Meningie is a town on the southeast side of Lake Albert in South Australia. It is on the Princes Highway near The Coorong and was surveyed in 1866.
Meningie was the first town in Australia to have ADSL broadband installed without using a Telstra DSLAM. Agile Communications installed their own DSLAM in Meningie in October 2003, following on from having established a microwave network connecting to Adelaide in May 2001. Agile’s associated internet service provider, Internode Systems offered services through this DSLAM. Meningie is located near Lake Albert, which is a part of the Murray-Darling Basin. Meningie has a local Australian rules football club, the Meningie Bears, which has been running for approximately 105 years. Another sporting club is the Meningie Motocross Club.
The first European into the area was Captain Charles Sturt who, being assigned to solve the great mystery of why so many rivers flowed westward from the Great Dividing Range (often known as the question of whether Australia had an ‘inland sea’) rowed a whale boat down the Murrumbidgee in late 1829 and reached Lake Alexandrina, at the mouth of the Murray river, on 9 February, 1830.
Following Sturt the whole area along the Murray was opened up particularly by overlanders who moved sheep and cattle across the land. By the 1840s the area around Meningie had been opened up to large property owners and there was a ferry across the Murray River at Wellington. This led to the establishment of a coaching route from Adelaide to Melbourne which, until the 1850s when a route was found through the deserts further north, travelled along The Coorong. Travellers crossed the mouth of the Murray by paddlesteamers which plied the route between Meningie and Milang.
When the traffic moved north the town’s importance declined but the richness of the local soils and the ready availability of water ensured its continuing importance as a centre for the surrounding agricultural lands. Today, with modern agricultural methods of irrigation and cropping, the Meningie district is known as a hugely successful dairy area as well as producing substantial acreage of irrigated crops. The town also has a large fishing fleet.