History in the Renmark Paringa District


To be updated


The township of Paringa, only 4km from Renmark offers hotel and caravan park accommodation. Headings lookout, Murtho Forest Picnic area, Bert Dix Memorial Riverside park, Lock 5, Paringa boat Marina, Margaret Dowling National Trust Reserve, the Old Custom’s House and a scenic river lookout are other attractions of Paringa. Paringa is also home to a small colony of Koala’s. They can be found sleeping in the tree tops during the day, so ask one of the locals for the most recent sightings.

 The Paringa Suspension Bridge, originally built to connect the rail line to Renmark, is one of only 4 still spanning the Murray River today. The Bridge was built in 1927 and still carries B-double trucks, with a pedestrian walkway, as part of the Sturt Highway. A paved walkway weaves its way from the old bridge to the Renmark Town Centre providing interpretive signage about the area along the way.

Fruit growing, farming and tree nurseries are Paringa’s main industries. The community use Renmark as its main shopping and business centre, as well as Paringa’s privately owned hotel, a general store, antique shop, hairdressing salon, bakery and post office.

The population of Paringa is estimated at 1791 people in the 2006 census. During recent years many new homes have been erected and some sites offer magnificent views over the Murray River.


At the beginning of 1894 the SA Government were confronted by the necessity to do something about the large number of unemployed men gathering for rallies in the streets of Adelaide. In addition to their current policy of creating relief works (some of lasting, others of limited value) they then decided to further assist by putting men on the land to establish settlements which could become self-supporting. A total of eleven settlement sites were chosen along the upper Murray and eventually established, Lyrup being one of first.

A group of 40 men and their wives, 49 single men and 114 youths and children and been selected to occupy the Lyrup settlement. The Government would transport them and their possessions to Morgan by train, then to Lyrup by paddle steamer. They would also provide basic supplies of building materials and farming equipment for the settles to get started in their new lifestyle.

The PS Ellen arrived at the Lyrup riverbank at about 8am on Thursday 22 February 1894. The settlers, wives and children disembarked. The food supplies bedding, furniture, and tarpaulins intended to become shelter and other equipment and supplies were unloaded onto the riverbank. The considerable amounts of iron, timber, ploughs and heavy items which could not be fitted onto the PS Ellen were delivered by the PS Gem. The settlers gave the captain and crew a rousing cheer as the PS Ellen departed to continue her journey to Renmark. Lyrup was born.

Of the eleven village settlements established in 1894 Lyrup is the only one where the Village Association still exists. Today the only function of this association is the ownership and operation of irrigation and drainage facilities for the horticultural blocks now owned by the association members. It also supplies domestic water to the Lyrup Village area.


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