Current Musing: Murray and Darling River Systems (On hold - COVID-19)
Cairn at top of mt kosciuszko

Murray River Summit to Source to Sea

14 Dec 2019 till ?

Map

From a planning perspective, much of this trip is fairly self-evident. Throw your kayak in around Towong and drift down the river, tracking key towns along the way for supplies. Simple right? What about starting from the source? Or maybe Koscie which is only a stone throw away? That shouldn't make the trip that much harder right?

The biggest headache faced is transporting myself and gear around from Brisbane. This trip is completely self-supported and on a very limited budget.

As such, I'm going to break the journey into two main phases.

Phase One

The first phase will tackle the upper few hundred Kms, of which there are three major legs:

Summit to Source
The summit of Mount Kosciuszko down to the source of the Murray River at the Black-Allan Line. ~60 km
Source to Limestone Ck
Trekking down the Murray River. ~15 km
Limestone Ck to Tom Groggin
Pack rafting the upper sections of the Murray down to Tom Groggin. ~50 km
Murray River Gorge
Tackling the class 1 - 3 rapids of the Murray River George. ~70 km

Phase Two

The second phase will be more of an endurance test tackling 2,300 km of the 2,500 km length of the Murray. Bringenbrong Bridge is the starting point that is just downstream of the Swampy Plains River confluence. This is the point where the Murray River changes from a small seasonal stream into a river.

Free Flowing River
Fast running flat water to Lake Hume and onto Albury. ~200km
Meeting of the waters
Albury to Echuca. Slower flat water, ~480km.
Merging of the Darling
Echuca to Wentworth. ~825km
Onwards to the Southern Ocean
Into SA and the ocean via Lake Alexandrina. ~800km

Stores, distances & coordinates below are only approximations from using various Google Map tools and APIs, but should be accurate enough for the trip.

Coordinates will generally be at a takeout point or bridge for most locations. Various reports suggest views of the small towns could be obscured by the river banks, so some care needs to be taken while navigating down the river.

Phase One

This would be approximately 55 km on trails, 15 km off trails and 125 km kayaking if I had support and a good water flow. Sadly I had neither!

Include the gear drop to Limestone Creek and other connecting trails walked, there was a total of 180 km hiking. Due to low flows, about another 43 km walking down the Murray dragging the kayak with only about 82 km actual paddling.

My trip was initially planned for mid-November, but was unnecessarily delayed by two or three weeks waiting for the trail to be flagged as open when it was likely easily navigable, followed by an unseasonal late snow fall, and then work. However, even mid-November the flow was low and I would have likely experienced similar difficulties.

Leg One: Summit to Source

14 Dec 2019

Metal walking track in alpine field

On foot from the summit of Mount Kosciuszko down to the source of the Murray River.

Planned to complete the Kosciuszko circuit, a gear drop-off leaving the car at the Cascade Trailhead, dropping the car at Tom Groggin campground, before hitching back up to start the Cascade Trail again.

Key Waypoints

  • minus 45 km

    Jindabyne

    Elevation 926 m
    Coordinates 36° 24' 53.8" S, 148° 37' 7.6" E
    Population 2,630 Supermarket(s)

    Last town on the Bus timetables. It is also the last major supply pickup point with a Woollies and market in town.

  • minus 7.5 km

    Thredbo

    Date 14 Dec 2019
    Elevation 1,372 m
    Coordinates 36° 30' 11.6" S, 148° 18' 37.8" E
    Population 470 General Store

    The Foodworks in town, the last supplies until small general store at Jingellic (285 km) unless you coordinate a supply drop or detour to IGA in Corryong, VIC (13 km SW from Alpine Way Bridge).

  • 0 km

    Mount Kosciuszko

    Date 14 Dec 2019
    Elevation 2,228 m
    Coordinates 36° 27' 21.2" S, 148° 15' 48.9" E

    Official starting point.

    To chairlift or not to chairlift? Since I am considering the summit to be the real starting point, this doesn't matter to the overall scheme of things, but it would feel more pure doing the walk up too.

    With the car parked at Thredbo, this will be a loop to the summit starting from Thredbo and up to the summit (13 km), before heading down Dead Horse Gap trail (5 km), linking back to the car using the Thredbo River Track (4 km).

