Sunset in Lindsay River

Circumnavigation of Lindsay River, Murray-Sunset National Park, 29-31 March 2024

Preparations and launch

After last year’s Lindsay Island trip was aborted due to flooding, we decided to have another attempt. We wanted to see what damage the floods had done. An early start on Easter Friday went better than expected. The traffic was quiet, and we made good time to the meeting point at the entrance to the park on the Old Mail Road. We all then drove up to the regulator at the mouth of the Mullaroo Creek. The plan was to start and finish the trip from there. After inspecting the site, and finding the launching spot was more difficult than we remembered, we came up with an alternative plan. We decided to leave one car there for the finish, and do a short car shuttle to just past the Lock 7. This allowed us to avoid a tricky launch, cutting out a boring bit of the Murray, and not having to worry about lock operators lunch hours.

We cruised down the Murray with the current, and got to the first campsite after 15 kms, just inside Toupnein Creek where it was calm and peaceful away from all the holidaymakers on the Murray thanks to all the snags and fallen trees in the creek.

Second Day

Kayaking LimboNext day we carried on down Toupnein Creek, enjoying the peace and serenity, until it joined the Murray again. Helped by the current again, we sped down the Murray to the exit of the Lindsay River. The day turned out longer than planned. As we bypassed the previous trips campsite to look for a better one, which didn’t turn up for another 6 kms, by which time everyone was more than ready to stop. Total distance for the day was 31 kms.

Checking the weather report the next day, we were glad to be ahead of schedule, as the forecast for the final day had turned from ‘10% chance of 1mm rain’ to ‘70% chance of 15mm rain and storms’. We had been caught in the rain in this area before, and the roads turn from well-formed dirt roads into slippery, sticky clay-filled mud traps in no time at all.

Third (and last) Day

Negotiating Mullaroo CreekAfter some discussion over breakfast it was decided to push on and try and finish a day early. The creeks had other ideas. As the closer we got to the end, the narrower and more snag-filled the creeks became. Progress slowed as we pushed under, over and sometimes through the fallen trees. The floods had obviously pushed a lot more wood into the creeks.

Finally reached the end in the late afternoon after a difficult 30km paddle. Quickly retrieved all the cars left by the launching spot, loaded up, and left while the roads were still nice and dry. After a long day of paddling, and being late, most people opted to stay the night rather than drive back to Adelaide. We retired to the Paringa Hotel for refreshments and food, making it there about 30seconds before the kitchen closed!

After that we retired to a nearby free-camping area, set up the tents and chairs. We spent another hour debriefing and re-hydrating before retiring to bed where I slept very well. Next day was a relaxing drive back to Adelaide, checking on the weather reports. Turned out the rain was much less than forecast, and came in later. Oh well, better to be safe than sorry!

Overall statistics (Links point to GPX track files)