Murrumbidgee River

Murrumbidgee River

Dec 2020

The Murrumbidgee River is usually considered to be the third longest river in Australia after the Murray and Darling rivers. GeoAustralia gives it a length of 1,485 km calculated from the 1:250,000 National Topographic Database, or 1,482.3 km to be precise from the BoM GeoFabric.

However, I think this should be considered the second longest river in Australia after I manually traced the distance from satellite images in QGIS. From this I calculated that the Murrumbidgee River has a length of 1,615.8 km that is significantly longer than my calculated length of the Darling River at 1,546.9 km.

Upper Sections

A mix of remote Grade II - IV rapids and flat water sections would make for an exciting journey down to Jugiong.

Source down to Tantangara Reservoir
Short off-trail trek to the source, then high country streams down to the reservoir. ~65 km
Tantangara Reservoir down to Binjura near Cooma
Grade II - III rapids and at least one portage. ~115 km
Binjura down to Cotter Dam, Canberra
The river has mixed personalities along this stretch, from flat water sections to hard rapids with portages. ~130 km
Cotter Dam down to Jugiong
Another section with a long section of Grade III to IV rapids. ~165 km

Lower Sections

The main section of the river that is a tad over 1,000 km.

Jugiong down to Wagga Wagga
Fast running flat water, especially after the Tumut River just before Gundagai, slowing as you hit the Riverina proper. ~190 km.
Wagga Wagga down to Narrandera
~200 km
Narrandera down to Darlington Point
~100 km
Darlington Point down to Hay
~145 km
Hay down to Balranald
~300 km. The small town of Maude is about half way down this leg.
Balranald to the Murray River
~105 km to the confluence. Continue down to Boundary Bend, Robinvale or even the ocean.

Once you have made it to the Murray River, it is another 117.0 km to Robinvale (VIC) / Euston (NSW), or you could organise a ride from either the VIC reserve directly opposite the mouth (4wd or high clearance?) or to paddle down to Boundary Bend that is only 14.6 km away.

Guides, Resources and References

This trip is difficult and potentially dangerous with some remote sections in the lower section and hard whitewater in the upper section.

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.

General Overview and Location Guides

Cloudy day in the countryside

Tumut


Alternative starting point from Tumut on the Tumut River.

Gear

Refer to the Murray River Gear Section for a discussion about kayaking and camping gear.

Planning

Information to ensure an enjoyable and successful trip.

More info

Climate


Flow, climate and even astronomical info for selected locations

Additional Information

My Personal Journey

What to do while waiting for a vaccine or rain? With VIC reentering a lockdown and a dry winter up north, the Murrumbidgee River provided a viable alternative to the Darling or Murray.

My rambling blog and trip table for the trip.

Man on track in bush

Blog


Daily ramblings from on the trip down the Murrumbidgee River.