Nick Hunter and Luke Cable Arrive in Goolwa

BY RIVER AND SEA - March’21 - by Frank Tuckwell

During the past year, the continuance of the Covid 19 virus has caused many people who were in transit as voyagers along the rivers that flow across the Murray Darling Basin, some problems in achieving their goal as they travelled along the way to Goolwa and the Murray Mouth.

Things have improved for them now, as in the process of fighting outbreaks of the virus is now being isolated into locations surrounding such cases rather than closing off borders completely. Those who are making their way along the interstate streams towards Goolwa who are canoeists are particularly affected during this pandemic, because although paddling the river’s course is reasonably straight forward, they must always be sure about the site they may reprovision and camp on is the appropriate side of the river which may also be a state border, and the other side of the river is virus closed. Many voyagers find that at some stage they must temporarily suspend their travel and return home.

Under the guidelines granting applicants registration to the Inland Rivers National Marathon Register here at Goolwa, river travellers may stage their river voyage over a period of time, provided that each stage is connected together with no gaps in travel existing between start and end of each and providing dates and proof of voyage are provided with the application.

Manually or under power, at any one time we will have many river travellers on voyage to Goolwa on the rivers across the Basin headed for Goolwa, each at different stages, so that these may have a Goolwa ETA which could be the next day, week, month or year. But come what may, with the required 48 hours’ notice of arrival, our IRNMR team of registrars, photographers, and greeters would be ready to receive them.

The latest arrivals, Nick Hunter and Luke Cable who arrived at the Murray Mouth on Sunday January 31 had paddled for 49 days down the length of the Murray from Bringenbrong Bridge at Towong (near Corryong Victoria). From Wellington they chose to paddle around the eastern shore of Lake Alexandrina crossing over the Tauwitcherie barrage and following the Coorong Channel to the Mouth. IRNMR Team members greeted the voyagers at the edge of the channel and escorted them to the assembled friends and relatives awaiting for them at the Mouth lookout, where they were interviewed and filled out their Register application forms. They were photographed, then presented with their prized IRNMR certificates.

Their story was picked up on the ABC’s Macca show the following Sunday, and the Victor Harbor Times (11-2-21) carried the story also. Other upstream arrivals are expected shortly.

Kathy Sutton (Registrar), Luke Cable, Nick Hunter and Frank Tuckwell at the Murray Mouth. (Duty Photographer Kaylene Maarste)