    Elevation profile graph
    26.2 km
    975 m
    6h 14min
    Option One: Merritts Nature Track
    4 km on directly up from Thredbo on a steep track.
    or
    Option Two: Kosciuszko Express Chairlift
    Sit back and enjoy the view for 15 minutes as you climb 550 m to the Eagles Nest cafe.
    Kosciuszko Walk
    13 km grade 3 track to the summit and back.
    Dead Horse Gap walking track
    Moderately steep track wides down to the valley.
    Thredbo River Track
    Follows the track down the river to Thredbo.

    Ultimately, I walked the entire loop with an overnight bivy at the top of Australia!

  • 55 km

    Cowombat Flat

    Date 21 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 55 km Elevation 1,184 m
    Coordinates 36° 47' 46.5" S, 148° 11' 41.8" E

    Close to the source of the Murray River.

    This should have been a fairly easy trek on various fire trails, but was fairly dry and had to carefully watch my water.

    Elevation profile graph
    42.6 km
    754 m
    1,124 m
    9h 17min
    Cascade (Hut) Trail

    Easy to navigate Fire Trail past Cascade Huts to the Tin Mine huts.

    Cowombat Flat Fire Trail

    The Cascade Trail ends as it diverges at Tin Mine Huts and the Cowombat Trail that heads south west. This leads directly to Cowombat Flats and from there the source.

    Snow Gums & Pilot Creek Trails

    Part of the AAWT, these trails are an alternative longer trek that also leads down to Cowombat Flats. I walked the Sun Gums Trail when doing the gear drop to Limestone Ck. Thick steep bush was encountered off trail between the Snow Gums Trail and the Murray River.

  • 60 km

    Source (Black-Allen Line)

    Date 21 Dec 2019
    Elevation 1,349 m
    Coordinates 36° 47' 49.3" S, 148° 11' 48.3" E
    Map

    The Indi Springs have become the defacto source for the Murray River, namely as it is the closest tributary to Cape Howe. This has a pipe that was placed by the RMIT survey group in 2006 during a survey of the Black-Allan line. See the planning page for detailed info finding the source.

    For me it was an easy hour's walk up the dry riverbed from Cowombat Flat in fairly open terrain to the Black-Allen line, but I hit dense bush as I explored further.

Leg Two: Source to Limestone Ck

22 Dec 2019

Following the upper Murray River down to Tom Groggin is the big unknown in the trip. Potentially impenetrable bush and / or dangerous flood waters will make this an intrepid journey.

This was the shorter first part of this section, where I walked the Murray River. It was a small mountain stream with lots of log jams and thick surrounding bushes.

Key Waypoints

  • 60 km

    Source (Black-Allen Line)

    Date 21 Dec 2019
    Elevation 1,349 m
    Coordinates 36° 47' 49.3" S, 148° 11' 48.3" E

    Other than having to scramble around two waterfalls, this involved walking down in the Murray River itself.

  • 78 km

    Limestone Ck

    Date 22 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 20 km Elevation 854 m
    Coordinates 36° 47' 2.8" S, 148° 6' 20.9" E

    Significant increase in the flow as the two creeks meet and is the likely first place you can paddle.

    I kept walking to my gear drop about 1.5 km further downstream (the given coordinates mark this bivy) and this was about 1 km upstream of the Poplars campground, a 4wd only access camping ground.

Leg Three: Limestone Ck to Tom Groggin

22 to 26 Dec 2019

3D Map

This was the longer section in the Pilot Wilderness Area, where plans were to pack raft this in a kayak down the Murray River in a couple of days.

Worst case estimate could be as long as 7 days to traverse this 70 km section of the river. Conditions were fairly bad with low flows and I took 4.5 long days on the river and another 3 days walking to get to the source. Due to the hot & dry conditions, I was hauling the kayak nearly 45 km through unpaddlable waters. I was averaging 1.5 km/hr wading the river and only 1.2 km/hr when hauling the kayak. With a good flow and whitewater experience, this would only takes one to two days (49 km).

While planning various escape routes before starting this trip, smoke haze obscured most key bearings and the terrain / thickness of the bush made me extremely wary of trying to do any more offtrail hiking than what was absolutely necessary. Especially after already losing key survival gear doing the same thing during the gear drop. As such, I really only considered traversing up or down the Murray river as the only viable escape options here.

I pushed on and this leg was completed without having to leave the river other than to skirt around the occasional log jam.

