Local historic walks around Mannum

Three walks depicting the rich cultural history of Mannum

Welcome to country: I, Isobelle Campbell, Nganguraku Custodian, would like to welcome you to the land of my people. Today, Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park, near Nildottie, can be visited by groups of ten or more. You can experience Aboriginal Culture on a journey through the ancestral home of the Nganguraku people. This experience will challenge perceptions of Aboriginal culture and leave visitors in awe of the resourcefulness of Australia’s first people.

The Randell Walk

Start the Randell Walk

Estimated Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
Estimated Distance: 2.5km
Gradient: Steep

Topics of interest on this walk include:

  • Randell family homes
  • German heritage and religion
  • Geology of the region
  • Life style of the Nganguraku people before white settlement

W.R. Randell (1824 – 1911)

William Randell - visitmannum.com.auWilliam Richard Randell was born on 2nd May 1824 at Sidbury, Devon, England and arrived in South Australia with his family on the ‘Hartley’ in 1837.With help from his brothers, he constructed the first paddle steamer to ply the Murray in 1853. It was named the ‘Mary Ann’ in honour of his mother. Randell ventured upstream through Victoria and New South Wales and established trade across borders to places previously hard to access. He was a Member of Parliament in the 1890s and died on 4th March 1911 at the age of 86. He was buried in the Salem Baptist Cemetery, S.A.

Start the Randell Walk

The Shearer Walk

Start the Shearer Walk

Estimated Time: .5 to 1 hour
Estimated Distance: 2km
Gradient: Sloped inclines

Topics of interest on this walk include:

  • Shearer properties
  • Early commercial development in Mannum
  • River recreation
  • Invention and industry

David Shearer (1850-1936)
John Shearer (1845-1932)

David Shearer was born on 7th November 1850 in the Orkney Islands of Scotland, and arrived with his family on the ‘Omega’ in 1852. David and his brother John Shearer began as blacksmiths in Mannum in 1877.Together they built up one of the most successful agricultural machinery manufacturing businesses in Australia. Later John moved to Adelaide while David stayed in Mannum. David built one of the earliest Australian automobiles. It had a twin cylinder steam engine of 15 horse power, a differential and travelled at 15 miles per hour.David Shearer spent forty years as a Mannum councillor and died on 15th October 1936, at almost 86 years. He was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide.

Start the Shearer Walk

The Arnold Walk

Start the Arnold Walk

Estimated Time: 1 to 2 hours
Estimated Distance: 4km
Gradient: Sloping

Topics of interest on this walk include:

  • Arnold properties
  • Mannum showgrounds
  • The Murray water pipeline
  • The Mid Murray Council Office and Police Station
  • The expanded Shearer factory
  • Mannum Hospital
  • The Soldiers’ Memorial

Johan Georg Arnold (1863 – 1949)

J.G. or ‘George” Arnold was born on 24th January, 1863 in Gottenburg, Sweden. From a young age he endured hardship at sea obtaining world class qualifications as a sea and river captain by 1886. Arriving in South Australia in 1889, he worked on paddle steamers from Mannum building his business, ‘The Arnold Line of Steamers Ltd’ by 1913. He showed courage and innovation through-out his business and private life, obtaining large contracts, building and maintaining boats, and establishing a loyal workforce. A community man, his family home ‘Esmeralda’ hosted family and friends and provided a venue for sporting groups. The Mannum Hospital was built with George’s help. He died on 25th May, 1949 aged 86, and was buried in the Mannum Cemetery.

Start the Arnold Walk


Visit Mannum Historic Walks Map


Perfect blend of culture, heritage and fun


Murray River Scenic Cliff Drive or Mannum town drive