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Canoeing

The backwaters and creeks of the River Murray provide some of South Australia’s best canoeing opportunities. As a rule the trails don’t have discernible trail markers or defined edges – in contrast, they are marked by the extremities of the river, its creeks and waterways.

Katarapko National Park, opposite the town of Loxton, is an ideal canoeing destination for novice paddlers and families. Chambers Creek, located near Barmera and Cobdogla, as well as the waterways connecting Morgan, Blanchetown and Swan Reach provide an array of paddling experiences featuring protected, sheltered backwaters, open exposed lakes and rivers, abundant birdlife, aboriginal heritage and spectacular cliff views.

The Chowilla Creek, located near Renmark, gives canoeists the opportunity to paddle in three states (SA, VIC, and NSW) in one day. It’s set within the Bookmark Biosphere, where the lands are managed to combine both conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

The Coorong National Park also offers good canoeing. This 50,000-hectare park is a great spot for seeing birdlife and wildlife in its natural habitat, and is of national importance as an archaeological site with middens and burial sites giving evidence of Aboriginal occupation over many thousands of years.

Closer to Adelaide, the Garden Island Ships’ Graveyard and the Mangroves of the Port River system provide paddling experiences in tidal conditions with the chance to see dolphins and marine life.

Canoes and kayaks can be hired from a number of outlets – check out the Yellow Pages for details.  The education arm of Canoe SA provides courses on canoeing and kayaking for all skill levels.   In addition, there are several tour operators offering half-day excursions and extended tours. Visit www.southaustralia.com for details.

Safety tips

  • Wear suitable protective footwear
  • Carry a change of clothes
  • If the weather is likely to be cool, bring a waterproof jacket
  • Wear a broad brim hat, apply sunblock
  • Carry snacks and water (River Murray water is not suitable for consumption)
  • Paddle with a friend
  • Paddle in protected waters
  • When canoeing on the Murray or its backwaters be alert for other water-users, including the Murray Explorer, house-boats and power boats. Canoeists should also keep well clear of the weirs, both upstream and downstream and take care when manoeuvring craft around and through locks.

More information
Canoe South Australia
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
South Australian Tourism Commission

Found 410 Trails
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Chowilla – Slaney Creek

Canoeing
14km return

Slaney Creek is in the Chowilla anabranch system running between River Murray and Chowilla Creek. There are at least 3 major snags that must be negotiated in Slaney Creek. One day round trip of approx 14 kms. 1. Commence at the Customs House boatramp and paddle downstream to the junction with Slaney Creek (approx 1.5 […]

Canoeing 6 Hours Easy

Chowilla – Salt Creek Murray Loop

Canoeing
45km return

This loop trail in the anabranch creek system you are paddling against the flow most of the distance (approx. 21 kms). When you reach the Murray River you will paddle downstream. On this trail you cover the upper third of the anabranch creek system and entering into NSW. 1. Start at Boarder Cliffs Customs House […]

Canoeing 4 Days Easy

Chowilla – Salt Creek 3 day Loop

Canoeing
62km return

1. Start at Border Cliffs boat ramp (Lat: 33974532 S, Long: 140.958220 E) 2. Paddle upstream to portage point at 399 River miles portage into Hypurna Creek (approx. 75 m) and then paddle down to the junction with Salt Creek. Passing the “Chute” on the LH side approx. total distance = 2.2 kms + 75m […]

Canoeing 4 Days Easy

Chowilla – Salt and Hypurna Creek Loop

Canoeing
33.5km return

1. Start at Boarder Cliffs Customs House boat-ramp (Lat: 33974532 S, Long: 140.958220 E). 2. Paddle downstream to the “Shute” (approx. 150m) a fast-flowing, narrow creek (leaving the main river on the RH side) joining Murray River and Hyperna Creek. (If the “Shute” is considered hazardous for the skills of the group the alternative is […]

Canoeing 3 Days Easy

Chowilla – Pipeclay Creek

Canoeing
7.5km return

Pipeclay Creek is a anabranch creek of the Murray River in the Chowilla Creek system. 1. Launch at Border Cliffs Customs House boatramp (or from the NPWSSA campsites just downstream from the boatramp) and paddle downstream for approx 3.5kms. 2. Find the entrance to the oxbow lake around the “Isle of Man” and follow that […]

Canoeing 3 Hours Easy
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