River Data

A water level of at least 0.5m and flow of 500 ML/day is a likely good base level (Biggara gauge). With the higher flood flows there is a higher risk when kayaking. Without any floatation device (kayak / raft / lilo), trekking this section is likely difficult in places due to deep pools and steep rocky outcrops. Note, the actual flow at the Poplars would be about 20% of that at Biggara.

Key Waypoints

  • 78 km

    Limestone Ck

    Date 22 Dec 2019
    Elevation 854 m
    Coordinates 36° 47' 2.8" S, 148° 6' 20.9" E
    Gauge: Biggara, MDBA
    Flow: recommended: above 0.5 m

    Marked the start of two solid days dragging the kayak.

  • 95 km

    Tin Mine Creek

    Date 24 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 18 km Elevation 717 m
    Coordinates 36° 39' 38.9" S, 148° 12' 9.2" E

    It was only with the influx of the various triburaries down to around Tin Mine Creek that allowed me to start paddling short sections (~80% dragging, ~20% paddling).

  • 110 km

    Cascade Creek

    Date 25 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 15 km Elevation 629 m
    Coordinates 36° 35' 33.4" S, 148° 12' 31.1" E
  • 115 km

    Leather Barrel Ck

    Date 25 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 5 km Elevation 604 m
    Coordinates 36° 34' 43.1" S, 148° 10' 53.2" E

    The additional flow finally allowed me to mostly paddle the remaining section down to Tom Groggin.

  • 127 km

    Tom Groggin Campground

    Date 26 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 12 km Elevation 527 m
    Coordinates 36° 32' 32.8" S, 148° 7' 43.4" E

    This was my base camp for the first phase.

Leg Four: Murray River Gorge

27 & 28 Dec 2019

River with minimal water and a lot of boulders

Raft or walk?

Grade 3 / 4 rapids would be a risky trip solo so contemplating a guided raft or walking an extra 50 km

If I get a guided tour of the gorge, the logistics should be fairly easy to finish this leg off. Otherwise, it will be traversing the gorge solo somehow, then hitchhiking the 80 km back to the car or vice versa.

Finishing leg two on Christmas day and knowing that the flow will be terrible, I didn't even try to contact Rafting Australia about the possibility of a guided trip. With a possibly suicidal mindset, I bit the bullet and decided to keep going. Surely it couldn't be that dangerous with these flows?

My rather stupid decision paid off and I had an amazingly fun trip through the gorge on what were probably mostly technical class 2+ sections. Second day was mostly flat water paddling down to the Alpine Way where I caught three separate rides hitching to make it back to the car within 4 hours.

River Data

A water level of at least 0.8m for the gorge is recommended for a true whitewater experience, which roughly corresponds to a height of 0.45m at Biggara.

Refer to the Biggara gauge for the current level and planning page for previous trip analysis of water flows.

Key Waypoints

  • 127 km

    Tom Groggin campground

    Date 27 Dec 2019
    Elevation 527 m
    Coordinates 36° 32' 32.8" S, 148° 7' 43.4" E
    Gauge: Biggara, MDBA
    Flow: recommended: above 0.5 m
  • 134 km

    Grassy Flat Rd

    Date 27 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 7 km Elevation 526 m
    Coordinates 36° 29' 11.1" S, 148° 7' 34.2" E

    Last easy take out point before the Murray River Gorge, and marks the start of the VIC Harrington's track should you want to bypass the class 3/4 rapids.

  • 138 km

    Murray Gates Rd

    Date 27 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 4 km Elevation 492 m
    Coordinates 36° 27' 45.8" S, 148° 7' 26.1" E

    There is a road / track apparently. Didn't see, can't confirm. This marks the start of the harder whitewater section.

    I paddled this section with about at 0.22 m at Biggara, about the absolute minimum level in a rubber ducky. This level was too low for a creek boat.

  • 153 km

    Biggara

    Date 28 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 15 km Elevation 323 m
    Coordinates 36° 20' 12.5" S, 148° 3' 10.9" E
    Gauge: Biggara, MDBA
    Flood: minor: 2 m, moderate: 2.6 m, major: 3 m
    Flow: no flow: -0.15 m, recommended: above 0.2 m

    End of the gorge. Scattered farm houses.

    Potential put in spot for a kayak doing the lower section, albeit a glass boat would need to be carefully handled down the very shallow class 1 rapids.

