Long day paddle in a loop along Pike River/Rumpagunyah Creek returning to launch site. This loop trail does not require any portages and is not affected by changing water levels in the area (being downstream of Lock 5 and of the Pike River regulators).
The paddle may be extended to 2 days, with good camping along Rumpagunyah Creek.
1018 Stanitzki Road, Lyrup. Turn off the road at GPS 34.2784 S; 140.7441 E (opposite entrance to Aroona Farms Simarloo Orchard) to get to the launch site
This is a long day paddle at 24 km however unless conditions are particularly windy, this should be achievable allowing adequate time.
If instead, it becomes a 2-day paddle there is good camping along Rumpagunyah Creek.
This trail starts at the pump house on the Pike River.
The directions are for clockwise travel but it can just as easily be done in the reverse direction.
Turn left from the pump house and travel in a westerly direction for 6.3 km.
Keep left until you reach the Murray River at Point L (GPS 34.2598 S; 140.6832 E). Turn hard right and travel up stream for 10.5 km to Rumpagunyah Creek at Point M (GPS 34.2399 S; 140.7356 E).
Note: there is small island in the river just after the entrance to the creek.
Rumpagunyah Creek gradually gets wider as you travel along it. About 3 km from the Murray River you will reach an island with a creek entering from the right at Point A GPS 34.2527 S 140.7616 E). Turn into this creek.
Travel down this creek for 4.2 km and you will reach your starting point at the pump house on the Pike River.
Note: there is a labyrinth of side creeks in this area, but if you keep left you will reach the pump house launch site. Even if you enter this labyrinth of creeks you will still eventually reach the Pike River and your starting point.
Trees near the Regulator provide some shade for car parking. No other facilities in the area.
- Pike River Conservation Park
The Pike River Conservation Park is an important floodplain area with numerous ecological and cultural attributes worth preserving and developing.
As part of the Riverine Recovery Project, there has been a great deal of work done in the Pike River floodplain and other floodplains in the Riverland to improve the long term health of the Murray River and its associated floodplains.
Work commenced on the Pike River floodplain in 2015 and is due to be completed in 2020.
The aim is to mimic natural processes by periodically flooding the area.
To this end, a long levee bank has been constructed between Lock 5 and the lower Pike River interspersed with regulators to control the flow of water into the area.
By raising the water level above Lock 5, water flows into the system through Deep Creek and Margaret Dowling creek, flooding the area east of the levee bank.
This has three main benefits
- Helps the floodplain habitat to recover- both fauna and flora
- Improves the salinity levels of the Murray river by suppressing the highly saline groundwater in the area
- By installing fish ladders it helps native fish to survive and develop
For kayakers, this means that the water levels will vary on the upside stream of the Regulators depending on the degree of inundation.
For more information on the floodplain :
To check water levels: https://www.waterconnect.sa. gov.au
Pike River is one of 359 protected areas in South Australia (as of March 2018). Of these protected areas 278 are Conservation Parks.
Note: This trail is all located below the flood plain levee so unlikely to be affected by changes to water levels on the upstream side of the regulators.