Murray River by Dinghy

Submitted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:42
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Has anybody here done this trip
One member was talking about completing this trip on an old thread and I was curious if anybody has completed this trip lately
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:51

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 10:51
Many people do this every year. Have a look at Murray Meander.

When I did the top third two years ago from upstream of Corryong to Echuca it was in a 14 ft tinny with a 15 horse donk.

The middle third is from Echuca to Mildura.

This year they went from Mildura to Lake Alexandrina.

Bob
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Reply By: Sash - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:32

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:32
Echucan Bob
My intention is to start at the Hume Dam spillway and travel to Goolwa in one sitting
12 foot dinghy, 70 litres of fuel, swag (in case I get stuck between towns, I plan to stay in the local pubs - meet the locals)
When they open the spillway they tell me it takes approximately 3 weeks for the water to get to Echuca
Been told thet the water level comes up about 2 mtres after they release the water - would this be correct
Any local knowledge and advice would be appreciated if you have any
Regards Sash
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 12:12

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 12:12
Sash

contact Dick Phillips on the MM website. He is full bottle on everything you need to know re navigating the Murray.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Sash - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 19:03

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 19:03
Bob
I have been in contact with Dick and he will get back to me when he gets back from overseas,
What is the river like above the Hume and how did you get around the dam, I will not have any support vehicles following me so I will be on my pat malone
Regards
Sash
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 23:11

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 23:11
Sash, you will have the same problem at Yarrawonga. There is no lock there either.


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Follow Up By: Sash - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 23:35

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 23:35
Peter
Luckily a friend from work has a brother who lives in Yarrawonga and he has offered to get me around the weir - most probably will be forced to have a quiet drink with him also
Just went looking through the forum and noticed another thread running with similar questions, does this question come up often
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 08:38

Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 08:38
Sash,

The river above the Weir is quite different. It has a rocky bed most of the way, and can be shallow depending on rainfall. It is easy to damage a prop if you aren't careful. There were a few spots where we had to get out of the boat and walk it through shallow sections. One of our crew caught a 59cm cod spinning as we went.

We had support vehicles to transport the tinny past dam wall. The support vehicles also had fresh jerries of fuel waiting at arranged points, making life a lot easier.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Sash - Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 09:09

Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 09:09
Bob
You have got me thinking that I should really start at the top and come down
Where did you start from again, maps look good but local knowledge gives you the real story
I was speaking with a guy the other day and he said that they started out and had engine troubles on both dinghy's and decided to row the top section anyway
My first thoughts were leg damage but it was other issues (fuel and electrics) his thoughts were that rowing and going with the flow was a very good alternative for them and still enjoyed it
I am limited in my time to do the trip or sections to about two weeks at a time, maybe I could do half store the gear at Yarrawonga or further down and then come back and do the last run to Goolwa
Any suggestions about getting around the Hume keeping in mind I will not have any back up crew and will have to rely on help from others
I do extensive fishing off WA but never planned to spin in the river, becomes a problem of what to do with the catch at the end of the day
In October would there usually be much water flowing in the upper end down to the Hume
Thanks for the feed back
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 14:25

Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 14:25
Quote "I do extensive fishing off WA but never planned to spin in the river, becomes a problem of what to do with the catch at the end of the day"

You eat it. You only need to troll when the lards is bare.
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Follow Up By: Sash - Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 14:47

Monday, Jun 02, 2014 at 14:47
The size fish I would expect to catch wouldn't fit in the dinghy
Seriously time and space would not let me take the luxury of fishing into contention as well
Every one talks about catching a Murray River Cod unfortunately that will have to be another trip
I might get to enjoy myself and not go back home
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Follow Up By: Sash - Thursday, Jun 05, 2014 at 22:56

Thursday, Jun 05, 2014 at 22:56
Peter D
Isn't October a "No Fishing" time of the year
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:54

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:54
Way way back in about 1965 or 1966 my brothers and I and a mate of ours did a "Huckleberry Finn" on a raft made out of 3x 44gl drums and 4x3s and fencing wire , starting point was just down stream of the Hume weir wall and finished near the 1st bridge just before the old fruit fly station between Albury and Wodonga ,, took 3 days just floating along …...
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Follow Up By: Sash - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:57

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:57
That would have been a trip and a half
You sound like a farmer with your fencing wire and all
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Reply By: Raider28 - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 21:56

