As the most prolific creators of paddle guides for Australian waterways in recent years, we at Global Paddler are often asked which we think are the best and whether we have any favourites. While we firmly believe that every destination covered by a Global Paddler guide has its own special character and is worth visiting at least once in your lifetime, there can be no denying that some waterways will always have an extra special place in our hearts. Victoria is “the place to be” for anyone whose dream paddling destinations include magnificent limestone gorges, ancient volcanic craters, gorgeous temperate rainforests, rugged alpine country, marvellous Melbourne and the mighty Murray River. These are our top 5 paddles in that amazing part of the world.
Number 5: Yarra Bend
Featuring wonderful natural scenery, a canoe club, two places to hire kayaks and canoes, two more places to launch your own craft, a tea house, and a café, this could be the most delightfully civilised nature based paddling opportunity in the whole of Australia.
Number 4: Lake Buffalo
It is hard to imagine a time when Lake Buffalo will not be in the top five of our list of great paddling destinations in Victoria. Magnificent Mount Buffalo National Park, gorgeous wetlands and delightful farms are only the beginning of what you will find.
Number 3: Wingan Inlet
Wingan Inlet is proof that wilderness is not wasteland as some would have you believe. It is a fecund phantasmagoria of colour, texture, movement and sound. Wilderness is a completely honest expression of life itself – unadulterated, uncultivated and untamed.
Number 2: Barmah National Park 699
This is the second of a trilogy of day trips that allow you to experience the Murray River’s journey through the largest river red gum forest in Australia. Put all three days back-to-back in a single visit and you will have an awesome paddle camping adventure.
Number 1: Glenelg Cliffs
There are few paddling destinations in Australia that can rival the Glenelg River for sheer visual splendour. Spectacular white cliffs decorated with striking splashes of orange and grey rise up to fifty metres high above the water and shine brightly in the sun.
Comprehensive paddle guides for all of these locations containing maps, colour photographs, logistical information and written descriptions can be found on the Global Paddler website and in The Paddler’s Guide to Victoria guidebook. Global Paddler memberships and books are available now from the Global Paddler online store.