FACTS, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS...
River conditions, river flow, river levels and seasonal changes… the Ovens River is one of the last natural rivers in Victoria. Typically water levels increase in autumn and start to decrease in summer with the lowest point traditionally being late summer to autumn. High flows are traditionally late winter and into spring however this is dependent on rain falls and snow melt.
Water speed assists with fast tracking a kayaker when paddling with the flow, the speed of the water obviously increases with river height, rainfall and is influenced by the seasons. You can take advantage of low flows in the warmer months by paddling against the current which makes the Tarrawingee base camp a great spot to camp and explore from.
Please note that all routes are tested regularly to allow River Tribe to pass on information to guests that is up to date. It is normal to have a few tree obstacles where a kayaker has to transition with the kayak by foot via a river beach. Locations often change as trees often fall and create new obstacles and habitats for fish and other native species. The route between Everton and Tarrawingee has more obstacles in the river than the Tarrawingee to Wangaratta route. The route between Tarrawingee to Wangaratta has 3-4 tree blocks of varying size. Some blocks are easily transitioned by kayak and some may require kayakers to hop over or drag the kayak over a log or beach area. This is all part of the adventure and is relatively easy. It is also a good thing to get out of the kayak every hour or so to stretch, move and maybe explore.
Departure and return times…
It is recommend that guests depart at 09:30 in order to capitalise on the adventure. Some guests depart later in the day. River Tribe can provide alternative times.
Adventurers can call the tour guide when they are ready to exit the river. River Tribe will meet you at one of the ovens river exit points and provide a transfer to your accommodation or back to your car/train station in Wangaratta.
Adventurous kayakers can stay out for longer for only $75/person/per night. This is inclusive of tent, equipment and kayaks.
Overnight kayaking is an amazing experience especially in the North East and along the Ovens River. Paddle by day and camp at night with a bushfire and a few beers. The twinkling stars will keep you company and in the morning enjoy an exclusive view of the river.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE TO KAYAK, CAMP, STORE AND TRAVEL ALONG THE RIVER…
Pack light and practical for the environment and the conditions.
A basic list should include:
For details on kayak storage and limitations please read about the kayaks below.
ARE THEIR SNAKES AND OTHER DANGERS TO CONSIDER…
The ovens river and surrounding bushland contains dangerous and venomous snakes and spiders.
Falling trees, limbs, changing and untested water conditions and other dangers are present.
Kayakers and campers should be aware of the dangers and should research how to avoid, minimise and manage a situation whereby a danger presents and/or an incident occurs. Guests should carry a phone with a Telstra service (serviced on the river) and know how to read a map and guide emergency services to a location. Know your limits, understand the environment and research how and what to do in different situations. River tribe adventures are not qualified and cannot help in an emergency situation, only the emergency services are trained, qualified and can legally assist.
WHAT KAYAKS ARE AVAILABLE AND WHAT CAN THEY DO…
River Tribe has a fleet of 16 Wavedance brand kayaks. The Kingfisher model is the largest and predominantly used (pictured below) kayak for River Tribes tours. These are perfect for overnight trips, fishing, camping, and distance kayaking and day trips. They track straight through the water, are comfortable, stable, safe and easy to paddle. The novice will be paddling with ease within 10 minutes and the experienced kayaker will love the comfort, storage and ease of use.
The Kingfisher can go anywhere, is perfect for day and overnight trips and is an excellent donkey in terms of lugging equipment and weight.
The Kingfisher FACTS...
The Kingfisher combines the advantages of a sit-on-top with the efficiency of a traditional sea kayak and can be used in flat water, moderate ocean conditions and slow flowing rivers and lakes.
These kayaks are designed to take you and your gear efficiently where you want to go with a huge load capacity of 180 kg. There is enough room for a dog or a child in-between the adults legs. The kingfisher has two large hatches and a large cargo well allowing easy access to your fishing tackle, dive, camping and other gear.
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FOOD PROVISIONING OPTIONS
River Tribe have designed two tasty and easy menu options suitable for kayaking adventures. The items are provided in fabric eskies with ice bricks. Just bring your drinks and your all set.
$160/$175person, twin share.
Includes kayaks, tent, foam sleeping matt and mini-kitchen
The Tarrawingee and Everton base camps are established Parks Victoria public camp-grounds overlooking the ovens river. Other spots along the river may be able to be utilised. The camp grounds have plenty of flat areas for tents and they great spots to explore, drop a line in, go for a swim and escape the hustle and bustle. Fires are allowed and fire wood is available from river tribe (fire restrictions may apply during fire season).
Kayakers are picked from Wangaratta and and taken upstream to one of the two launch points. Transfers are provided from the train station, your accommodation in Wangaratta or from Apex Park in Wangaratta (free and safe parking).
The suggested ittinerary is:
Guests can choose from one of two launch points:
1. Everton launch. This allows kayakers to paddle 12km downstream from Everton to the Tarrawingee base camp. The 12km paddle takes approximately 2-4 hours and is a gentle easy going adventure. During the months of January through March the river levels drop revealing tree obstacles and this provides a more adventurous trip recommended for the more enthusiastic paddlers looking for a challenge.
2. Tarrawingee launch. Kayakers that launch here set up and immediately relax into camp life or load up your kayaks and go find an alternative camp spot. With the whole day in front of you guests can paddle upstream, go for a swim, relax with a book or go fishing for dinner, the local trout make for good eating.
Campers enjoy a wake-up call of the local birds and can enjoy breakfast with an exclusive view of the river. At some point during the relaxing morning it will be time to break camp and head out for a smooth paddle adventure along the stunning ovens river. The Tarrawingee to Wangaratta paddle adventure is an easy downhill section of the river, some guest have paddled it in 4 hours, some take the whole day. Paddlers can stop along the way for a picnic, fish the snags and enjoy the flora and fauna.
The distance from Tarrawingee to Wangaratta is approximately 20-24km. Kayakers that wish to exit the river before the 24km point can do so at the following exit points: 16km, 18km or 20km (no additional fee). Just call and river tribe will spring into action.
This adventure includes kayaks and equipment, maps and safety brief, launch and pick up, tent, roll up mats and mini kitchen. Optional extras can be purchased, see the "Optional Extras Menu" under option 2.
PADDLE DISTANCES AND TIMES...
These vary greatly and depend on how fast a kayaker paddles, how many stops are taken and for how long. The table below provides a guide on the distances and times.
Logistics and inclusions…
the following services and equipment are included for option 1 and 2:
SELECT A LAUNCH POINT AND GEAR...
If all you need is a kayak and a launch up river then this option is for you. Do your research on the river and get out their (research the river here)
Select your kayak launch point
Both options include 2 days and 1 night kayak hire (kayak, seat, paddle and vest), Maps and safety briefing, free parking, transfer from your car or Wangaratta accommodation to the launch site and pick up and transfer from the exit point on the river.
Optional extras menu
Dry hire Kayak services:
Kayak hire 1 day $50 (pick up and return your hire kayak from Wangaratta, leave a deposit, T&C Apply).
Build your own adventure
If it is not on the menu don't worry. If you wish to build an experience and discuss options please email email@example.com or call Keith on 0457 902 966. Keith can talk to you about local rivers, waterways, equipment, food and transportation options. Having lived, experienced and adventuring about in the North East for over 15 years River Tribe can help you to build an adventure to suit your needs.