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 21:56
I love your enthusiasm Sash but i wouldn't be leaving your boat / motor moored somewhere while you spend the night in the pub. Might be a short trip. At the moment the river is low from the wall to at least Mulwala. I think the water authorities nearly got caught out last year when Dartmouth was full , the Hume was nearly full and the river was running high. They have run the dam down to about 36% so they can do something with the water if we get too much. If we have an El Nino year though , I won't be skiing much this summer. All the best.
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Follow Up By: Sash - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 22:49

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 22:49
Raider
I work with some guy's that come from around the Murray River area or were bought up in the different areas and I have had that said a few times about the boat, so the more I hear about it the more I am getting concerned that I might be drinking by myself in the dark on the river bank some where just out of town
I was speaking to a guy in Yarrawonga the other day and he mentioned that his wife and daughter went canoeing from the weir down and had to walk the canoes over at least one sand bar, they went something like 45 kms
What do you think my chances are of motoring after they release water from the wall (I assume that is the Hume Dam)
Bit late to back out now told to many that I am going even if I have to walk
I believe your weir at Yarrawonga is the only man made structure that I have to get around
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Reply By: Member Ray M (QLD) - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 01:07

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 01:07
Hey Sash, Justene said you are too old to be doing this, but when you get to Picnic Point give me a call and I will get a mate from Mathoura to bring out a frosty one for you. Cheers Ray
PS. Pretty mean looking tinny in those pics you sent and we are in Derby at the moment
AnswerID: 533421

Follow Up By: Sash - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 01:10

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 01:10
You better get to Perth
Currently at work back on the 12th
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Reply By: rooster350 - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:55

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:55
I think you had better do your home work a bit more on the Murray river, it is not just one long straight stretch of water...there are numerous locks to negotiate and some of them are miles from nowhere and at the moment the river is very low, we are just back from up near Mildura and there were places there that we were hitting sand in our 12ft tinnie and we had very little load on, loaded up you would have no hope of getting through and back further near Wemen it would be worse...good luck
AnswerID: 533448

Follow Up By: Sash - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:02

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:02
Rooster
I was led to believe once they start to release water fro the Hume this would suffice to get a 12 foot dinghy down from the Hume
I read that Lock 4 is currently closed for repairs but believed the others would be fine with either ringing them prior or an air horn
Would it be advisable to take my beach rollers for the dinghy as well?
Current planning puts me out to around October which should be after water has started to be released
I am taking all advise on board but, the more the better and less chance of having delays and issues
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Reply By: gbc - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 15:03

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 15:03
Get onto the sea kayaking forum or http://www.akff.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=62231 for info on depths, camping spots, local drunks and all the rest. You'll get much better info from those who've done it by water.
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Follow Up By: Sash - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 23:04

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 23:04
GBC
That was a very well written article, enjoyed it immensely

Regards Sash
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Reply By: Robyn R4 - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 21:25

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 21:25
We used to call Spring "high tide" because you had a decent level of water in the river. Autumn/Winter were "low tide" where the water went down so low that it'd scare the water skiers when they saw the huge logs just below the surface!! (ie oh my goodness is that what I was skiing over the top of a few months ago?!) I doubt if you'd get very far and very easily in winter/low tide time.
A down side to Spring's high tide was the fact that it was the snow melt and sometimes flooded/ran a little fast.
Summer was a good time to hit the river because it was still fairly high and calmer and so cool on a hot day. There were some interesting kayak races/rallies in summer in the 10 years I lived on the Murray.
Don't know how many locks/weirs etc that would pose obstacles along the Murray's 2000+km (if my memory serves me correctly from wandering along Echuca's wharves) but I do know there's another one at Torrumbarry (between Cohuna and Echuca).
We often talked of boating a bit down the length but satisfied ourselves with just being able to drive the 3km through the bush tracks and sit and veg out on the bank with our camp fire and camp oven roast...
Damn. The simple pleasures that suburbia doesn't do!
:)
AnswerID: 533485

Follow Up By: rooster350 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 09:49

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 09:49
About 12 or 13 locks & weirs ,Mildura is lock 11 ,Euston 12 ,Torrumburry 13 and I am not sure what is upstream from there....others would know more than me, I am a "southerner"
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