river tribe adventures
river tribe adventures

OVENS RIVER kayak - SELF GUIDED DAY TOURS

Billabongs

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This route has to be one of the best along the Ovens River with its rich flora and fauna, amazing river vistas and a real feeling that you are far away from the crowds.  The river twists and turns and is in a very natural state which helps to provide a rich environment and one that makes you feel that you are among nature.

River Tribe describes this stretch of river as un-touched, slightly adventurous but safe as long as you follow the rules of the river. Above all it is an intimate section of river with trees over-hanging and when you stop and take a look the river is full of life, it is alive with a menagerie of life not often seen, it feels healthy, natural, relaxing yet invigorating.


Tour conditions and details: 

Distance: 7-8km and at an average pace a 1-2 hour paddle time + swimming and picnic time.

Departure Times: Daily at 11:30am with alternative times available.

Grade: Moderate and suitable for guests that have a level of fitness

For: Everyone. From 8 and up.

Cost: $79/person (min 2).  $AUD

More:  Please read the FAQ below 

Type: Self guided (call if you would like a guide)

 More info:  Please read the FAQ below  

Paddle for Picnic

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 There are plenty of picnic spots to choose from on this spectacular river with many beaches, gentle grassy banks and little river offshoots.  You can take your time finding the best spot before throwing the picnic blanket down, enjoying a platter with a cheeky glass of Brown Brothers Prosecco. 

This heart-warming adventure is very relaxing and takes you away from the crowds. Guests fully relax into an easy and relaxing river pace, eat a picnic and in winter, autumn or spring light a fire and toast a few marshmallows. After your picnic enjoy a slow paddle down the River as it gently eases you along past many little nooks of habitat. 

The kayak route traverses one of the best sections of the Ovens River with its rich flora and fauna, amazing river vistas and a real feeling that you are far away from the crowds and immersed in the native Australian landscape.

 

Conditions and details: 

Distance: 8km and at an average pace a 1-2 hour paddle time + swimming and picnic time.

Departure Times: Daily at 11:30am with alternative times available.

Grade:  Moderate and suitable for guests that have a level of fitness. For everyone. From 8 and up.

Cost: $109/person (min 2).  $AUD

 Type: Self guided (call if you would like a guide) 

 More info:  Please read the FAQ below  

Tarrawingee or Everton

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This is a longer paddle and is for the more adventurous, fitter and able kayaker looking to go out for longer, see more and have a bit more of an adventure. 


With more river to paddle there are more snags to navigate, more fishing to be done and more habitat to explore.

Take plenty of food and water or organise a picnic of antipasto, soft drink and sweet treat. Some guests take fishing equipment and some go for the paddle challange. Some go for a speed challenge with the quickest doing the whole 24km in 4 hours. Plan the day, enjoy the river and do it in comfort on River Tribes quality river kayaks - built for this kind of adventure. 


Conditions and details: 

Distance:  16km, 18km, 20km and 24km options and from 4 to 5 hours to a whole day paddle time + swimming and picnic time.

Departure Times: Daily at 11:30am with alternative times available 

Grade: Intermediate and suitable for fitter more agile guests. For everyone. From 16 and up

Cost: $109/person (min 2). $AUD

 Type: Self guided (call if you would like a guide) 

 More:  Please read the FAQ below  

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FAQ

What to bring...

Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, 1-2 liters of water, mobile phone with lanyard or water proof bag that you can attach to the kayak or yourself and a sense of adventure.

Where to meet & time allowed...

Guests meet at Apex Park, Wangaratta (free parking & amenities here). The time allows: no restrictions here, just get back before the bats come out (before 5pm). Your adventure is not timed, you just call the tour guide when complete and they will be with you in 15 minutes.

What to expect...

The river is very changeable during the year. Flooding during late winter and early spring means flat and fast water, low levels during late summer and early winter means more snags and trees to navigate. Check out more details here.

Age, ability & fitness...

All guests must be able to swim, be fit and agile.

Safety...

Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.

Terms & conditions...

All bookings, tours and activities are subject to River Tribe Adventures Terms & Conditions. By booking and or taking part in any activity/tour all participants agree to these.

KAYAK ONLINE BOOKING

KAYAK OVERNIGHT - SELF GUIDED MULTI-DAY TOURS

Kayak overnight package

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 Paddle by day and camp at night with a fire and a few drinks. The twinkling stars will keep you company and in the morning enjoy an exclusive view of the river. 


