One week a year for the next 5 years (average 500km a year). The group have had this ambition to paddle the length of the Murray, but to do it one hit would take at least 8-10 weeks and that is not possible for most.
So we came up with a plan….lets do one week a year for 5 years and smash it for that week. Follow us on Facebook by Liking our Murray River Epic page. There should be some ripping photos and loads of information to help you plan your own Murray River adventure.
Year 1 (28/02/2013 – 08/03/2013): Well year one is done. We treked 36km into the official source and paddled 508km from Khancoban to Tocumwal. What an amazing trip. We clearly called it the Epic for good reason. There wouldn’t be too many around that have paddled 500+km in a week. It was tuff but plenty of amazing things to see. Below is a daily recap on the adventure.
We left the Geelong Canoe Club around 8.30am with a Nav Man Luke Haines on board. The plan was to make it to Omeo Victoria, drop off our trailer with Parks Victoria and drive as far into the closest walking point to the source and set up camp for a huge 32km trek. Nav Man had decided to walk us in from the South as that was going to be a one day trek as apposed to two days if we came in from the North.
After a 7 hour drive to Omeo we dropped off the kayak trailer and headed into the scrub. After another approx one hour of driving we reached our trek start at near dusk with plans to set up camp. After about 5 minutes of taking pictures and looking at each other we were bored so made the decision to trek in under lights to a point near the Murray River source and camp.
After 12.58km of walking some rusty old fire trails, dodging the odd wild brumby and having no idea where we were (we were heading for the point as shown in the image where the Murray and the survey points through to the East Coast commences), we finally found what looked like a flat plain 1,1186m above sea level and set up camp. We found an old camp site where other trekkers had been so felt like a great place to end a massive first day.
After coming out of a week of 30+degrees we froze our butts off over night but woke up to some beautiful country high up in the Snowy Mountains. It happened to be the site of a plane crash (apparently with loads of history that I need to research up on later). There were 20 odd wild brumbys grazing nearby which disappeared as soon as we started moving around the camp site.
Nav Man (Train 4 Adventure’s Luke Haines) was keen to get us moving so we hit the bush around 7.30am in search for the official start of the Murray River. Up to this point we had been walking fire trail but for the next 10km we were expecting to be bush bashing. This little YouTube clip will provide some insight into the treking conditions.
After about 6kms of treking through some rough old bush in search of this random pole the Nav Man spotted it as we were about to walk past for the second time. And an amazing looking pole it was.
It may just look like a pole in the ground but it was a ripping buzz actually finding it as not too many people manage to do it.
After a few celebrations (Nav Man Planked the pole) we walked up the hill to try and find the first survey marker that marks the start of the straight section of the VIC & NSW State border through to the East Coast of Australia. This survey point and the pole are approximately 50m apart. Check out this dodgy clip.
After spending approx. 30minutes admiring our achievements we headed back 6km to the camp and packed up and started the 12km trek out and the 3 hour drive to Khankoban. It was a massive day but we were all absolutely stoked to have completed this part of our goal.
To be continued………
The Original Plan
Year 1: 28/02/2013 (Travel & Paddle Plans Below) – Day trek 32kms in to Forest Hill springs which is considered the start of the Murray. Bypass the rapids section and then commence paddling from the Indi & Swampy Plains Junction. Finish up Saturday 9th of March. We expect to cover approx.500kms in 7 paddling days.
Year 2: Drop off 01/03/2014, pick up 08/03/2014 (Approx.500kms)
Year 3: Drop off 28/02/2015, pick up 07/03/2015 (Approx.500kms)
Year 4: Drop off 27/02/2016, pick up 05/03/2016 (Approx.500kms)
Year 5: TBA.
Stephen Parker (Elite and Past Winner of the Murray Marathon TK1 Division)
Ty Caling (Elite Beginner)
Stuart Finley (Elite at Everything)
Ross Burrage (Elite Tail End Charlie)
Featured Videos of past Murray River Expeditions