Ovens Odyssey Stage 11 - Crown Block (Lavis') to Bundalong (Murray River)
Al, Pete and Jamie headed down this 21.5km reach of lower Ovens River from Lavis' to the Murray River confluence at Bundalong. This stage is within the declared Heritage River section of the Ovens River and is also part of the Warby Ovens National Park.
What can we say about this stage:
- The Crown land block at Lavis' is more difficult to locate and local knowledge should be sought for access. The exit point was at the main boat ramp in Bundalong at the end of Pasley Street.
- This was a relatively long reach that is under backwater influence of Mulwala, virtually the entire length. This means that the flow velocity is low to non-existent, therefore no assistance.
- Navigation can be a bit tricky in the mid section between Ch:203 and Ch:210. The river is backwatered from Lake Mulwala and there are numerous wetlands and anabranches full of water. When we paddled through the river flow was very slow and therefore almost non-existent through this reach making navigation difficult. It is important to carry a map and ideally a phone with locations services turned so that your location can be viewed over aerial photography.
- This stage is relatively free of woody and aquatic weeds in the upstream half, and very weedy within the downstream half. The main weeds are willows along the banks, particularly downstream from the Murray Valley Highway. Arrowhead (Sagittaria platyphylla) is a highly invasive aquatic weed that enjoys the backwaters where there is a constant water level and low flow velocities. This weed is a constant pest that is being managed but was evident within the downstream end of the stage.
Click this Video link to see some of Stage 11
The stats were:
- The 11th stage of the Ovens Odyssey was paddled on the 11th March 2019
- 21.5 km (Ch:194.5 to Ch:216 end) (note Ch:194.5 = Chainage 194.5 river kilometres downstream from Harrietville Ch:00)
- Time taken 5:30 hrs (no snags to portage but a number to negotiate)
- River Gauge Heights - Peechelba (really low!)
- 3 paddlers (Jamie, Al & Pete) 3 kayaks