If you don not have your own camping gear then this option is for you.  River Tribe provides 2 x kayaks, 1 x tent, 2 x foam sleeping matts and a mini-kitchen with eveything you need except the kitchen sink (a big bowl instead). 

 

The Tarrawingee and Everton base camps are established Parks Victoria public camp-grounds overlooking the ovens river. Other spots along the river may be able to be utilised. 


The camp grounds have plenty of flat areas for tents and they are great spots to explore, drop a line in, go for a swim and escape the hustle and bustle. Fires are allowed and fire wood is available from river tribe (fire restrictions may apply during fire season). 

Kayakers are picked from Wangaratta and and taken upstream to one of the two launch points. Transfers are provided from the train station, your accommodation in Wangaratta or from Apex Park in Wangaratta (free and safe parking). 


Conditions and details: 

Distance:  16km, 18km, 20km and 24km options.

Departure Times: Daily, times based on guest preference. 

Grade: Intermediate and suitable for fitter more agile guests

For: Everyone. From 16 and up

Cost: $175/person (min 2). Prices are shown in $AUS


You can add extras from the booking menu. For research on the Ovens river and camping also see these information pages:

Kayak overnight - build your own adventure, select a launch point & any gear...

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River Tribe launches you upstream and picks you up from one of the exit points. Guests bring there own camp gear and provisions. River Tribe provides transfers, kayak, seat, paddle & PFD. Optional extras and services are available from the booking menu.


Overnight kayaking is an amazing experience especially in the North East and along the Ovens River. Paddle by day and camp at night with a fire and a few drinks. The twinkling stars will keep you company and in the morning enjoy an exclusive view of the river.


The camp grounds have plenty of flat areas for tents and they are great spots to explore, drop a line in, go for a swim and escape the hustle and bustle. Fires are allowed and fire wood is available from river tribe (fire restrictions may apply during fire season).   


Kayakers are picked from Wangaratta and and taken upstream to one of the two launch points. Transfers are provided from the train station, your accommodation in Wangaratta or from Apex Park in Wangaratta (free and safe parking). 


Conditions and details: 

Distance:  16km, 18km, 20km and 24km options.

Departure Times: Daily, times based on guest preference. 

Grade: Intermediate and suitable for fitter more agile guests

For: Everyone. From 16 and up

Cost: From $139/person (min 2). Prices are shown in $AUS


Feel free to read up about building your own adventure below. For research on the Ovens river and camping also see these information pages:

Tailor made services

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TAILOR MADE SERVICES

 If you want to take your own kayaks and gear up or down stream or need a pick up or transfer from somewhere along the river then select the kayak shuttle service. This works for any radius within the North East and along the Ovens River. 


Traditional launch points are at Everton, Tarrawingee, Billabongs. Alternative points can be found downstream and upstream such as Whorouly or Peechelba and Boorhaman. If you have an alternative, based on your own research and it meets the criteria... a public/public access road... River Tribe can launch you or pick you up.


River Tribes kayak trailer can accommodate a range of kayaks and for extra large groups. 


  For research on the Ovens river and camping also see these information areas:

 

HIRE ONLY

River Tribe Adventures provides hire only services. Kayaks can be hired for $50/day with a deposit of $600 and drivers licence. Pick up Wangaratta. Please request a quote if you would like delivery and pick up, costs are typically $1/km. To book call Dave on 0490 049 564.


MURRAY RIVER TOURS

River Tribe Adventures runs tours along the Murray. These are available at Corowa, Yarrawonga and Cobram areas. For details please Contact River Tribe via email info@rivertribeadventures.com or by calling 0457 902 966. 

BUILD YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

Step 1: Select your kayak launch point...

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Conduct a little research and select your launch point:

  • Billabongs launch & overnight $129
  • Tarrawingee launch & overnight $139
  • Everton launch & overnight $150
  • Tailored selection based on your own research $quote

​Both options include 2 days and 1 night kayak hire (kayak, seat, paddle and vest), Maps and safety briefing, free parking, transfer from your car or Wangaratta accommodation to the launch site and pick up and transfer from the exit point on the river.

Step 2: Add optional equipment...

