11 great paddle trails
The Global Paddler website was experiencing unanticipated technical difficulties, so we have taken the opportunity to make significant improvements. It may be difficult to access the online versions of our guides for approximately one month. Our apologies for any inconvenience this causes. All current members will be compensated with a membership extension equal to twice the amount of time it takes us to get the online guides up and running again. If you are a Global Paddler member who requires urgent access to a particular guide, please feel free to send us an email request.
Blanchetown is home to the most memorable vista on the entire 947 kilometre length of the Sturt Highway. The road flies high above the Murray River to provide an unrivalled view of glittering waters and soaring limestone cliffs. The urge to paddle is impossible to resist.
- Swan Reach
Swan Reach is a wonderful place where you can marvel at the majesty of Murray River limestone cliffs, find solitude in the quiet backwaters of Australia’s longest waterway and take advantage of a rare chance to paddle across South Australia’s iconic Goyder’s Line.
Every Murraylands paddle is special but this one has a fantastic cherry on top that you may never experience again in your entire paddling life. At Punyelroo, you can land in front of a 3 kilometre deep cave and walk right in for an incredible underground adventure.
- Big Bend
The longest bend in Australia’s greatest river is also home to the loftiest of its spectacular cliffs. Calling this place Big Bend is an understatement but to talk it up any more than that would be downright un-Australian. No tall poppies ’round ’ere mate.
Every location has a unique sense of place. To feel it, you must orient yourself to your surroundings. This is simple in the present moment but historical orientation is not so easy. Thankfully, amazing whispers of Aboriginal presence are here to help on this Wongulla paddle.
- Walker Flat
Walker Flat and the neighbouring settlement of Wongulla are popular with Murray River users of all persuasions and it is easy to see why. This stretch of the waterway is blessed with stunning scenery and it has all the conveniences a water lover could need.
You are blessed with gorgeous natural features but so is everyone else around you. What do you do to stand out from the crowd and make people notice you? Bowhill’s answer to this age old question is pure genius in its simplicity. Offer them an ice cold beer.
The first paddle steamer on the Murray River was launched at Mannum. The town is steeped in river boat history but there is much more to it than that. You can see 400 million year old rock formations and you can even be part of an annual world record attempt.
- Murray Bridge
Murray Bridge is the largest urban centre in the Murraylands and the fifth largest in the state. Its size is mainly due to the bridge from which it takes its name but the Ngarrindjeri people can attest that this was an important meeting place a long time before that existed.
Wellington is the last town to kiss the Murray River on the cheek before it pours its blue gold into Lake Alexandrina. The magnitude of this moment has not been lost on a single Murray River explorer since Charles Sturt rowed his whaleboat through here in February 1830.
- Clayton Bay
The peaceful village of Clayton Bay has a lovely location beside the backwaters of Lake Alexandrina just north of Hindmarsh Island. It is a picture perfect place to become acquainted with the most expansive part of the Murray River’s incredible journey from source to sea.