This loop trail starts from the Loxton Caravan Park and takes paddlers up Katarapko Creek to the stone weir returning to the launch point travelling downstream via the Murray River
Loxton Riverfront Reserve / Caravan Park GPS: 34.4474 S; 140.5486 E
The trail starts at Loxton Riverfront Reserve where the “Tree of Knowledge” is located. This tree has marking showing the high flood levels for the past 50 years.
Proceed left and head downstream for about 5.5km to the entrance to Katarapko Creek at Point A (GPS: 34.4469 S; 140.5083 E).
Proceed along the creek for about 13.5K to Point B (GPS: 34.3597 S; 140.5404 E). The creek is part of the Murray River National Park.
Camping is available all along the creek but individual sites need to be booked beforehand over the internet using the link to the Murray River National Park.
Note: Free camping is available along the Murray river (The first 30 metres from the water’s edge is crown land except for some areas near towns) and there are a number of excellent sandbars for camping along the northern parts of the river, once you leave Katarapko creek.
At Point B (GPS: 34.3597 S; 140.5404 E) the creek divides into two.
The left hand branch is known as the “Splash”. There is a regulator/weir on this waterway at this point. Instead, take the RH stream for about 3k and you will reach the “Stone Weir”.
There is often a strong flow over this weir.
An easy portage can be taken around this structure along the LHS from the downstream side. 600 metres past the “Stone weir” the creek enters the Murray River. Point C (GPS 34.3505 S 140.5511S).
From here paddlers will find it is an uncomplicated 26km downstream paddle back to the Launch point at Loxton.
Always check weather and wind conditions before embarking (see Meteye)
Check Murray River National Park link for partial park closures
Toilets and picnic area at the Loxton Riverfront Reserve (launch site) Full facilities at the adjacent Holiday/Caravan Park
Regulators and weirs being built in the Riverland
Construction of environmental structures started early in 2019 to provide much needed water to Katarapko Floodplain in the Murray River National Park.
Murray River National Park
Murray River National Park is divided into three separate areas: Katarapko (Winkie), Lyrup Flats (Lyrup) and Bulyong Island (Renmark). As these areas are separated by towns, visitors will need to ensure they familiarise themselves with maps of the region.
Katarapko features 9,148 hectares of black box, red gum and lignum covered floodplains and wetlands alive with aquatic bird species. Katarapko Creek is a significant creek that flows through the park and provides great canoe adventuring and is a very important habitat for native fish. The Ngak Indau walking trail is great for viewing wetland birdlife. Rilli Island, Media Island and Kapunda Island Conservation Parks are also part of Katarapko.
The Katarapko area which features floodplains and several wetlands is an important breeding area for native wildlife, including waterbirds, and is an ideal place for birdwatching.
Katarapko itself is divided into three sections: Lock 4 section, Eckert’s Creek section and Katarapko Creek section. Each section has a separate entrance with visitors being unable to move from one section to another through the park.
Multiple campsites and roads within the Katarapko section of Murray River National Park will be closed from Tuesday 29 January 2019 until Friday 10 April 2020. Please be aware that heavy construction vehicles will also be in operation during this period.
For Murray River National Park temporary closures visit: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Murray_River/murray-river-national-park