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  • kayak, additional day hire - $50 (includes kayak, seat, paddle and safety vest)
  • Tent, 2 person compact dome tent $30 for up to 3 nights
  • Mini kitchen $40 for 2 persons for up to 3 nights. Includes 1 x stoves with gas, 1 x pot/1 x fry pan, cutlery, bottle/can opener​, plates, cups, bowl, washing liquid and cloth. 
  • Mini cloth esky with ice pack $10/trip
  • Large esky with ice $included in the portage option (see service options)
  • Sleeping bag and foam roll up hire $30 for up to 3 nights (includes sleeping bag and cotton liner. Note: The cotton liner is cleaned after each use).​​

​Step 3: Add optional services...

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  • Equipment/food portage $89/day, comes with 20 litres of water and a large esky with ice.
  • Food provisioning: see below.
  • Camp fire: Bag of wood, marshmallows, kindling and matches $29


Food provisioning: 

Lunch: Vegetarian tart and salad leaves and locally made prosecco piccolo each $35
Dinner: Local scotch fillet steak, mushrooms, fried tomato, green salad with French dressing. Desert: chocolate brownies. $45
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, tomato, beans, fried bread, orange juice. $17
Lunch: Antipasto with bread or biscuits and locally made prosecco piccolo each $40
Service: River Tribe to pack, pick up and deliver in a cool bags with ice packs. $99. Total: $236 

Step 4: Select dates, guest numbers and times

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Discuss and confirm dates with your group. Factor in travel times to Wangaratta and work out if a night before or after is required and then select your preferred time for your kayak trip start. Confirm guest numbers with your group.


Once you have completed your research, discussions and locked in everything you can then proceed to book,

Step 5: Book you adventure

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Email River Tribe Adventures at info@rivertribeadventures.com with the above informatin and requirements. River Tribe will confirm receipt and provide a cost and payment details. Your booking will be held as a provisional booking for 5 days whilst payment is made. Upon payment your booking is then confirmed and confirmation email is sent.

More...

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If it is not on the menu don't worry. 


If you wish to build an experience and discuss options please email info@rivertribeadventures.com or call Keith on 0457 902 966. 


Keith can talk to you about local rivers, waterways, equipment, food and transportation options. River Tribe have lived, experienced and adventured about in the North East for over 18 years, they can help you to build an adventure to suit your needs.

KAYAK OVERNIGHT PACKAGE

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2 DAYS, 1 NIGHT (EXTENDABLE)

Rate /$175person, twin share. 
Tarrawingee/Everton launch

Includes 2 x kayaks, tent, foam sleeping matt and mini-kitchen

About...

 The Tarrawingee and Everton base camps are established Parks Victoria public camp-grounds overlooking the ovens river. Other spots along the river may be able to be utilised. The camp grounds have plenty of flat areas for tents and they great spots to explore, drop a line in, go for a swim and escape the hustle and bustle. Fires are allowed and fire wood is available from river tribe (fire restrictions may apply during fire season). 

Kayakers are picked from Wangaratta and and taken upstream to one of the two launch points. Transfers are provided from the train station, your accommodation in Wangaratta or from Apex Park in Wangaratta (free and safe parking). 

Day 1...

Guests can choose from one of two launch points:

  1. Everton launch.This allows kayakers to paddle 12km downstream from Everton to the Tarrawingee base camp. The 12km paddle takes approximately 2-4 hours and is a gentle easy going adventure. During the months of January through March the river levels drop revealing tree obstacles and this provides a more adventurous trip recommended for the more enthusiastic paddlers looking for a challenge.
  2. Tarrawingee launch.Kayakers that launch here set up and immediately relax into camp life or load up your kayaks and go find an alternative camp spot. With the whole day in front of you guests can paddle upstream, go for a swim, relax with a book or go fishing for dinner, the local trout make for good eating.

Day 2...

Campers enjoy a wake-up call of the local birds and can enjoy breakfast with an exclusive view of the river. At some point during the relaxing morning it will be time to break camp and head out for a smooth paddle adventure along the stunning ovens river. The Tarrawingee to Wangaratta paddle adventure is an easy downhill section of the river, some guest have paddled it in 4 hours, some take the whole day. Paddlers can stop along the way for a picnic, fish the snags and enjoy the flora and fauna.

 The distance from Tarrawingee to Wangaratta is approximately 20-24km. Kayakers that wish to exit the river before the 24km point can do so at the following exit points: 16km, 18km or 20km (no additional fee). Just call and river tribe will spring into action.

