Cairn at top of mt kosciuszko

Murray River

14 Dec 2019 till 20 Jan 2021

Mt Kosciuszko to the Murray and down to the ocean

This trip is a difficult and potentially a very dangerous expedition, especially the first few hundred km in remote alpine environments.

While I am posting this information to assist fellow explorers, you should not rely on anything stated in this guide without first confirming it independently from more reliable sources. This guide is not a substitute for proper training from an accredited training provider.

Map

Paddling the majority of the Murray River below Bringenbrong should be an achievable goal for paddlers of all abilities and ages.

It is a fantastic journey from the alpine foothills down to the Southern Ocean passing many regional towns and pristine natural areas along the way.

The primary hurdles will be time and the distance!

Lower Murray River

Starting from Bringenbrong Bridge, this section covers 95% or 2,350 km of the entire length of the Murray River.

Free Flowing River ~200km
Bringenbrong to Lake Hume and onto Albury.
Meeting of the waters ~480km
Albury to Echuca.
Merging of the Darling ~825km
Echuca to Wentworth.
Onwards to the Southern Ocean ~800km
Into SA and the ocean via Lake Alexandrina.
Mirror surface on wide river

For many who do the entire length in a single leg, the most difficult part will be keeping motivated as you paddle 2,350 km on fairly flat water as the current slows due to the system of weirs used to control the river. It is a true endurance test!

For those that do not have the ability to set aside the time needed, tackling smaller legs is a great way to complete the river at your own pace.

Upper Murray River

The upper 150 km section of the Murray River is a difficult and potentially dangerous beast. It should only be attempted by those with a high level of whitewater & backcountry hiking experience or with a guide.

Summit to Source ~60 km
The summit of Mount Kosciuszko down to the Black-Allan Line.
Source to Limestone Ck ~15 km
Remote off trial trekking down the Murray River.
Limestone Ck to Tom Groggin ~50 km
Pack rafting Grade II+ rapids down to Tom Groggin.
Murray River Gorge ~70 km
Tackling the Grade I - IV rapids of the Murray River George.
Rocky creek and trees

Note: Bringenbrong Bridge defines the boundary between my guides of the upper and lower sections of the Murray River.

Bringenbrong Bridge is a bridge near Corryong where the Victorian Murray Valley Highway and NSWs Alpine Way join. It is important as it is the first access point to the Murray River after the Swampy Plain River confluence. The merging of the rivers is where the Murray River changes from a small seasonal stream into a real river with a fairly consistent paddlable flow all year round due to the Snowy Mountains Scheme diverting water into the Swampy Plain River.

The most common starting points for people paddling the Murray River are Bringenbrong Bridge, Albury and Echuca.

Guides, Resources and References

Stores, distances & coordinates found in the site are only approximations made from using various mapping tools, but these will be accurate enough for the trip.

For me, 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? Well, some parts were!

My biggest headache I faced was transporting myself and gear around from Brisbane as my trip was completely self-supported. However the lack of info regarding flows and logistics along the way did create some issues for me and caused some misjudgements in my planning. This was the main reason why I have published the following guide.

While the trip is doable for those with enough energy and time, there are a number of factors and skills that will make the journey a lot more pleasant, as well as handy references that will answer some of those burning questions now or when you are on the water. Luckily you do have at least 3G for the majority of the way down the river from Bringenbrong!

General Overview and Location Guides

Boggy area in forest

Source


History and logistics of finding the source of the Murray.

Gear

Planning

Information to ensure an enjoyable and successful trip.

Additional Information

Two large boats and kayak in lock

Locks and Weirs


Summary of important lock and weir information, including lock master phone numbers and portage information

Flag

Flags


Details on some of the common flags flown along the Murray

Hand drawn clipboard information I symbol

Misc Info


Miscellaneous information about the Murray River and Mount Kosciuszko

Nature

My Personal Journey

My rambling blog, trip table and (cough) training schedule for the trip.