Canoe down the Murray River

Let the current guide you on a relaxing day trip down the Mighty Murray.

The Murray River is the third longest navigable river in the world, following the Amazon and the Nile. You can experience some of the 2508km trip by canoe across one full day. Start your journey at Picnic Point and finish at the Barmah Lakes campground. Don’t forget to pack an esky, fishing rod and camera — this trip will be fun for the family.

Early morning

The adventure starts at Picnic Point. You can hire a canoe or kayak at Barmah or Echuca. Many businesses will drop off the gear to you, right on the bank of the park.

Follow the Murray downstream. The canoe trail is rated easy, so a perfect trip for a family. Although the trail can be completed in under four hours, remember to take time to relax and enjoy your surroundings.


Once you reach Swifts Creek campground, take a break from the midday heat where the shaded banks make a great spot for fishing or enjoying a packed lunch. If fishing does not spark your interest, paddle around the area and search for woodland birds and ducks. Keep your eyes open as you might be lucky enough to spot a koala.

This section of the river is also known as ‘The Narrows’ and is surrounded by the world’s largest red gum forest.


Keep flowing with the gentle current towards Barmah Lake. The current allows you to continue bird watching. Don’t forget to bring out your camera and binoculars. As the current is so calm, you can stop for a swim at any of the shady riverside clearings.


You will reach Barmah Lakes before sunset. The reflection of the sun against the lake is breathtaking. Stop at Barmah Lakes campground to set up your tent and eat some dinner before falling into a deep sleep.

To make the most of the journey and weather, it is best to canoe down the river between September and April.

Just like packing a backpack for travelling, packing your canoe correctly can be time-consuming. Avoiding making common mistakes by reading our guide on preparing your vessel.