Goulburn River Trial Paddle, Thornton, Victoria
Having recently finished paddling the full length of the Ovens River (the Ovens Odyssey) we needed a new challenge so we've decided to tackle the longest river in Victoria, the Goulburn River, from Woods Point to the Murray River (see map below of entire 565km).
This paddle was to get a feel for the river downstream of Lake Eildon which is usually carrying plenty of water during the summer irrigation season .
What can we say about this trial paddle:
- Started from Point Hill Streamside Reserve which has adequate parking and a great launching boat ramp. Before departing we shuttled a car downstream to Gilmores Bridge, this is a pretty short shuffle, through Thornton towards Alexandra and takes less than 10 minutes each way.
- The water is very cold and crystal clear, having been released from the depths of Lake Eildon just 8 km upstream of our put-in point.
- The reach we paddled is just 13 km long and it meanders across the floodplain, occasionally pressing up against the steep sided valley walls.
- There was plenty of water in the river when we paddled through (1.50m on Gauge) and we did not scrape the bottom on any riffles, nor did we need to portage due to shallow water or obstructions.
- There are loads of instream and overhanging willows within this reach that could be quite dangerous if you were swept into them. Keep looking ahead and don't be complacent. Move your alignment away from willows well before getting to them.
- The take-out at Gilmores Bridge, LHS below bridge, is very informal and requires a bit of clambering through plants and up grassy banks. A black snake was observed on our pull out so take care and perhaps everyone to use the same path off the river.
Click this Video link to see some of this journey
The stats are:
- Date - New Years Eve 31 December 2020
- Distance 13 km, from Point Hill Streamside Reserve at Chainage 126.2 km, to Gilmores Bridge at Chainage 139.2 km return (Chainage is the distance downstream from Woods Point)
- Time taken 3:00 hrs (4.3 km/hr), about 2:00 hrs paddling (paddling speed approx. 7 km/hr)
- River Gauge Height (Goulburn River at Lake Eildon D/S, Stn. No. 588125) = 1.50 m
- 6 paddlers in 3 boats (2 x Dagger 'Reflection 15' Canoes, 1 x 'Rapidrider 14')