Preparation

Logistics

Covid 19 outbreaks in NSW and Victoria over the summer and subsequent border closures presented logistical difficulties in the planning stage of this journey. Fortunately all borders opened by the time I left Canberra in late February so I was able to drive to Wentworth, leave my kayak and gear at Willow Bend Caravan Park before driving to Goolwa where I left my car at Hindmarsh Island Caravan Park. From Goolwa I caught the daily bus to Adelaide (LinkSA), flew to Mildura (Rex Airlines, twice a week) and caught a taxi to Wentworth. This whole process took four days but it was nice to know that my car was waiting for me at the end of the journey.

It is noted that, unlike in 2006, there is no direct bus service between Adelaide and Mildura (or Renmark to Mildura).

Drinking Water

I was prepared to treat the river water by the process described for my journey down the Darling but due to the frequency of towns it was not necessary. I started out from Wentworth with close to 20 litres of drinking water and by the time I got to Customs House just over the SA border, about 200 km and 5 days later, I still had some in reserve but was able to buy a 10 litre cask at the kiosk. If desperate, I'm sure you could get drinking water from one of the four lockmasters upstream. After Renmark, the towns are every 2-3 days. However, when crossing Lake Alexandrina you should make sure you have extra supplies (food and water) in case you need to wait a few days for light winds.

Food

I prepared my food before the trip and had it posted ahead similar to what I described for my journey down the Darling.

Maps

River Murray Charts, 8th Edition

Murray River Pilot, April 2004

I photocopied the relevant pages from the above maps and laminated them for use in my kayak.

GPS

I also used Back Country Navigator (BCN) on my Android phone. This app allowed me to download the default maps for offline use on my phone. However, I rarely used it on the lower Murray because the maps listed above were sufficient.

Gear and Safety (including Communications, First Aid and Kayak)

See the information described for my journey down the Darling.

Crossing Lake Alexandrina

Extreme care needs to be take with lake Alexandrina. Make sure you have the right equipment and choose a route that is within you abilities. Most importantly choose the right weather conditions. In my experience, winds of 10 km/h or less are ideal and 20 km/h is getting too strong due to the waves that can be generated. Alan Davison has created a webpage that covers equipment, routes, dangers etc for crossing the lake. I have crossed the lake four times now (3 times in a kayak and once in a motor boat as a support for a kayaker) and each time I have used the southern/eastern route with an overnight (or two or three) stop at Narrung camping reserve. This route is the safest as it avoids major open water crossings. See route #2 in Alan's webpage.

Links

The most comprehensive site for paddling the Murray River and the other major rivers of the basin is Alan Davison's site.