The Graceful Cyclists

Cycle touring and other adventures

Canoeing the Murrumbidgee pt 1

On the October long weekend in 2020 the COVID situation seemed just calm enough to squeeze a three day canoe trip along the Murrumbidgee into a rather busy and uncertain time. As my first proper trip away post baby I was keen to do something that wasn’t all that remote, so that if needed I could get out to a road and back to my new little family easily. A long time ago I had stumbled upon the Murrumbidgee Canoe Trail guide (which is now really hard to find) so I dug that out and plans were hatched.

Day 1

Even a three day trip seems to have complicated logistics these days, but some how Mikey and I managed to get to the start of the trail with a 16ft Canadian canoe each. Thank you Rose and Holly for the lift.

It had been raining quite a bit before the trip so we knew the way would be up and make for less strenuous paddling. What we didn’t consider was that it might up the technicalities on the water. As we dropped off a 1ft drop within a few hundred metres of the start we knew we were in for a fun day.

Over all it wasn’t that crazy, but the constant rapids, logs and shallow areas with recently submerged young gum trees certainly made it interesting. The highlight of the day was that we each saw 3 platypus (different ones) and a rakali!

Eventually we made it to Jugiong and had dinner at the pub, having turned down the kind offer from some people we met on the river to came at a more secluded spot down stream because Lou and Loz would be joining us the next morning.

Day 2

Lou and Loz meet us bright and early (it took a bit of convincing but the fact we were doing a 40km+ day helped get Lou moving. We loaded the canoes and set off. The river this day was broader so there weren’t as many rapids to contend with, but we worked out the river was still flowing at about 4km/h so even without paddling we would have got there before it got too dark. We still had some lovely fun fast sections, and I think we saw another platypus or two.

That evening we camped on a sand bank on the she of the river and basked in the afternoon sunshine and swam until dinner time.

Day 3

The days goal was to get to Gundagai early enough for afternoon tea before or lift home arrived. The days description had a few hazards listed, but luckily the river was just high enough to go over some of the hazards while still being able to get under the others!

As it was we had a pleasant and fast paddle down the stream, with another lovely long lunch and swim on the river bank before we reached town.

Categories: New South Wales

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