Murray Delta Paddle Trip Report – October 2020

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Inaugural Murray Delta Meander

The Murray River is only one hour from Perth, but feels a million miles away. Guide Marty Wells, assisted by the two Geoffs, led a group of 18 on a lazy 16-kilometre paddle around the lower Murray’s southern and central river channels and deltaic islands.

After paddling past the riverside shacks and mansions on South Yunderup Island, the group picnicked on Cooleenup Island and explored the historic Coopers Mill. They were greeted by the caretaker of the Mill who explained how the islands are vegetated sandbanks, prone to extreme flooding and at risk of disappearing within 20 years. Oh, and if you park your car on the opposite bank, it is likely to be vandalized and burnt out.

It isn’t all environmental doom, gloom and hoons. The area is rich with birdlife and the water teeming with crabs. Karen and Graeme, the club’s resident ornithologists, made sure the rest of the group knew exactly what they were looking at.

Everyone agreed the paddle was a huge success and needs to become a regular event and an ice cream stop on the return paddle should be compulsory for all trips.