  • 195 km

    Bringenbrong Bridge, Alpine Way (B400)

    Date 28 Dec 2019
    Distance between locations 38 km Elevation 265 m
    Coordinates 36° 10' 9.1" S, 148° 1' 30.7" E

    Common starting point for those skipping the upper sections.

    The additional flow generated from the waters of the Swampy Plains River changes the nature of the trip instantly, from a mountain creek to a true river. There are even reports of people putting in at Swampy Plains River at Khancoban. Even with the additional water entering the system, the flow was only 560 ML/day.

    This marked the end of the first phase for me, as I was interrupted by commitments in Brisbane, QLD.

Phase Two

Leg One: Free Flowing River

Estimated August 2020 (fire and COVID delay)

Lake surrounded by sun-baked hills

Fast running flat water from Bringenbrong Bridge to the vast Lake Hume and onto Albury. ~200km

The Corryong (Green Valley) Fire has seriously affected the Murray River upstream of Albury, so plans are on hold till these are fully controlled and all roads reopen. Originally planned a late Jan or very early Feb start date. These plans were deferred after a rare rain event in the Darling allowed me to kayak down the Cambanoora Gorge, as well as the Balonne and Culgoa rivers, Sadly, just as I would have 3 months of autumn paddling to finish the Murray and Darling river legs, COVID-19 lockdowns came into place.

River Data

A water level of at least 1m at Bringenbrong Bridge is recommended, above 1.2m is likely preferrable.

Key Waypoints

  • 195 km

    Bringenbrong Bridge, Alpine Way

    Date eta unknown
    Elevation 265 m
    Coordinates 36° 10' 9.1" S, 148° 1' 30.7" E
    Gauge: Bringenbrong Bridge, MDBA
    Flood: minor: 3 m, moderate: 3.4 m
    Flow: no flow: 0.0 m, recommended: above 1 m

    The normal starting point with the glass kayak.

    Alternatively, you can start at Khancoban, upstream of Swampy Plains River. Swampy Plains River confluence is 2.4 km above the bridge, and the river is 12.2 km long as measured from the spillway at Khancoban.

  • 209 km

    Towong

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 14 km Elevation 256 m
    Coordinates 36° 7' 26.7" S, 147° 59' 46.5" E
    Population 280

    No stores.

  • 240 km

    Tintaldra

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 31 km Elevation 230 m
    Coordinates 36° 2' 44.7" S, 147° 55' 56.1" E
    Population 200

  • 280 km

    Jingellic

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 40 km Elevation 213 m
    Coordinates 35° 55' 52.9" S, 147° 42' 4.8" E
    Population 60
    Gauge: Jingellic, MDBA

  • 390 km

    Hume Dam

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 109 km Elevation 195 m
    Coordinates 36° 6' 27.7" S, 147° 1' 54.3" E
    Aerial photographs of Lake Hume

    I wonder how fill the dam is. Approximately a 50 km paddle if fill, 85 km paddle if empty.

  • 416 km

    Albury

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 27 km Elevation 154 m
    Coordinates 36° 5' 5.5" S, 146° 54' 27.6" E
    Population 93,600
    Gauge: Doctors Point, MDBA
    Flood: minor: 4.3 m, moderate: 4.9 m, major: 5.5 m

Leg Two: Meeting of the waters

ETA Summer 2020/21

Dead trees in lake

Albury to Echuca. Slower flat water, ~480km.

River Data

Expecting the river to be easily navigatble in any conditions, but higher flows will mean faster speeds. Refer to the Doctors Point gauge for the combined flow of both the Hume Dam water release and Kiewa River that joins up before Albury. August to March tends to have the highest flows.

Upstream of Echuca, the Barmah Choke restricts the flow to 7,000 ML/day. Any flows higher than this will spill out over the floodplains.

