Exploring waterways around Australia

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 02, 2019 at 17:28
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In May this year we are off on our 4month trip around Oz. We normally explore the waterways in nsw with our canoe which has a 3hp motor. We are wondering if its worthwhile lugging it around with us due to the danger of crocs etc. we have a penguin outback camper. we are doing Gibb river rd and wonder if any of you have opinions or recommendations of places not to be missed (or places that we should definitely not attempt!)using our canoe to make it worthwhile and an unforgettable trip.Thanks in advance. Liz
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Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 07:18

Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 07:18
Lis : There is no doubt there would be lots of great places to go canoeing , obviously you would not want to venture into the Northern Waterways like Pentecost River etc in the Kimberley . But there is places like Lake Argyle and Lawn Hill that maybe safe??
If you were to give your itinerary you are more likely to get better informed comments.
Good luck with your travels and happy canoodling
Cheers Nick b

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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 11:33

Thursday, Jan 03, 2019 at 11:33
Also along the GRR at Charnley River & Mornington you can canoe to your hearts content. Mornington is especially good and they hire out their canoes. Also Mt Elizabeth has access at one of their gorges. If venturing up to the Mitchell Falls you could canoodle at the King Edward River camping grounds area.

If doing the Dampier Peninsula then any of the coastal camps will be good canoeing.

Kununurra as mentioned has both of the Lakes that are well suited to canoeing and exploring by water.

If doing the Duncan Rd Sawpit Gorge is suitable for canoeing.

You definitely won't be lost for choices.



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Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 00:30

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 00:30
Hi Liz

Take your canoe as it gives you more opportunities when you travel. You can always assess the safety of launching it when you are there. A few questions to the locals will give you the chance to assess the risks.

A long time ago I was involved in surveying rivers. Our kit included a 10’ flat bottomed punt and a 6HP outboard. Rivers included all the major( and many minor) Australian streams, excluding QLD. The memories of the journeys in those streams are some of the most memorable in my life. Few if any other people and up close to most of our wildlife.

Since retiring have have revisited many of the places I surveyed. But without a boat as my partner is very frightened of boats after having almost drowned when she was young.

So take your canoe, assess the risks on a case by case basis, and enjoy the rivers when you can.

Cheers John
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Follow Up By: Liz C3 - Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 07:35

Saturday, Jan 05, 2019 at 07:35
Thanks John. We will take the canoe. Any particular rivers you think are a must? We will be doing lawn hill, darwin, kunurra, cape leveque,kimberleys, mornington, ord river and down w.a, coast, and back through the Murray.
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Jan 07, 2019 at 10:40

Monday, Jan 07, 2019 at 10:40
I would be very very wary of exploring waterways in a canoe, in any waterway in Northern QLD, the N.T., and in Northern W.A., which is within 200kms of the coast.

Crocodiles are highly mobile, will travel for many kms in one night (including dashes of 1 km over dry land), and they need only a small amount of water to hide in.

Remember that saltwater crocodiles are cunning, they will track your movements and lie in wait for you - and they are well-known for taking victims from any form of boat, where the person is within lunge reach of the water.

In addition, they are drawn to people fishing, to food and fish scraps, and to small animals such as pets.

The Crocwise sites give good advice on managing your exposure to crocodile attack.
DPAW of W.A. advise that ALL bodies of water in the Kimberly region of W.A. are to be treated, as being likely to contain crocodiles.

Crocwise - living with crocodiles - QLD

Crocwise - DPAW - W.A.

Crocwise - N.T.

Crocodile attack inquest told crocodiles are getting bigger and bolder

My personal opinion is that the feeding of crocodiles for tourist entertainment is something that should never have been started.

Crocodiles are extremely intelligent and learn new behaviours rapidly. Feeding crocodiles only reduces their fear of humans, and trains them to expect food whenever humans show up at waterways.

It's highly likely that learned behaviour is transferred to crocs many hundreds of kms away from billabongs where it's carried out, because crocs have been known to, and can travel widely, when floods are present - and they also have been tracked to many hundreds of kms out in the oceans.

Science Daily - crocodiles ride ocean currents

Cheers, Ron.
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