11 great paddle trails
Finding a great place to go kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddleboarding in the Murraylands region of South Australia is easy when you are a Global Paddler member. All you need to do is pick a number on our trip locator map and click or tap on the trail name with the same number in the list below. Global Paddler memberships are available from our online store.
Each Global Paddler guide includes a map, colour photographs, logistical details, a route description, local points of interest, quirky facts, and recommended places to eat, drink, and stay the night so that every day you spend on the water is fantastic.
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 and the town is steeped in riverboat history. It was also the location of Australia’s first attempt to set the world record for the most kayaks and canoes on the water simultaneously. Time to have another go? Bring your friends.
- 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 SA
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 and it won’t be lost on you.
- 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.