1476 MILES ON australia's largest river
Between October 6th and December 19th 2009 I paddled along the majority of Australia's Murray River in a Wilderness Systems Tempest sea kayak named Nala, documenting the human, environmental and climatic factors contributing to the decline in health of this once mighty river.
My first encounter with the Murray was three years earlier, when I rolled onto the Wellington Ferry in South Australia en route from Perth to Brisbane, on a skateboard! That 100 metre crossing was the most peaceful section of that 3618 mile traverse of Australia, and it led to this, a second expedition over 1000 miles.
From the river's early moments high in the Australian Alps, I struggled through heavy blizzards and deep snow, properly getting myself into trouble thanks to a lack of survival skills and general ability! After a 100km hike, I hitched a lift with a local down to Corryong, before settling into a kayak to begin a two and a half month paddle, a total of 2350km. Passing along the border of New South Wales and Victoria, the Murray eventually enters South Australia and takes a southerly route to the sea for its final 500km.
Suffice to say, paddling along a river was a wholly different experience from the road journeys I'd experienced previously, and from then on a close love and passion for water developed. It was because of this journey that I became an Ambassador for the Blue Climate and Oceans Project, and went on to paddle and swim other mighty rivers, including the Mississippi and the Missouri.
RIVER MURRAY Playlist
TRANSPORT: WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TEMPEST 170
Dave's kayak, Nala, is a Wilderness Systems Tempest 170. Complete with fixed skeg and three separate bulkheads to store gear, this boat is a tough old cookie perfect for a voyage in river or sea.