Swan Reach Loop Trail South Australia

This is a loop trail that starts at Swan Reach at the Swan Reach/ Stockwell road intersection and passes through Yacto Creek. Complete the trail by returning to your launch site, either back along the creek or along the Murray River. A more ‘Adventurous option’ is also shown here and it involves 2 easy portages – however please note that waters can be shallow in places along this route.

Paddle overview : Swan Reach Loop Trail

Swan Reach

Region Murray River, Lakes, and Coorong
Nearest Town Swan Reach (170 km from Adelaide)View in google map
Distance Approx. 14 km
Paddle Time 6 hours (allow a full day)
Difficulty Easy
Facilities None provided at Tenbury Hunter Reserve
Conditions Visit BOM for weather conditions
Conditions River and river backwaters
Parking Available

Trail Notes

Launch Sites:
Two options for launch site
Tenbury Hunter Reserve campground (beside the Swan Reach Ferry) (GPS: 34.5617 S; 139.6011 E)
Swan Reach Caravan Park Public Boat Ramp (GPS: 34.5668 S; 139.5955E)
Return to launch site to exit

If launching from the Swan Reach Caravan Park Public Boat ramp (on the eastern side of the river) then take care to avoid the Swan Reach Car Ferry as you paddle north.

Trail Points:
The trail starts at Swan Reach, with launch points on either side of the Murray River.
The entrance to Yacto creek from Swan Reach is about 3.3 km north of the town ferry (Point A  GPS: 34.5404 S; 139.6049 E)
Until recently a portage was required but the addition of a bridge and regulator now means this is not required (see photo).

The creek has numerous fallen trees and logs which can make navigation difficult, but possible without resorting to a portage.

The Pumping Station Reserve would provide an adequate location to stop for a break for those travelling to and from Swan Reach (Point B) Pumping station Reserve campground. GPS: 34.5051 S; 139.5699 E

The trail is completed by returning to the launch site, either back down the creek, or along the Murray River main channel.
An optional, more adventurous route is possible by leaving the Murray River at the regulator at (Point C) GPS: 34.5541 S, 139.6113 E. This involves 2 easy portages and allows for a circular route as it joins Yacto Creek about halfway along.
NB Yacto Creek can be shallow, so do not attempt this route if the water level is below 0.6 m as reported by Waterconnect for Swan Reach


Generally light river traffic in this region of the river.
Note: Yacto Creek now no portages but will require navigation around some fallen trees (the need for portages existed until recently when a bridge was constructed – see photo)

Trail 07


Unsecured parking is available at Tenbury campground however the Swan Reach Campground should have secure parking.
Bring your own firewood.
Full facilities available at the Swan Reach Caravan Park.

Points of interest

Swan Reach hotel

Swan Reach history
Prior to European settlement, it is estimated that there were 1,200 Ngalawang tribal members in the Swan Reach area.
Swan Reach gained its name from the large number of black swans that once thrived in the area.
The natural break in the cliffs made for an ideal crossing for travellers and stock, prior to the arrival of the Ferry. Before the lock and weir system was installed it was possible, during the drought years, to walk from one side of the river to the other.

The land surrounding Swan Reach was once open plains of native speargrass and Mallee trees, of which large areas were cleared for crops were established in the area, such as stone fruits, oranges, grapes, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, garlic, almonds and Geraldton Wax flowers (for the cut flower trade).

In the early 1850s, Thomas Luscombe was leasing 182 square miles (293 kilometres) along the Murray River, which was known as the Swan Reach Run where 23,000 sheep grazed.

The land was eventually broken up into smaller holdings and in 1896, Paul Hasse purchased 520 acres including the Swan Reach homestead.
Then in 1899 a survey was conducted, dividing a portion of his land into 46 town allotments which was approved in 1900, with the homestead later becoming the Swan Reach Hotel.

(borrowed from http://www.murrayriver.com.au/swan-reach/swan-reach-history/)


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Paddling Trail South Australia has range of Paddling Trails to suit different abilities. These are easy to access kayak and canoe trails through the Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Riverland, Murray River and the Coorong.