Goulburn Grail Stage 7 - Mitchellstown SR to Goulburn Weir
Updated: Jan 5, 2022
This Stage was planned as a fast paddle, in fast boats, since we were in the backwater of the Goulburn Weir for 30km. That meant we were paddling relatively slow moving water in the defined river channel, and having no flow benefit across the two open lakes. We were a little concerned about potential wind and chop on the lakes and the prospect of power boats and their wake since Pete and I did not have splash decks on our TK2. Fortunately we met no water ski / wake boats, only a few tinnies and a tourist boat.
Pete and I belted along in the TK2, closely followed by the two Ross's in their almost as speedy Greenlander and Penn. We were pushing along for 3:45 paddling time, averaging 8km/hr on relatively unassisted water.
This is a really varied paddle, confined within a broad river channel and wineries (Mitchelton and Tahbilk) for the first half, then opening up across the two lakes before reaching the Goulburn Weir. This would be a great 'paddle de plonk' to visit the two wineries, then bash out another 7km for a coffee at the Chinamans Bridge Café (Ch:303.3). You could pull out here if you wished (16km total), or paddle down the rowing course to Nagambie township (18km total).
The paddle across the lakes as simple to navigate as I had anticipated, I recommend having access to a map on your phone or GPS to confirm your location and best route. The lakes are large and are difficult to relate to the aerial photo maps sometimes as the variable water levels can present differently to what you see on a map.
Did you know? The Goulburn Weir was built in 1891 and was the first major diversion weir for irrigation developed in Australia. There are 3 irrigation channels that come off the lakes created upsteam of the weir; the East Goulburn Main Channel to the east, and the Stuart Murray Canal and Cattanach Canal to the west. The irrigation water has been captured in Lake Eildon and delivered down river to the Nagambie Lakes (i.e. down our paddling Stages 1 - 7) when irrigation water is available and ordered by irrigators.
Click this Video link to see a really short snippet of this Stage 7
The stats are:
- Date - Sunday 25 April 2021
- Distance 29.9 km, from Mitchellstown Streamside Reserve Chainage 287.1 km, to Goulburn Weir Chainage 317 km (Chainage is the distance downstream from Woods Point)
- Time taken 5:10 hrs (5.8 km/hr), about 3:45 hrs paddling (paddling speed approx. 8.0 km/hr)
- River Gauge Height (Seymour Stn. No. 588125) = 2.206 m
- 4 paddlers: Jamie and Pete, Ross1, Ross2
- 3 boats - Scorpion 2 (TK2), Skin on Frame 'Greenlander, Penn