This adventure includes kayaks and equipment, maps and safety brief, launch and pick up, tent, roll up mats and mini kitchen. Optional extras can be purchased, see the "Optional Extras Menu" under option 2.​​​

Departure & return times...

 departure: 
It is recommend that guests depart at 09:30 in order to capitalize on the adventure. Some guests depart later in the day. River Tribe can provide alternative times.

Return: 
Adventurers can call the tour guide when they are ready to exit the river. River Tribe will meet you at one of the ovens river exit points and provide a transfer to your accommodation or back to your car/train station in Wangaratta.

Additional nights:
Adventurous kayakers can stay out for longer for only $75/person/per night. This is inclusive of tent, equipment and kayaks. 

Logistics & inclusions...

The following services and equipment are all inclusive:

  • Pick up and drop off from/to your accommodation (local to the start point)
  • Train station in Wangaratta (other areas by quote)
  • Access to a free parking area (Council owned asset)
  • Transfers to the Ovens River launch point.
  • Pick up from the exit point.
  • Kayak with paddle, high back kayak seat, safety equipment.
  • Tour notes, river map and basic kayak tuition.

OVERNIGHT information

Packing...

Pack light and practical for the environment and the conditions. A basic list should include:

  • Sun cream, 
  • Mozzie replant, 
  • Lots of water (3-6 litres of drinking water per day/person is recommended for warm to hot weather), 
  • Travel towel, 
  • Warm clothing, 
  • Hat, polarized sunglasses, 
  • Change of clothes, if your a seasoned camper why bother, 
  • Baby wipes for sanitization, 
  • Sealable plastic bags for rubbish, 
  • Ice packs with collapsible (soft) cool bags,
  • Emergency medical kit (including snake bite kit),
  • Cooking equipment if catching your dinner or taking raw foods, mini kitchen items including plates, bowls, dishwasher detergent and cloth,
  • Sleeping mat and bag or maybe for hot weather just a bag liner;
  • Tent (compact);
  • Water for cooking or maybe a water converter or tablets.
  • Food: Easy food to take includes: pasta, bread, hard cheese, frozen red meats/stews/other frozen meals provide extra cooling and thaw out during the day, salad and dehydrated meals.

General...

ABILITY

River Tribe recommends guests/kayakers are fit and agile with the ability to swim and sometimes climb or traverse fallen logs or trees. Sometimes 2 or 3 trees have fallen and provide an obstacle. Be prepared to exit the kayak to traverse an obstacle, generally every 5-7km or so and sometimes less (depending on the river and time of year) 


The Ovens River is one of the last natural rivers in Victoria. Typically water levels increase in autumn and start to decrease in summer with the lowest point traditionally being late summer to autumn. High flows are traditionally late winter and into spring however this is dependent on rain falls and snow melt.

Water speed assists with fast tracking a kayaker when paddling with the flow, the speed of the water obviously increases with river height, rainfall and is influenced by the seasons. You can take advantage of low flows in the warmer months by paddling against the current which makes the Tarrawingee base camp a great spot to camp and explore from.

Please note that all routes are tested regularly to allow River Tribe to pass on information to guests that is up to date. It is normal to have a few tree obstacles where a kayaker has to transition with the kayak by foot via a river beach. Locations often change as trees often fall and create new obstacles and habitats for fish and other native species. 


The route between Everton and Tarrawingee has more obstacles in the river than the Tarrawingee to Wangaratta route. The route between Tarrawingee to Wangaratta has 3-4 tree blocks of varying size. Some blocks are easily transitioned by kayak and some may require kayakers to hop over or drag the kayak over a log or beach area. This is all part of the adventure and is relatively easy. It is also a good thing to get out of the kayak every hour or so to stretch, move and maybe explore. 

Dangers...

The ovens river and surrounding bushland and contains dangerous and venomous snakes and spiders. 

Falling trees, limbs, changing and untested water conditions and other dangers are present. 

Kayakers and campers should be aware of the dangers and should research how to avoid, minimise and manage a situation whereby a danger presents and/or an incident occurs. This may include storm conditions, rain, high winds, heat, cold and lightning strikes, flooding events, wildlife and other dangers. 

Guests should carry a phone with a Telstra service (serviced on the river)  along with a back up charging battery. 


Guests should know how to read a map and guide emergency services to a location.

Know your limits, understand the environment and research how and what to do in different situations. 


River tribe adventures are not qualified and cannot help in an emergency situation, only the emergency services are trained, qualified and can legally assist.


