Locks and Weirs
Summary of important lock and weir information, including lock master phone numbers and portage information
Water sustains all.
Even though you are surrounded by a billion litres of water, getting drinking water is not always as straightforward as one would expect. There are two main options, to use the river or town supplies. The former may not be safe in the hotter summer months due to blue-green algae outbreaks. If these get too bad, it may not even be safe to continue paddling on the river!
Some locals do drink the water directly from the river in Kosciuszko National Park and between the Hume Dam and Albury. Having been sick after a water filter failed in Kosciuszko National Park, I would not recommend doing this!
The water tends to be fairly clear down to about Albury unless it is in flood. This makes it easy to treat the water without having to worry about a clarification step. Below Albury, I found I had to both clarify the water and then treat the water to make it safe. Below Albury and without clarification, I would only get maybe 1 L of water through my MSR Ceramic filter before I would have to clean it.
Refer to the Safety page for some of the issues related to drinking untreated water.
Refer to the Water Treatment page for various options on how you can clarify and treat water.
Blue-green algae is common in most freshwater systems, but some species are known to produce toxins that make the water unsafe to drink and even unsafe to touch in bad blooms. All of the major Australian rivers will have a risk and the Murray River is no exception. Blooms seem to be most common in the still waters between the Hume Dam and the SA border but they could occur anywhere along the river.
The national algal information line 1800 999 457 for known outbreaks by Water Quality Australia. The MDBA publishes monthly updates of key rivers and WaterNSW has a real-time alert map. Other states seem to delegate reporting to their local councils or provide alerts or signage when needed. None are overly useful for those traversing the entire river though as blooms are rare in SA having decent data from NSW should suffice.
In the event of an algae bloom, switch to town supply! There are no simple ways to remove Cyanobacteria toxins and each species has specific treatment requirements.
There were few creeks with running water above the Murray, when I passed through the area in the summer of 2019/20. Starting from the Alpine Way parking spot, I have noted below all of the main primary water sources and distances that I found:
I managed to also find a few seeps across the track at times, but these were barely flowing. I managed to collect maybe a cup of water every 5 minutes from these. I'm not proud to say it, but I even had to dig for water once when I was severely dehydrated. I got maybe a half cup of polluted looking water that was enough to get me down to the next water source.
Here is a list of various public water points that are known on the river. This does not include camping grounds, private homes, businesses or shops that will be able to provide additional water points.
|Upper Murray (above Bringenbrong Bridge)|
|Thredbo||Toilets||In park beside skate ramp in Village Green off Friday Drive|
|Lower Murray (below Bringenbrong Bridge)|
|Lake Hume Village||Tap||There is a tap beside the Hume Dam Lookout, 375 m detour.||129 km
|Unknown||Apex Park (The Pines) beside a boat ramp may have something.|
|Albury, NSW / Wodonga, VIC||Drinking Fountain||Beside the Mitta Mitta Canoe Club, Albury||26 km|
|Howlong, NSW||Tap||Memorial Park||65 km|
|Corowa, NSW / Wahgunyah, VIC||Toilets4||Tap and Toilets at Rowers Park Corowa||46 km|
|Tap||Boat ramp and toilets 2 km downstream in Corowa. Tap beside a power pole.|
|Yarrawonga, VIC / Mulwala, NSW||Drinking Fountain4||Tap, drinking fountain and toilet in JW Purtle Reserve and Park. Foodworks nearby. Mulwala||81 km|
|Toilets4||Tap and toilet in Apex Park. Mulwala|
|Toilets4||Tap and toilet, The Owen Bridges Reserve and Boat Ramp. Mulwala|
|Toilets||Maybe potable? Beside the main bridge. Yarrawonga|
|Cobram, VIC / Barooga, NSW||Tap||Cobram, beside picnic tables at beach downstream of the bridges||67 km|
|Tocumwal, NSW||Tap10||BBQ area over the levy near the pontoon / boat ramp||28 km|
|Taps10||Tap around the council run Town Beach Caravan Park|
|Barmah, VIC||Unknown||121 km|
|Echuca, VIC / Moama, NSW||Tap||Tree in the Aquatic Reserve beside the Info Centre. (Tap key may be required sometimes5). Echuca||49 km|
|Drinking Fountain5||Near the Thong Trees. Echuca|
|Torrumbarry Weir||Unknown||83 km|
|Barham, VIC / Koondrook, NSW||Tap||Barham foreshore by the bridge is labelled potable, but the water was cloudy and hot. Non-potable?||102 km|
|Swan Hill, VIC||Tap||Outside BBQ shelter near the 10 Steps and another just before the bridge. Two of four in Riverside Park.6||111 km
|Nyah, VIC||Unknown||52 km|
|Wood Wood, VIC||Unknown||14 km|
|Tooleybuc, NSW||Drinking fountain||Beside playground above pontoon||17 km
From Swan Hill
|Boundary Bend||Unknown||89 km|
|Robinvale||Toilets||Beside the boat ramp before the camping ground. Seems potable?||89 km
|Tap||The Arts Centre across the road from the boat ramp has a tap that seems potable.|
|Mildura, VIC / Buronga & Gol Gol, NSW||Drinking Fountain7||James King Park, Gol Gol||78 km
|Drinking Fountain||Fountain with tap on the waterfront; Splash park has another fountain, Mildura.9|
|Merbein, VIC||Unknown||15 km|
|Wentworth||Drinking Fountain7||Beside toilets, Junction Park||39 km
|Lock 9||Unknown||61 km|
|Lock 8||Unknown||39 km|
|Lock 7||Unknown||29 km|
|Lock 6||Unknown||77 km|
Drinking Fountain beside the Info Centre.
|Berri||Drinking Fountain2||North side of the visitor information centre (Riverview Drive)||42 km|
|Loxton||Tap3||At the four bay BBQ shelter, John Hamilton Memorial Lions Park||37 km|
|Moorook||Tap||Beside shed at waterfront downstream slightly of the boat ramp.||37 km|
|Waikerie||Toilets||It is worth checking the water park behind these for a fountain||70 km|
|Morgan||Toilets||Along road, just up past camping ground||64 km|
|Blanchetown||Tap||RV Dump by park off the river slightly. Below the lock. Track to tap.|
|Swan Reach||Unknown||29 km|
|Walker Flat||Unknown||8.4 km|
|Mannum||Tap||Vaguely remember a tap on a tree beside toilets.||35 km
|Murray Bridge||Unknown||39 km|
|Tailem Bend||Unknown||25 km|
From Murray Bridge
The locations are shown in the interactive map below:
Myself in the summer of 2020/21 unless otherwise indicated:
1 Towong District Council, 2021
2 Berri Barmera Council, 2021
3 Loxton Waikerie District Council, 2021
4 Federation Council, 2021
5 Campaspe Shire Council, 2021
6 Swan Hill Rural City Council, 2021
7 Wentworth Shire Council, 2021
8 Additional sources Renmark Paringa Council, 2021
9 Additional sources Mildura Rural City Council, 2011
10 Berrigan Shire Council, 2011
11 Snowy Valleys Council, 2011