a more subdued and quieter experience than you will probably have at Swamp Hen Reserve.
To get to Hettner Landing you turn left off of Mallee Road onto Angus Valey Road and drive up to the Walker Flat General Store. Just past the general store on the right hand side of the road is the entrance to Hettner Landing.
When you pull into Hettner Landing you are at the far eastern end and there isn’t any camping to the right hand side. It starts there and then spreads up for a few hundred meters.
There are a range of sites, both riverfront, and back from the river, with fire pits and grassy areas scattered around.
The Hettner Landing Facilities are similar to those of Swamp Hen reserve. There is a boat mooring where houseboats can stop and discard their waste.
There is a big grassy area at the main river entry point, with an undercover picnic table and free BBQ. There is a toilet nearby this main area, and fire pits are scattered along the access road.
A very short walk from Hettners Landing is the Walker Flat General Store. The General Store has ice, alcohol, takeaway, fuel, and other standard items you would expect from a general store.
Both spots have their strengths, and the best Walker Flat campsite for you will depend on what you are wanting. Swamp Hen Reserve is a bit more established and well kept with bitumen roads and more picnic tables and boat ramp etc.
The downside of this is that it creates a reasonable amount of traffic, and many people with boats opt for Swamp Hen Reserve, so it isn’t always the quietest location.
But if you want to do something a bit quieter and with less traffic, Hettner Landing might be the better place for you. Though there might be more campers at Hettner Landing they are more spread out, and it has a more bush-like feel. Coupled with the general store only a few minutes walk away makes it a really great place to stay.
We personally drove through both and opted for Swamp Hen reserve on a recent trip as it seemed a bit more appropriate to the age of our kids and what they would be wanting to do, but I could really see the appeal of Hettner Landing and the general store nearby is a huge plus.