This trail takes the paddler through two picturesque lagoons off the Murray River, each with abundant birdlife. There are two portages of about 250m at the northern end of each lagoon (Murbko Flat lagoon and Irwin flat lagoon) and one across a bridge at the southern end of Murbko flat lagoon with return via the river.
Note that this loop trail can be extended to include the McBeans Pound trail – Northern Loop.
Access at Murbko: GPS: 34.1632 S 139.6626 E (no public boat ramps nearby)
The road entrance to the launch site is about 700 metre past the Lutheran church at Murbko.
The first portage into Murbko flat lagoon is at (Point A) is at GPS 34.1737 S 139.6512.
The bridge to be crossed out of this lagoon is at (Point B) GPS 34.1937S 139.6511E.
Alternatively both portages can be avoided by going down river instead.
The portage into Irwin flat lagoon is (Point C) GPS 34.2189 S 139.6366 E
Both Murbko Flat and Irwin lagoons have abundant bird life.
At Woods flat at the southern end of Irwin Flat lagoon there is a ruin which was the last post office to close on the river. (Point D) GPS: 34.2342 S 139.6439 E
The ramp up the cliff face is still visible and provides easy access to the post office ruin.
Note: Generally very limited river traffic in this area (except during public holiday periods)
Short term camping permitted on crown land adjacent to the Murray river at the launch site.
Woods Flat Post Office
The last post office on the river was located at Point D (GPS: 34.2342 S 139.6439 E). Now a ruin visible on the cliff it was opened in 1901 and closed in 1971.
Pelicans, whistling kites and cockatoos
Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) These majestic birds, whether soaring high overhead, coming in to land on the water like a water skier, or swimming in convoys on the water are a distinct feature of any Murray River paddling trip. They are the only pelican species in Australia and are found throughout South Australia, moving inland to ephemeral inland lakes in wet years from their normal habitat near the sea and along the river and Coorong.
Whistling kites (Haliastur sphenurus) are found along the Murray River and its tributaries. Whistling Kites are named after their high-pitched whistle call consisting of a descending “seeeeo” followed by a fast ascending sequence of 4 – 7 staccato notes. Often one can tell there are Whistling Kites in the area from their whistle before a bird is seen. They are frequently seen circling lazily overhead, uttering their characteristic whistling, and displaying a distinctive underwing pattern with white “windows”.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) are common along the River Murray. Their loud, harsh and grating call is well known and these showy white birds with their spectacular yellow erectile crest can be seen in great numbers as they move about the river environment eating a wide range of seeds, fruits and buds from native trees. Cockatoos will commonly be seen entering and leaving their nesting holes in the cliffs of the river especially during the breeding season from August to January.