Key Waypoints

  • 416 km

    Albury

    Date eta unknown
    Elevation 154 m
    Coordinates 36° 5' 5.5" S, 146° 54' 27.6" E
    Population 93,600
    Gauge: Doctors Point, MDBA
  • 484 km

    Howlong / Wahgunyah

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 68 km Elevation 149 m
    Coordinates 35° 59' 9.9" S, 146° 37' 20.3" E
    Population 3,440

  • 526 km

    Corowa

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 42 km Elevation 133 m
    Coordinates 36° 0' 24.7" S, 146° 23' 42.9" E
    Population 5,480
    Gauge: Corowa, MDBA
    Flood: minor: 4.6 m, moderate: 5.9 m, major: 8.6 m

  • 608 km

    Yarrawonga / Mulwala

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 82 km Elevation 124 m
    Coordinates 36° 0' 31.2" S, 145° 59' 57.2" E
    Population 9,920
    Gauge: Yarrawonga Weir (downstream), MDBA
    Flood: minor: 6.4 m, moderate: 6.7 m, major: 7.8 m

  • 678 km

    Barooga / Cobram

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 70 km Elevation 112 m
    Coordinates 35° 54' 58.3" S, 145° 40' 9.5" E
    Population 7,830

  • 707 km

    Tocumwal

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 29 km Elevation 112 m
    Coordinates 35° 48' 47.3" S, 145° 33' 31.5" E
    Population 2,680
    Gauge: Tocumwal, MDBA

  • 832 km

    Barmah

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 125 km Elevation 103 m
    Coordinates 36° 1' 8.9" S, 144° 57' 18.3" E
    Population 280
    Gauge: Barmah, MDBA

    Note, Barmah is about 30 km after Picnic Point, NSW that has a couple of caravan parks.

    The Barmah Choke is upstream. This is actually three key flow constriction points between Tocumwal and Barmah: the Tocumwal, Barmah and Edward Chokes.

  • 881 km

    Echuca / Moama

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 50 km Elevation 103 m
    Coordinates 36° 7' 18.8" S, 144° 45' 12.8" E
    Population 20,490
    Gauge: Echuca, MDBA
    Flood: minor: 93.5 m, major: 94.4 m

    Paddle boats beside wharf

Merging of the Darling

ETA Summer 2020/21

Two large slow moving rivers joining together

Echuca to Wentworth. ~825km

Key Waypoints

  • 881 km

    Echuca / Moama

    Date eta unknown
    Elevation 103 m
    Coordinates 36° 7' 18.8" S, 144° 45' 12.8" E
    Population 20,490
    Gauge: Echuca, MDBA
  • 967 km

    Torrumbarry Weir

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 86 km Elevation 85 m
    Coordinates 35° 56' 35.7" S, 144° 27' 56.2" E
    Population 280
    Gauge: Torrumbarry Weir (downstream), MDBA
    Flood: minor: 7.3 m, major: 7.8 m

  • 1,075 km

    Barham / Koondrook

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 107 km Elevation 85 m
    Coordinates 35° 37' 50.1" S, 144° 7' 29.4" E
    Population 1,930

    Murray River Divergence
    Coordinates 35° 26' 48.2" S, 143° 48' 55.2" E

    8.5 km downstream of Barham. Stay on the major branch by going left rather than cutting back hard to the right. These meet back up in 26.5 km.

    Little Murray River
    Coordinates 35° 26' 48.1" S, 143° 48' 54.9" E

    Second major split in the river, 26 km downstream from where the last branches converged, or 60 km downstream of Barham. Stay on the obvious major branch by going right. These meet up again just before Swan Hill that is about 55 km away.

  • 1,191 km

    Swan Hill

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 116 km Elevation 75 m
    Coordinates 35° 20' 15.7" S, 143° 33' 46.3" E
    Population 11,100
    Gauge: Swan Hill, MDBA
    Flood: minor: 4.5 m, major: 4.7 m

  • Split in the river

    Date eta unknown
    Coordinates 35° 14' 14.9" S, 143° 33' 50.8" E

    19 km downstream of Swan Hill, take the shorter left branch (5.5 km) rather than the longer right branch (11 km). This deviates off the NSW / VIC border. The Speewa ferry is about 1 km downstream from where these two branches converge.

  • 1,239 km

    Nyah

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 48 km Elevation 75 m
    Coordinates 35° 10' 22.1" S, 143° 23' 32.6" E
    Population 480
    Bridge, 1.4 km upstream of the town

    Wood Wood, VIC
    Coordinates 35° 6' 14.4" S, 143° 20' 48.1" E
    General Store

    Small town with about a dozen houses and a caravan park / store.

    Tooleybuc, NSW
    Coordinates 35° 1' 49.7" S, 143° 20' 6.9" E
    Population 280 General Store

    Small town with about a dozen houses and a caravan park / store.

