Seymour - Goulburn Weir
Seymour - Goulburn Weir (60km)
19 February 2015
We camped at Chiltern last night after driving from Canberra yesterday afternoon. It's about a two hour drive to Seymour and I launched at 10:50 am from the boat ramp next to the Goulburn River Caravan Park. This is the 235 km mark on the map. The flow was good at 8000 Ml/day from Eildon Reservoir. A fisherman at the boat ramp warned me of rapids about 3 km downstream just before the old closed bridge but they were not much of a problem. There were snags in the river but they were easy to navigate around in the gentle current. I forgot my GPS so I don't know the the speed of the current was but I guess that it was about 3 kph. I had my first break just after midday just beyond the Hume Fwy bridge so I was covering about 9 kph but when I take into account my rest breaks, which I like to have every hour or so, I cover about 7 kph for the whole day. It's a beautiful day of about 30 degrees. I don't go for a swim but the water feels refreshing on my head when I soak my cap. In my next spell of paddling I cover 15 km in 2 hours to just past Hughes Ck and pull over on the right bank just before the 20 knot sign. From here the current slows with the influence of Goulburn Weir. I ring Christine to tell her that I will reach the Mitchelton Rd Bridge, near Michelton Winery, in about an hour. About 50 minutes later, at 3:20 pm, I reach the bridge and land at a gravel ramp just downstream of the bridge on the right hand side of the river. So I have covered the 32 km in about 4 1/2 hours. This is a steep ramp but I can get my 4WD down close to the water to load up the kayak. We stay at Nagambie Lakes Leisure Resort.
20 February 2015
Last night was warm but the evening was pleasant. It was a nice sunset and minutes after I was thinking how pleasant it was that there were no flies or mosquitoes, the mosquitoes started biting, at 8:30 pm, so we quickly had our showers and went to bed. A few days ago Christine said that she could accompany me to Seymour and then catch the train home on Sunday when I was going to catch the ferry to Tasmania. This meant that I did not need to camp out of my kayak for one night and would save me the extra time packing the kayak with the extra gear and having to catch the train or bus back to Seymour to get the car. Also, it would allow me to be a "featherbed explorer" (like Captain Van Zuilecom in 1854) on the Goulburn River with the extra luxuries of car based camping in a caravan park. However, it is noted that I gave my "featherbed mattress", which does not contain any feathers, to Christine to sleep on while I slept on my hiking mattress. In the morning we returned to the bridge near Mitchelton and I launched at 8:40 am to paddle the 15 km to Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park. There are beautiful reflections at first but then a light northerly breeze develops. There is only slight current assistance that is visible by ripples around some of the snags. I had my GPS with me and I wanted to measure the speed of my drift but the batteries ran out whilst still trying to acquire the satellites. I have found that the maps in the Goulburn River Fishing guidebook to be perfectly adequate for paddling down the river when used with a compass. I reached the Leisure Park after 2 hours and have a coffee with Christine at the park's cafe.
21 February 2015
An earlier start today - 7:20 am for the 12 km paddle to Goulburn Weir. Nice reflections again with the only challenge today being to dodge the stumps studded in the lake. Many poke out of the water but some are just below the surface and you only know about them when you either hit them or when they are alongside the kayak. In some parts there are buoys to make the river channel but as you get close to the weir it is difficult to tell where the channel is. A couple hundred metres before the weir there are yellow buoys indicating that vessels are prohibited but near the right bank there is a sign in the water indicating vessels are prohibited to the left of the sign. About 50 m past the sign there is a gravel ramp into the water and this is where I ended my days paddle two hours after starting. This ramp is part of the weir reserve and Christine arrived minutes later to pick me up.