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Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:02 pm
by Warey87
Hey everyone,

The time has come. My job comes to an end on the 4th of March. I will be paddling the Murray River starting on about the 10th of March. Should be a great adventure. Very exciting times, although still a little daunting. This will be the longest trip I have done, but means I will have plenty to learn on this trip. I have bought most of my gear, and have studied my Murray Charts as much as I can.

I have got a couple of questions I was hoping I could get answered by anyone who has paddled the Murray. I have been using a Camping Hammock for a while now and want to know whether or not it is appropriate for the Murray or should I go back to a tent? Reading others journals it seems that there are sections where I wouldn't be able to hang a hammock.

Also I have been told a wing paddle is the way to go. I have never used one and am wondering whether it is necessary. I'm in no rush and have been told that the current flow is great so I was thinking I could get away without it. Any thoughts would be great. Also If anyone can think of any gear that would make life better along the trip I would like to hear it.

Also where would be the best place to start. I would like to start from as close to the source as possible but as I am in a Sea kayak this is slightly limited. I have been told it is possible to start from Tom Groggin. Anyone's thoughts?

Cheers.
Nick

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:02 pm
by FreckledAvenger
Hi Nick.

I actually posted a few questions of my own over in another part of the forum last week. A few people contributed some information that may be useful (viewtopic.php?f=31&t=2079).

I am researching doing this as well but will not be taking off for a year or two. From what I have been able to find out a few people have started from the Bringenbrong Bridge near where the Swampy meets the Murray (closest town is Towong 14 kms downstream). Going from Tom Groggin would not be suited to a sea kayak. Those that have gone from the source have hiked the first bit, done the white water in a white water kayak and then switched to a sea kayak once they hit the flat water.

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:20 am
by Maccas
Hi Warey, no need for a wing paddle unless you want to break some records. I would suggest leaving the hammock behind I don't recall too many suitably close trees to suspend it from. We have a little info here:
http://debbrian.weebly.com/murray-river ... -2012.html

Cheers

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:46 pm
by Warey87
Thanks for the information. Checked out your website Maccas. I had already come across it a while back but it was great to see the video you have now uploaded. Makes me even more excited about hitting the water. I will be taking a tent instead, not as comfy, but whatever works. :D

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:10 pm
by gcouyant
Awesome trip Nick - but tent it. After the novelty of setting up every evening wears off you will be looking for sandy beaches with no overhanging red gum branches. Be prepared for all sorts of weather too and make sure that your tent can breathe well and is insect proof. A light weight trolley strapped to the kayak will come in handy for those frequent little trips to lonely general store close by the river.

The river has been high recently and the banks are very soft with deep mud. Make sure that you have decent footwear because as you sink there will invariably be a broken bottle or shell or something sharp to remind you that you're supposed to keep the red stuff in the body. Cuts turn nasty pretty quickly too.

An acquaintance just finished a solo paddle along the entire length and I'm sure that she will gladly offer you advice if you want. Just let me know and I'll pass on your contact details to her. She lives in Canberra.

We are often up that way so if you see us camped along the banks in this

Image

then please do pull in for an icy beer, a hot shower and a yarn.

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:45 pm
by Maccas
Wish you had been there last year :D

gcouyant wrote:Awesome trip Nick - but tent it. After the novelty of setting up every evening wears off you will be looking for sandy beaches with no overhanging red gum branches. Be prepared for all sorts of weather too and make sure that your tent can breathe well and is insect proof. A light weight trolley strapped to the kayak will come in handy for those frequent little trips to lonely general store close by the river.

The river has been high recently and the banks are very soft with deep mud. Make sure that you have decent footwear because as you sink there will invariably be a broken bottle or shell or something sharp to remind you that you're supposed to keep the red stuff in the body. Cuts turn nasty pretty quickly too.

An acquaintance just finished a solo paddle along the entire length and I'm sure that she will gladly offer you advice if you want. Just let me know and I'll pass on your contact details to her. She lives in Canberra.

We are often up that way so if you see us camped along the banks in this

Image

then please do pull in for an icy beer, a hot shower and a yarn.

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:49 pm
by Warey87
Hey George,

Thanks for the tips. Have already gone the tent option and have had feedback from friends using the same so it should be fine for the area. Have already got a good kayak trolley too for exactly that, quick dashes to the local stores. Got a bike lock in case I don't feel comfy leaving it.

That would be great if you could pass on my details to your acquaintance. I will message you my details. When you are out along the river, where abouts do you tend to set up camp. Just roughly, that way I can make sure to keep an eye out for your camper, will be keen to take you up on that offer.

Getting pretty excited. Less than 6 weeks and I will be on the water. My only problem now is trying to work out how I'll get to my starting point. I will be driving to Albury, selling my car there, then trying to find my way to Bringenbrong Bridge just south of Towong. Try and hitch a ride once I get there. Have a few contacts that should be able to help me out.

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:23 pm
by FreckledAvenger
Warey87 wrote:Thanks for the tips. Have already gone the tent option and have had feedback from friends using the same so it should be fine for the area. Have already got a good kayak trolley too for exactly that, quick dashes to the local stores. Got a bike lock in case I don't feel comfy leaving it.