During mid to high water levels the water travels fast. whilst the water is flat and no white water is present the speed can tire kayakers quickly when navigating obstacles. If a kayaker fails to navigate adequately this can result in the kayak being pinned against the obstacle and or the kayaker to fall out. This can result in equipment loss, kayak loss or worse danger of drowning. 

Distances, times, water levels & speeds...

DISTANCES AND TIMES

 The following are approximate distances and times for kayaking:

Everton to Tarrawingee, distance: 12km. 

  • Kayak time: 2 to 4 hours, late winter through to mid summer.
  • 5+ hours during late summer & autumn .

Tarrawingee to Billabongs 1, distance: 16km.

  • Kayak time: 3-5 hours late winter through to mid summer.
  •  6+ hours through late summer & autumn .

Billabongs to Wangaratta, distance: 8km 

  • Kayak time: 1-2 hours late winter through to mid summer.
  •  2+ hours in late summer & autumn .

The times do not account for stopping. Most guests stop to explore, swim, have a picnic and fish.


 INFORMATION ABOUT WATER LEVELS & SPEEDS 

Highly changeable depending on season and rainfall across the catchment from Alpine areas and down to Wangaratta. 

Medium to high levels: make for an easier paddling experience. River speeds vary at about 3-7km. The water is very flat and snags and obstacles are generally below the water line.

Lower levels: reveal more snags, a few sand bars and logs.   

Blocks & snags: There are  a few tree blocks across the river & over a 36km span. 


RIVER LEVELS

​Current level: http://www.bom.gov.au/riverlevel 

  • Autumn is generally low at about 7 to 8m  
  • Winter through early spring generally from 10 to over 12.7m  
  • Summer generally 8 to 10m  

Water station Number: 582033 Name: Ovens R at Wangaratta  Flood levels: Minor: 11.90 Moderate: 12.40 Major: 12.70 

Kayak info...

River Tribe use Wavedance Kingfisher kayaks. These are flat bottomed with plenty of storage.  The Kingfisher combines the advantages of a sit-on-top with the efficiency of a traditional sea kayak and can be used in flat water, moderate ocean conditions and slow flowing rivers and lakes.

These kayaks are designed to take you and your gear efficiently where you want to go with a huge load capacity of 180 kg. There is enough room for a dog or a child in-between the adults legs. The kingfisher has two large hatches and a large cargo well allowing easy access to your fishing tackle, dive, camping and other gear. 


Kayak specifications

  • Length: 4.1m,
  • Width: 760mm,
  • Weight: kayak = 26kg,
  • Load capacity = 180kg (paddler and gear). 
  • 2 large cover hatches.  The hatches measure approximately 80cm x 60cm.
  • Storage underneath each hatch has approximately 40-50 litre capacity: large enough to store a tent, food, compressed sleeping bag and the above listed provisions.
  • An exposed storage compartment is behind the seat and measures approximately 50cm x 40cm.
  • Two fishing rod and/or fishing net storage abuts the seating area
  • Two Railblaza star ports sit on deck next to the foot well area (suitable for electronic gadgets, holders and other specialist equipment.

Specifications and images of the Kingfisher can be found here: Wavedance-Kingfisher

Snapshot of the Ovens River...

​The Ovens River is one of the last Rivers in Victoria that is in a natural state. Being less maintained the river has much more habitat for wildlife. The River is 190km long and ranges in width from 10-30m. 


River Tribe Adventures describes it as: intimate. Trees hang over, a great mix of shallow beaches and sometimes low and high river banks make for a snug river with lots of scenic variety. The changing seasons and river conditions make for a changeable river. This brings different experiences and a different story and perspective each time you go out. 


Winter and spring bring a faster flowing river and the banks merge with the water, views across farm and bushlands are afforded.


During late summer and autumn the lower water levels reveal hidden snags, old water worn logs, sand and stone bars and an interesting and natural river story. 


Whatever the time of year and what ever the river conditions are River Tribe Adventures love it... these changes bring new discoveries and new adventures!

Alternative: River Tribe Adventures provides self guided and guided tours on the Murray River. Please visit our Murray River tours page for more options. The Murray River offers a very different experience from the Ovens River. The Murray is a very broad, deep and steady river. If you like broad sky views, massive Murray Gum Trees and a steady pace then this is for you. 


 Rivers and kayaking can be lots of fun & safe as long as you follow safety rules and use common sense.