16 great paddle trails
Finding a great place to go kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddleboarding in the Western Districts of Victoria 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.
Cohuna is awesome because it has a paddling regatta where the winner gets to call themselves The Big Cohuna for a whole year. But wait, there’s more. The town’s cows have also been used to produce high-protein astronaut food and we’re not just talking Big Cohuna Burgers.
- Gunbower Forest
Gunbower Forest is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including the second largest river red gum population in Australia. It is a key part of an area that has been called the ‘Kakadu of the South’ and it won’t take long for you to appreciate why.
There’s no place like Nyah when it comes to good old Murray River hospitality. Who else has both the first female paddle steamer captain to ply these waters and an expert woodpile cutter on hand to wish you bon voyage every time you set sail from their shores?
- Bumbang Island
Bumbang Island is a lovely wildlife sanctuary and historical reserve embraced by the gently flowing waters of the Murray River at Robinvale. Permission from its Koori owners is required before landing but anyone can paddle around and peek inside.
- Red Cliffs
The stunning red cliffs that inspired the name of this town are just one of the highlights of this adventure. There are also two historic pumping stations, a billabong wildlife refuge, the biggest winery in the southern hemisphere, and two great places to paddle.
- Mullaroo Creek
Mullaroo Creek meanders through the middle of Lindsay Island in the Murray Sunset National Park in the remote northwestern corner of Victoria. It is a wonderfully secluded waterway that links the Murray River with its Lindsay River anabranch to the south.
- Lake Wartook
Nestled high among the wooded hills and magnificent sandstone landforms of the Grampians National Park, Lake Wartook is the oldest irrigation storage in Australia, an important water supply for 72,000 Victorians, and an incredibly scenic place to paddle.
- Rocklands Reservoir
Rocklands Reservoir is a long narrow lake in beautiful woodland on the western side of the Grampians. An excellent selection of campgrounds on its 400 kilometre long shoreline makes it a fantastic destination for a long weekend of paddling and camping.
- Glenelg River Bushland
The Lower Glenelg National Park bushland that cloaks this part of the Glenelg River is an exciting potpourri of plant life in which typically western Australian flora blends with vegetation more characteristically seen in the eastern regions of the continent.
- Glenelg River 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.
- Glenelg River Coast
Major Thomas Mitchell became the first European to float down this part of the Glenelg River when he was here in 1839 during his Australia Felix expedition. Ride his historical bow wave and you’ll find that nothing much has changed in more than 175 years.
- Lake Bullen Merri
Imagine yourself in a volcanic landscape where multiple eruptions have thrown huge amounts of rock into the air and left behind a vast circular crater in the surface of the earth. Now fast forward 20,000 years and you might just find yourself at Lake Bullen Merri.
- Yambuk Lake
Yambuk Lake is a place that reminds you that the world in which we live is not one that is comfortable with being restrained by walls, fences, and double-glazed windows. It is refreshingly capricious and spirited, and at its best when allowed to run free.
- Hopkins River
See the City of Warrnambool in a whole new light on this captivating Hopkins River cruise. Discover 650,000 year old lava flows, cliffs made of the same limestone as the 12 Apostles, and the enigmatic Blue Hole created by shifting Southern Ocean sands.
There is no doubt the reason most people visit Princetown is to meet the Australian rock stars that live down the road at the 12 Apostles. However, this is also where one of Victoria’s healthiest rivers hits the coast so you would be mad not to bring a paddle.
- Aire River
Set up camp among the koalas of the Great Otway National Park and launch onto the Aire River for an exploration of an area that the Department of Environment and Primary Industries describes as one of the major physiographic features of the Otway Ranges.