Hi Nick - If you decide to secure the kayak with the bike lock do you have a way of securing the hatches too? Just wondering if you have a nice solution that I can shamelessly copy for when I do the big trip :-)

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:38 pm
by Maccas
Guys we never felt uncomfortable leaving the kayak unattended at the riverside, country folks were very friendly and accommodating. Shops etc were never to far from the water in the majority of towns. Most used piece of equipment on our trip was 8m of 6mm reflective deckline to tie the kayak up to trees, stumps and jetties (and a scub brush to get the mud off our feet) :D

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:38 pm
by gcouyant
Warey87 wrote:When you are out along the river, where abouts do you tend to set up camp. Just roughly, that way I can make sure to keep an eye out for your camper, will be keen to take you up on that offer.


We are normally between Kilkyne and Mildura. Keen to have a look at the work that has been completed now in Hattah Kilkyne. We're there regularly.

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:48 pm
by FreckledAvenger
Warey87 wrote:Getting pretty excited. Less than 6 weeks and I will be on the water. My only problem now is trying to work out how I'll get to my starting point. I will be driving to Albury, selling my car there, then trying to find my way to Bringenbrong Bridge just south of Towong. Try and hitch a ride once I get there. Have a few contacts that should be able to help me out.


Hi Nick

I found this information on distances on the Upper Murray beyond Lake Hume - something not published in things like the Murray River Access guides covering this area.

http://murray.qhover.com/html/distance.htm

It also includes pictures of various points all the way down the Murray which may also be helpful.

Looking at the bottom of this page I noticed that they list distances to Khancoban which lies on the Swampy Plains River which is a tributary of the Murray. I am not sure if there is always enough water to get through however if there is Khancoban may be a possible starting point. It has a caravan park next to the weir (although it is a little way to get to the boat ramp) and there is a bus that runs between Albury and Khancoban. This means you could drop your gear in Khancoban, drive to Albury to sell your car and then catch the bus back. Something to potentially investigate to see if it is feasible maybe?

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:11 pm
by Mastergaster
Nick

I am a week into my Murray trip - I would suggest a light weight boat roller http://www.chsmith.com.au/Products/Infl ... llers.html

I have found it excellent so far for moving the kayak out of the water when needed

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:44 am
by Warey87
Cheers. I have got myself a kayak trolley. That should do the trick. Cheers though. I will be launching sometime in the week to come. Made it to albury. Gonna scope out sites upstream today. And a park where i can leave my kayak while i come back here to get rid of my car.
Where did you launch from mastergaster? How's the flow?
Thanks freckledavenger. Checked the website out and i'm probably gonna use that start point.

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:24 am
by Mastergaster
Launched from the park in Albury near the canoe club - there is an old boat ramp
The flow and height is good - down a bit on what some past blogs have noted but that has made some places to land a bit easier
As for the roller V's trolley I took both but for different purposes

Hope you enjoy the paddle - I am

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:32 pm
by FreckledAvenger
Warey87 wrote:Thanks freckledavenger. Checked the website out and i'm probably gonna use that start point.


Hope it all goes well ... based on what I can see from googlemaps there seem to be plenty of shallow areas however you can not tell how shallow it is from an aerial shot (plus the guys that put together that website used hovercraft so had no such problems) . As they seems to be a boat ramp on the south side of the weir I would assume that it should be no problems for a kayak though depending on how much water they have released. I am sure the locals will be able to tell you. I would hate you to spend the first part of your trip getting in and out of the kayak due to low water ...

Nick/Mastergaster: What trolleys have you taken with you? I am looking for trolley for my new kayak and thought I may as well get a nice compact one for when I finally do the trip myself ...

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:25 pm
by Mastergaster
The type of trolley I took was the smallest I could find that I thought would do the job (sofar no complaints) I settled on a Prijon Day tourer ( it is sitting on the back deck up side down) I did have to have it imported but this was no problem -Dealer was happy to throw it in his next container

What weir are you talking about - if it ifs the one at Yarrawonga it is an easy portage and re launch (paddle under the bridge on the Vic side of the lake pat some houses there is two vacant blokes of land (see google earth view) the first has a sign indicating a submarine cable - this is the easiest take out point - it is then an "easy" portage down thought the caravan park to boat ramp - very easy launch site- the local canoe club use it for K1's

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:11 pm
by Maccas
Mastergaster wrote:The type of trolley I took was the smallest I could find that I thought would do the job (sofar no complaints) I settled on a Prijon Day tourer ( it is sitting on the back deck up side down) I did have to have it imported but this was no problem -Dealer was happy to throw it in his next container

What weir are you talking about - if it ifs the one at Yarrawonga it is an easy portage and re launch (paddle under the bridge on the Vic side of the lake pat some houses there is two vacant blokes of land (see google earth view) the first has a sign indicating a submarine cable - this is the easiest take out point - it is then an "easy" portage down thought the caravan park to boat ramp - very easy launch site- the local canoe club use it for K1's


This is the launch site at the Yarrawonga Caravan park, great place to resupply as it is close to town.

Re: Paddling the Murray River

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:18 pm
by FreckledAvenger
Mastergaster wrote:What weir are you talking about - if it ifs the one at Yarrawonga it is an easy portage and re launch (paddle under the bridge on the Vic side of the lake pat some houses there is two vacant blokes of land (see google earth view) the first has a sign indicating a submarine cable - this is the easiest take out point - it is then an "easy" portage down thought the caravan park to boat ramp - very easy launch site- the local canoe club use it for K1's


Actually I was referring to the weir at Khancoban as a possible start point for Nick - it is actually on the Swampy Plain River which runs into the Upper Murray near Bringenbrong Bridge just south of Towong. I suggested this as a possible start point as it has a caravan park close by and public transport between there and Albury.