  • 1,364 km

    Boundary Bend

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 125 km Elevation 56 m
    Coordinates 34° 42' 51.8" S, 143° 8' 49.9" E
    Population 130

  • 1,455 km

    Robinvale

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 92 km Elevation 55 m
    Coordinates 34° 34' 38.9" S, 142° 46' 1.3" E
    Population 3,310
    Gauge: Euston Weir (downstream), MDBA
    Flood: minor: 9.1 m, major: 10.3 m

  • 1,605 km

    Nangiloc

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 150 km Elevation 48 m
    Coordinates 34° 28' 19.8" S, 142° 21' 24.6" E
    Population 140 General Store

    Small town with a pub / general store.

  • 1,682 km

    Midura / Buronga

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 77 km Elevation 43 m
    Coordinates 34° 10' 59.2" S, 142° 10' 24.3" E
    Population 53,030
    Bridge is 1.5 km upstream of the Mildura Weir.
    Gauge: Mildura Weir (downstream), MDBA
    Flood: minor: 36.0 m, major: 38.5 m

    Lock is to the left of the weir going downstream.

    Merbein, VIC
    Date eta unknown
    Coordinates 34° 10' 16.0" S, 142° 4' 54.4" E
    Population 1,980

    Small town slightly off the Murray.

  • 1,736 km

    Wentworth

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 54 km Elevation 37 m
    Coordinates 34° 6' 44.7" S, 141° 54' 35.1" E
    Population 1,250 Supermarket(s)
    Convergence of the Darling River.
    Gauge: Wentworth Weir (Lock 10), MDBA
    Flood: minor: 32.1 m, major: 33.9 m

    The main services in town are 1.5 km up the Darling River.

    Lock 10 is 600 m downstream.

Leg Four: Onwards to the Southern Ocean

ETA Summer 2020/21

ALT

Into SA and the ocean via Lake Alexandrina. ~800km

Key Waypoints

  • 1,736 km

    Wentworth

    Date eta unknown
    Elevation 37 m
    Coordinates 34° 6' 44.7" S, 141° 54' 35.1" E
    Population 1,250 Supermarket(s)
    Convergence of the Darling River.
    Gauge: Wentworth Weir (Lock 10), MDBA
  • 1,798 km

    Lock 9

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 63 km Elevation 32 m
    Coordinates 34° 11' 28.5" S, 141° 35' 52.4" E
    Gauge: Lock 9 (downstream), MDBA

  • 1,838 km

    Lock 8

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 40 km Elevation 29 m
    Coordinates 34° 7' 43.3" S, 141° 23' 57.8" E
    Gauge: Lock 8 (upstream), MDBA

  • 1,868 km

    Lock 7

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 29 km Elevation 28 m
    Coordinates 34° 4' 4.6" S, 141° 14' 44.1" E
    Gauge: Lock 7 (downstream), MDBA

  • 1,947 km

    Lock 6

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 79 km Elevation 24 m
    Gauge: Lock 6 (downstream), MDBA

  • 2,000 km

    Renmark

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 53 km Elevation 20 m
    Coordinates 34° 10' 18.3" S, 140° 45' 3.5" E
    Population 7,490
    Gauge: Lock 5 (downstream), MDBA

    The historical Paringa Lifting Bridge is 3.8 km further downstream at Paringa (pop 950) that is on the eastern side of the river.

  • 2,005 km

    Lock 5

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 5 km Elevation 20 m
    Coordinates 34° 11' 17.7" S, 140° 45' 58.8" E

    1.3 km downstream of the bridge.

  • 2,043 km

    Berri

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 38 km Elevation 16 m
    Coordinates 34° 17' 23.1" S, 140° 35' 59.7" E
    Population 4,100

  • 2,053 km

    Lock 4

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 9 km Elevation 16 m
    Coordinates 34° 20' 32.5" S, 140° 34' 35.7" E
    Gauge: Lock 4 (downstream), MDBA

  • 2,081 km

    Loxton

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 28 km Elevation 15 m
    Coordinates 34° 26' 54.7" S, 140° 33' 52.9" E
    Population 4,570

    Town is fairly spread out along the river banks upstream ~5km before the main town centre.

  • 2,120 km

    Moorook

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 39 km Elevation 11 m
    Coordinates 34° 17' 22.0" S, 140° 22' 8.7" E
    Population 290

    Small town on the left (western side) as you head downstream. Cobdogla (pop 230) is on the right and Barmera (pop 1,900) is 5 km east.

