Canoeing down the Glenelg River

Tom and Guy canoeing Glenelg River

Guy and I went on a two night canoe trip down the Glenelg River in the Lower Glenelg National Park on the border of South Australia and Victoria. It was Christmas time and the Summer sun couldn’t have been more accommodating.

It’s about a five hour drive west of Melbourne or six hours south-east of Adelaide to get to the beautiful gorged river in the remote bottom south-west corner of Victoria and the south-east corner of South Australia.

We started the trip at a remote spot called Pines Landing which would be an ideal spot for a swim and picnic when the suns out. On Day one we paddled roughly seventeen kms to Skipworth Springs. We did most of this with a head wind which didn’t let up most of the time for our three day trip. We were on the water for approximately five hours during our first day with plenty of breaks for lunch and swimming etc.

Canoeing Glenelg River

On arrival at Skipworth Springs we were relieved to arrive and ready to set up for the night. We carried our barrels up the set of steps from the canoe landing and decided to sit them down so we could put some shoes on before we continued up to the campsite. As we picked up the barrels to move on again a snake jumped out from under the barrel and hit Guy in the leg and rustled off into the bushes. We both jumped a good distance in the opposite direction. Luckily Guy wasn’t bitten but it was definitely a wake up call. We are in a remote place with no car and phone service so its something we will definitely be prepared for next time.

For most of the second day, we had head winds and traveled approximately fifteen kms to Bowds Campsite. We stopped for lunch and had coffee breaks at different landings along the way. One of the best parts of the trip was when we would both jump out of the canoe in the middle of the river, then swim alongside it – the weather treated us to a 36°C day of blue skies, floating in the river without a worry in the world was all we had planned.  We were on the water for about five-si hours again, but we were taking our time!

We arrived at Bowds and set up for the night with no snakes in sight!

On the third day, we pulled into Mclennans Punt for a coffee break and to look around and got speaking to some of the campers there. They told us about an old cave hidden in the scrub on the waters edge about fifty meters away from the camp. Its moments like these that make Guy and i love travelling and exploring and explore we did. So we got out torches and cameras and went and explored a cave that goes deep into the limestone cliffs that border the beautiful Glenelg River.

Canoeing Glenelg River

We got back in our canoe and continued towards the Princes Margaret Rose Caves where we would finish our short but eventful trip. As we did so we could see a rope hanging down from the cliff on the waters edge and this looked like an opportunity to good to miss. So again we pulled up to the rope and hauled ourselves up to the top where there was the mouth of another cave welcoming us and in we went. The cave continued for quite some time ans we had to turn back but people we told abiuth this cave say that it connects up with The Princes Margaret Rose caves and it would have been hilarious if we continued on and came out in another cave where a tour could have been going on!

On day three, we traveled approximately ten kms over three to four hours. It was an amazing trip that will definitely do again with more camps more people and more time! 

We really love this part of the world! the scenery and landscape is incredible and we saw very few people the whole time!

We used Paestan Canoe Hire – they can arrange pick ups and drop offs and were really accommodating with plenty of handy advice and tips

More information and a map with all campsites along the way can be found at the Parks Victoria website.

Canoeing Glenelg River

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