Goulburn Weir - Shepparton
Goulburn Weir - Shepparton (85km)
14 November 2015
Apparently there is access to the Goulburn River just below the weir wall. This is via the weir reserve but you need to ring Goulburn Water to arrange to meet the man with the key to the gates that lead to the river. See Peter Phillips notes for the number to ring. We camped the night at Howlong and drove to Nagambie Lakes Resort. After lunch we drove to "The Cable Hole" which is about 10 km by river below the weir wall. Access is via Morningside Rd which runs alongside the freeway. "The Cable Hole" is not sign posted but about 3 km from the Freeway Service Centre there is an unlocked gate and it is a short drive to the river. The last bit down to the river's edge is steep. I launched at 3 pm into a snaggy river with a flow of 550Ml/day. After about 2 km there was an island in the river. The left channel was blocked by a large tree and the right channel was blocked by smaller logs. I was able to get out of my kayak by standing on a submerged log and pushing my kayak over the log that blocked the channel. There were several more scrapes over submerged logs but progress was good with a fresh southerly breeze at my back. However, when I reached the old railway bridge just upstream of Campbell's Bend, a couple km from Murchison, the right channel was impassable and the left channel was only just passable. There was a log about 50cm above the water. I was only able to get under it by removing my PFD. Christine met me a Campbell's Bend Reserve. The 11-12 km journey taking 1 hour and 45 minutes.
15 November 2015
I launched from Campbell's Bend at 9 am and made good progress paddling at an average of about 7.5 kph. The river was a bit less snaggy than the previous day. I still had to scrape over some logs but there also were long deep pools where I could confidently paddle at about 8 kph. There were many sandy beaches and, it being a Sunday morning, a few campers along the river. The MacLaughlin book recommends paddling this section of river with at least 0.5 m on the river gauge at Murchison for an enjoyable trip. The river level today was about 0.45m and I would not want it any lower because of the difficulty getting over snags - remember I am paddling a near empty kayak so a full kayak would have more trouble at this water level. I had lunch after about 19 km paddling (3 hrs). At 2:15 pm, after paddling about 36 km for the day, I reached the Bridge Rd bridge near Toolamba and Christine was there waiting for me. I pulled my kayak up the steep bank to the car on the western bank just upstream of the bridge.
16 November 2015
It was a much easier launch down the steep bank at Bridge Rd bridge. I launched at 8:25 am and made good progress into a slight headwind. The river was less snaggy today and by 12:25 pm I had covered the 27 km to the boat ramp at Daintons Bridge in Shepparton. I continued for another 5.5 km to the weir downstream. Unfortunately about 2 km before the weir there was a rock barrier across the river. I had to disembark and lift my kayak over the low barrier in order to continue downstream. Christine met me at the weir at 1:10 pm where it was easy to carry the kayak up to the car. Easy launching is also available at the downstream side of the weir for further paddling down the river.