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Paddling

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.

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
Paddling Trails South Australia
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
South Australian Tourism Commission

Found 409 Trails
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Heysen Trail – Full Trail

Walking
1200km

The Heysen Trail is one of the world’s great walking trails and the longest dedicated walking trail in Australia.The 1,200 km trail starts at Cape Jervis and winds along the beaches and sea cliffs of the south coast before passing over rolling hills and rural landscapes of the Fleurieu Peninsula and Mt Lofty Ranges. Beyond […]

Walking 60 Days

Mawson Trail – Full Trail

Cycling  |  Walking
900km

Starting just north of Adelaide and travelling to the Outback town of Blinman in the Flinders Ranges, the Mawson Trail is the ideal option for mountain bikers wanting to travel through South Australia’ s remote rural areas. Close to nine hundred kilometres long, the trail includes little-used country roads, State forest and national park fire […]

Cycling 2.32 Weeks
Walking 3.62 Weeks

River Torrens Linear Park Trail

Walking  |  Cycling
30km

This shared use trail follows 30km of river from Athelstone, following the River Torrens, through to Adelaide CBD, and then to the river mouth at West Beach/Henley Beach. Lined with River Red Gums and reed  beds, the trail is an oasis in the city and suburbs. With numerous playgrounds, picnic spots, duck-feeding spots and toilets […]

Walking 5 Hours
Cycling 3 Hours

Kersbrook Horse Trail

Horse Riding  |  Cycling  |  Walking
29.89km

The Kersbrook Horse Trail is a shared use trail in and around the town of Kersbrook and nearby Forestry SA land. Download map brochure here: Kersbrook Horse PDF The Kersbrook Horse Trail is South Australia’s only continuously looped, officially mapped horse trail. NOTES:  There is one section of the trail that is of higher risk […]

Horse Riding 6.85 Hours
Cycling 4.38 Hours
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Adelaide’s Underwater Heritage Trail

Scuba Diving
115km

Includes four shipwrecks – the Grecian, Zanoni, Star of Greece and Norma. The shipwrecks are located from Ardrossan, on Yorke Peninsula to Port Willunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Underwater plaques are adjacent to each vessel. Divers planning to visit the Zanoni require a permit from Heritage SA as it is situated within a protected zone. […]

Scuba Diving 1 Day Intermediate
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