I’m a bit biased when it comes to selecting great kayaking locations; my choices are usually influenced as much by the fishing potential as anything else. But for the most part I also prefer solitude over crowds when I’m out on the water, and this quest for more isolated areas tends to see me paddling in remote areas where the scenery is often as good, if not better, than the fishing!
So while there is some great kayaking and amazing scenery throughout Victoria in a number of mountain rivers such as the upper Mitta Mitta, upper Mitchell, the iconic Snowy and upper Murray Rivers, my heart (when it comes to kayaking and fishing at least) lies with the remote estuaries and rivers to the extreme east and west of Victoria.
There is certainly magnificent yakking water and spectacular scenery elsewhere in Australia, that’s undeniable, and much of it is perhaps more spectacular in nature than what’s available in the national parks along the Victorian coastline. But having spent hours paddling, camping and fishing in some of Victoria’s remote coastal waters, I can without hesitation say that you won’t be disappointed if you take the time and effort to explore the following waters if you’re after solitude, unique kayaking, amazing scenery and great fishing.
This remote inlet and river lies within the Croajingolong National Park. The turn off to the access road is roughly 17 kms from Cann River (supplies) before you start the usually jaw chattering drive to the inlet and the wonderful campsites overlooking the inlet and entrance, past which lies The Skerries, a rocky outcrop that is home to a colony of fur seals.
There is no boat ramp other than a small sandy beach beside a wooden jetty, boats if they can launch are power restricted. As such, it’s ideal water for kayakers to explore the remote inlet and surf beach beyond, or the river for some kilometres upstream to a rocky set of rapids.
The fishing, especially for dusky flathead in the inlet can be sensational at times.
Mueller River and Camp Creek
The Mueller River and Camp Creek can be accessed from Cann River Township via Tamboon Road. The small camp area beside the inlet is located only a few kilometres east of the extremely popular Thurra River camp area and Point Hicks.
The fishing for Estuary perch can be superb at times in summer, especially after dark, on hot or muggy nights. Access over to the stunning surf beach can be gained by paddling the short distance from the camp/launch areas, and some interesting paddling and scenery can be had further upstream in the Mueller River.
Camp Creek is a favourite spot of mine; the entrance to this short creek is located almost directly across from the campsites. But it is difficult to see until you’re closer to it in your kayak. This beautiful coastal stream runs parallel to the surf beach, which is on the opposite side of the sand dunes that separates the two. There is some great fishing here, but it’s the seclusion and natural surroundings that get me when paddling here. You can hear the surf pounding just beyond the dunes, you can tie off and go exploring and have what seems to be the whole surf coastline to yourself, or just soak in the wilderness environment that encroaches down to and along the creek edges.
The Glenelg River, on the south-western border of Victoria, comfortably ticks-off as being one of the most recognised locations to paddle in a stunning location, but on top of that, the fishing is just as spectacular!
The lower Glenelg River runs through the Lower Glenelg National Park and its main feature is the 35-kilometre long limestone gorge of the Glenelg River. Some areas of the gorge are 50 metres deep and very impressive. There are numerous camping and kayak launching areas along the lower river and these are ideally suited for those that want to do extended two to four day paddle, camp and fish trips down the river. The spacing of the campsites also allow for shorter trips. Most campsites have fireplaces, picnic table and toilets (one campsite even has flushing toilets) but you do need to take your own drinking water.
Many of the campsites are booked well in advance during holidays and long weekends, so booking beforehand is wise, and can be done through the Parks Victoria website.
The kayaking and scenery is fantastic, but so is the fishing, the lower river is famous for its bream and estuary perch fishing, but more so for the Mulloway that enter the river in large numbers and make this river one of the most reliable river locations if you want to bag one of these iconic fish on bait or lures.
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