Chowilla Where and What New

Where to go and What Will I See?
As mentioned in the Canoe Guide there are many possible trips in the Chowilla region depending on the time available, the conditions and the water levels.


It is worth noting that the small creek at the 636 km mark (a few hundred metres north of Border Cliffs) can flow swiftly and has several large trees across it and should be avoided at all costs, unless one is highly experienced at paddling in moving water. 
At the 638 km mark a short portage is possible to gain quick access into the Chowilla floodplain from the river.


Hypurna Creek adjacent to the 648 km mark is usually not navigable.

The junction of Salt and Hypurna Creeks (grid reference 024358) is choked up with willows and may require portaging. The best route from Salt Creek is keeping close to the eastern bank. At the junction continuing down Hypurna is a challenging option. Hypurna is a narrow, scenic creek but it has several willows at the upstream end which need to be portaged around.

Also the bridge which is amongst willows can be hazardous with the current behind, it is advisable to portage around it as well. This and many other bridges of this type are used by the grazier to walk the sheep on and off the islands. From then on it will be necessary to carry boats over or around numerous fallen logs before reaching open water. Continuing on down Salt Creek from the junction is a more straight forward option.


There is a bridge at 956466 approx, which creates a downstream hazard and may need to be portaged.


Slaney Creek is a good option to access or exit the system.

The Isle of Man area is rather choked up with weeds. The Eastern side is the best route around the island (May 2005). This route is recommended as the portage around the weir on Pipeclay Creek is easier than portaging around the Slaney Creek weir.


Boat Creek is a good alternative route although there may be some fallen logs to portage over.

It is possible to paddle back to Renmark via either the Ral Ral Creek system or the River Murray (approximately 25kms). Bulyong near Renmark is a popular camping site.

In the area near Tareena (018408) there is evidence of management to address the issues of salt in the creek system and maintain the high biodiversity values of the flood plain.

The Chowilla Integrated Natural Resource Management Project aims to reverse the declining health of this fragile and unique landscape and reduce the impacts of the saline groundwater outflow to the River Murray.

Recently (May 2005) the short cuts to avoid the loop below Tareena have been clogged up by reeds and the long way round has been the best choice.

The Todd Obelisk, Old Scab Inspectors House and the Temporary Observatory on the Old Coach Road are worth a short walk.

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