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  • Writer's pictureRiver Rambler

Moyne River, Port Fairy, Victoria

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

The paddle is a return trip up the Moyne River, starting and finishing in the middle of the Port Fairy township. We synchronised the paddle to the high tide, heading upstream on the incoming tide and downstream on the outgoing tide. Belfast Lough is a vast waterbody within the estuary and quite shallow, the flat bottomed canoe was an appropriate vessel. We saw water birds including a pair of black swans with a ballet of cygnets, and played our part in a Koala rescue.

What can we say about this stage:

- Started from the boatramp on Griffiths Street, Port Fairy (east side of the Moyne River).

- The river through town has outcropping rock in the bed and some caution is required.

- Paddled with the incoming tide, north-east up the river, across Belfast Lough and turned north up the Moyne River. As a guide to find the river entrance location, the airport windsock is roughly on the opposite side of the Lough.

- Our turn around was at an impassable outcrop of basalt rock and Cumbungi.

approximately 200m downstream of the Princes Highway.

- Most of trip looks across the adjacent saltmarsh and farming land.

- KOALA RESCUE - Along the way we found a Koala sitting in the saltmarsh next to the river, and more than one kilometre from the nearest Eucalypt tree. The Koala did not move when we approached it so we assumed it was unwell, injured or disoriented. We contacted Wildlife Victoria who dispatched a wildlife rescuer. We used the canoe to ferry the rescuer to the Koala, who bundled up the animal. We retuned with the precious cargo to the transport on the other side of the river. The Koala, and possible Joey, was taken to a wildlife shelter for a checkup with the local vet.

Click this Video link to see some of this journey

The stats are:

- Date 6 October 2020

- Distance approximately 10.6 km return

- Time taken 3:20 hrs (with much time spent rescuing a Koala)

- Moyne River Gauge Height - 1.31 m at Toolong

- Wind SE 20-24 km/hr

- 2 paddlers in 1 canoe

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