Hume Weir-Corowa (21-23 April 2000, 22 April 2004, 135 km)
Thursday 22 April 2004
We camped for a few days at Lake Hume Tourist Park and at 7:45 am on 22 April 2004 I launched from the boat ramp on the Victorian side immediately below Hume Weir. There was a reasonably good flow of about 11386 Ml/day with a gauge of 2.60 m at Heywood Bridge just below the weir. Heywood Bridge also marks the 2224 km mark from the Murray mouth. I paddled the 28 km to Albury in 3 hours of paddling time averaging 9 km/hr with a 15 minute break at Mungabarina Reserve at about the halfway point. I finished at Noreuil Park just downstream of the Hume Highway bridge in Albury.
Friday 21 April 2000
By the end of April the demand for irrigation water from the Hume Reservoir has subsided. Consequently this trip from Albury to Corowa, which coincided with Easter, was notable due to the low water levels and low flow rates. The current assistance for this trip amounted to about 2 km/hr with some sections at 3 km/hr. Overall paddling speed was about 8 km/hr. Unfortunately there is no riverside caravan park in Albury so we had to launch from Norieul Park. After the car shuffle we were able to launch at about midday on Good Friday. The flow rate was quite good for the first 10-15 km as this is where the Murrayflows out of the hills around Albury and onto the plains to the west. One advantage of the low water levels is that there is no shortage of sandy beaches at which to stop for a break. There were also some stony beaches and we stopped at one of these for lunch at about the 13 km mark.
After a quick 40 minute lunch we continued and reached a division in the river at about the 24 km mark. A decent flow of water entered the right hand channel but we took the left as this was the Murray proper. In hindsight the right channel would have been shorter and perhaps swifter. At 4:20 pm we stopped to set up camp at a sandy beach at about the 27 km mark. At this time of the year the sun sets at 5:30 pm and we had enough time to establish ourselves and to collect enough firewood for the chilly evening.
Saturday 22 April 2000
The next morning was chilly and foggy. We were on the water at 9:15 am and made steady progress for a 43 km day. There were many campers along the river especially around Howlong. Our intended campsite at Kismet was crowded, and noisy with trail bikes and motor boats. We decided to continue on for another kilometre and found a site across from campers with a generator which fortunately was switched off at 8:00 pm.
Sunday 23 April 2000
The next morning we made an early start. We rose at 6:00 am and were on the water at 8:00 am. By 2:30 pm we arrived at a sandy beach just upstream from the Corowa Bridge. The river for the previous 5 km was marked by the number of riverside campers. That was another 37 km for the day to bring the trip total to 107 km.