Before you go
There are many things to consider before heading out on a kayaking adventure, please take the time to plan your trip well. Listed below is important information to get you started.
Download the Paddle Prep App
If you are a smartphone user, we would recommend that you download the ‘Paddle Prep’ App developed by Paddle Australia. It is your one stop shop for your kayaking adventure, it has lots of helpful information relating suitable equipment you will need, resources to help you plan your trip, links to check the weather, winds speeds and river levels, video demonstrations on the different paddling skills you need and lots more.
Check the weather
Check the Bureau of Meteorology website for the latest weather forecase and wind speeds, www.bom.gov.au.
Not sure what a safe wind speed might be? Download this simple wind speed guide: Wind Speed and Weather Guide(350 kb)
Familirise yourself with the Trail Route
Familiarise yourself with the route you intend to paddle and locate all possible emergency entry and exit points. Make sure you choose a section that is suitable for you skill and fitness level.
Submit Float Plan
Notify a responsible person of your trip and submit a float plan - Download a template here, Float Plan(21 kb)
Canoe Safety Tips
- When canoeing on the Murray or its backwaters be alert for other water-users, including house-boats and power boats
- Carry adequate supplies of food and drinking water (remember river murray water isn’t suitable for drinking)
- Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and suitable clothing/footwear
- Always wear an approved PFD (lifejacket)
- Follow the river user rules: when you reach the ferry crossings at Tailem Bend and Wellington wait to the ferry to reach the side of the river and then cross in the middle, this will mean the cables are at the lowest point
- Take a mobile phone in a water proof bag in case of an emergency
- Paddle with a friend or group
- Take all your rubbish home
- Respect the environment – leave minimal impact on plants and wildlife
What to bring
- BYO kayak/canoe
- Approved PDF life vest
- Hat, sunglasses, sun cream and a jacket if it’s cooler. You can also consider wearing water shoes.
- Bug repellent especially at dawn and dusk
- Large bottle of water per person (if it's hot, 1 litre per person per hour is recommended)
- Waterproof camera, or a dry bag for the belongings
- Towel – also good for sun protection
- Picnic lunch, there’s plenty of spots to pull up on a canoe for a rest stop (make sure you take your rubbish with you) - click here for a list.
- Basic first aid
- Other safety equipment: torch, tow line.
Trail Emergency Exit/Access Points
Remember to familirise yourself with the following locations prior to departure, in case of an emergency this will be important information to provide emergency services.
- Westbrook Park
- Rivers Edge Caravan Park
- Riverside Hotel
- Dickson Reserve
- Fred’s Landing
- Murrayview Estate Reserve
- Wellington East Boat ramp
Useful Contact Numbers
Emergency – 000
Marine Safety Officers – 8532 8161
Murray Watch – To report environmental damage, pollution, or dangerous or antisocial behaviour 8531 0710 (24 Hours), www.murraywatch.com.au
Fishwatch Hotline – 1800 065 522
Coorong Council - 1300 785 277