    Barmera could be accessible via Lake Bonney. However the entrance to Lake Bonney appears to be a fair way downstream (34° 12' 59.2" S, 140° 22' 2.7" E) making for a 15 km paddle one way.

  • 2,139 km

    Lock 3

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 20 km Elevation 11 m
    Coordinates 34° 11' 17.4" S, 140° 21' 29.4" E
    Gauge: Lock 3 (downstream), MDBA

  • 2,190 km

    Waikerie

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 51 km Elevation 10 m
    Coordinates 34° 10' 32.2" S, 139° 59' 11.4" E
    Population 2,680
    Waikerie Ferry

  • 2,211 km

    Lock 2

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 21 km Elevation 10 m
    Gauge: Lock 2 (downstream), MDBA

  • 2,254 km

    Morgan

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 43 km Elevation 8 m
    Coordinates 34° 2' 18.7" S, 139° 40' 21.5" E
    Population 430
    Ferry crossing
    Gauge: Morgan, MDBA

  • 2,301 km

    Blanchetown

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 46 km Elevation 6 m
    Coordinates 34° 21' 0.3" S, 139° 36' 58.5" E
    Population 210
    Lock 1, 0.5 km downstream of the bridge
    Gauge: Lock 1 (downstream), MDBA

    Roughly half way through SA where the A20 crosses the Murray. On the way to Mannum, you'll pass a large number of holiday homes and tiny towns including, but not limited to:

    Swan Reach (left)
    Coordinates 34° 33' 54.0" S, 139° 35' 51.3" E
    Population 280 General Store
    29 km from Blanchetown
    Punyelroo (right)
    Coordinates 34° 36' 9.3" S, 139° 36' 9.9" E
    Population 260
    34 km from Blanchetown
    Nildottie (left)
    Coordinates 34° 40' 44.1" S, 139° 38' 52.4" E
    Population 190 General Store
    51 km from Blanchetown
    Walker Flat (right)
    Coordinates 34° 45' 14.8" S, 139° 34' 6.8" E
    Population 50 General Store
    68 km from Blanchetown
    Bowhill (left)
    Coordinates 34° 53' 3.5" S, 139° 37' 21.1" E
    Population 140 General Store
    90 km from Blanchetown, 34 km from Mannum
  • 2,427 km

    Mannum

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 126 km Elevation 2 m
    Coordinates 34° 54' 35.6" S, 139° 19' 3.3" E
    Population 2,640
    Mannum Ferry

    Town centre appears to be near the Bowling Club, 500 m downstream of the ferry.

  • 2,467 km

    Murray Bridge

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 40 km Elevation 1 m
    Coordinates 35° 6' 56.1" S, 139° 16' 47.6" E
    Population 17,560
    Gauge: Murray Bridge, MDBA
    Bridge at sunset

  • 2,492 km

    Tailem Bend

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 25 km Elevation 1 m
    Coordinates 35° 15' 22.3" S, 139° 27' 11.3" E
    Population 1,670
    Ferry

  • 2,519 km

    Lake Alexandrina (Head)

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 27 km Elevation 1 m

    Nearing the end. The lake is roughly 15 km across and 30 km long.

  • 2,563 km

    Southern Ocean

    Date eta unknown
    Distance between locations 44 km Elevation 0 m
    Coordinates 35° 33' 19.6" S, 138° 52' 48.0" E
    Gauge: Lower Lakes Barrages, MDBA
    River mouth

    The finish line or just the start of something new?

    The Lower Lakes barrages prevent the influx of sea water into Lake Alexandrina.

    Goolwa (pop.2,350), 35° 30' 12.6" S, 138° 47' 12.1" E, is 11 km west of the river mouth, accessible from either side of the islands.

author on remote wooded trail.

Blog


Daily ramblings from on the trip.

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Planning


Some additional info for anybody considering to do the Murray River by kayak.

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Spreadsheet

Trip Table


My trip table for the Murray River.

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Past Murray River Expeditions


Other notable Murray River expeditions.

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Key Info


Random information about the Murray River and area.

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Training and Preparation


Pre-flight training and preparation to get ready for the multiweek kayaking expeditions.

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Sponsors


No sponsors to date but any assistance would be gratefully accepted!

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