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01. Bringenbrong Bridge - Hume Weir

Bringenbrong Bridge-Hume Weir (30 September-1 October 1995, 23 April 2004, 11-12 December 2004, 175 km) 

 
Friday 23 April 2004
I paddled the 14 km section from Bringenbrong Bridge to Towong in 1 hour and 45 minutes with relatively low water levels (1.0 m at Bringenbrong Bridge).  There were some gravelly races where the kayak scraped the bottom a couple of times.  The main danger is on bends where the main current flows under willow trees so care is needed to ensure that you do not end up stuck in the overhanging willow branches.  The river banks were cow paddocks with some gum trees and a lot of willows or pruned willows making for an unnatural, degraded sight.
 
Sunday 1 October 1995
At Tintaldra there was a lovely campsite (now a public park with no camping  in 2004) by the river and only about 100 metres from the hotel.  We used this as a base camp on the October long weekend in 1995.  The water flows were good. 

On the Sunday we did a car shuffle and launched from Towong Bridge to paddle the 31 km to Tintaldra.  The river meandered through pasture land.  There were several sections of river where rocks and native plantings had been used to control erosion.  Previous attempts at erosion control had included driving rail lines into the river bank.  These attempts appear to have been unsuccessful and canoeists must be careful not to hit the rail lines on the outside bends of the river as they may be submerged.  There were occasional views to the snow clad peaks of the Snowy Mountains.  We arrived back at Tintaldra in early afternoon about 5 hours after leaving Towong.

Saturday 30 September 1995
On the Saturday we did a car shuffle and then paddled from Tintaldra to Jingellic which is about 41 km downstream.  There were several possible campsites along the way.  The hills and paddocks were green and the Burrowa-Pine National Park on our left provided a view of natural landscape.  About 6 hours after launching we arrived at Jingellic where we pulled out by the old bridge pylons.  There is a camping area and hotel near here. 
 
Saturday 11 December 2004
Jingellic-Hume Weir is about 95 km but I started paddling at Walwa which is 4 km upstream from Jingellic because there is a caravan park conveniently located beside the river where I could leave my car.  The river level was reasonable (1.6 m and about 4000 Ml/day at Jingellic) and Lake Hume was 53% full and had been at that level for a few weeks.  The drive from Canberra took 4 hours and 40 minutes (including coffee and fuel at Holbrook) and at 10:50 am I launched on a humid but beautiful sunny day. 

I was able to average about 10-11 km/hr.  The only real problem was at about 8km down from Jingellic (where the road comes very close to the river) where there was a small island in the river.  On the right there was a gravelly race and on the left there appeared to be a deeper channel bordered by willows.  I chose the deeper channel but found that at the end of it there was a rapid which requires a sharp right turn immediately before entering it.  It was too late to turn back so I went through it without mishap much to my surprise.  Along the river there were many nankeen night herons, rainbow bee-eaters, tortoises and even a platypus.  I had lunch at 15 km and short breaks at 24 and 31 km from Jingellic. There was a nice campsite at the junction with Seven Mile Ck near Talmalmo about 37 km from Jingellic.  I continued paddling till 5:20 pm where a small creek enters the river on the NSW side 45 km from Jingellic (50 km from the weir).  I stopped here because there were thunderstorms about with some threatening clouds.  I set up my tent on the nice grassy bank which would be under water if the lake was full.  There were a few drops of rain but I was able to have my dinner of 2 minute noodles before the heavy rain started at about 7 pm.  I read in bed till 9 pm.

Sunday 12 December 2004
Sunday  morning was clear with some fog and mist on the hills.  I started packing at 7 am and launched at 7:40 am.  There were lots of flies and a gentle current as I soon entered the waters of Lake Hume.  I passed another nice campsite at the Dora Dora Ck junction.  After a short break I continued till 10:10am when I reached a nice sandy beach on the NSW side about 35 km from the weir.  I had lunch (11:30-12:30) at Wymah Ferry (28 km from weir), rang Christine at 20 km (1:40 pm) and paddled on to Checci Pt (15 km from weir) where there was a sandy beach and suitable ground for a campsite.  Unfortunately it has started to rain and it is a bit early to set up camp.  I continued on to the island at about 9 km from the weir but is too rocky to land easily so I go on a bit further to a point on the NSW side. It is a suitable spot to camp but being only 9 km from my destination, no shade from the hot sun, still only 4pm and a nice tail wind, I decided to continue on.  I arrived at the Lake Hume Tourist Park beside the weir at 5:10 pm.  That’s 50 km in 9 ½ hours of mostly flat water paddling.  By 6 pm I had all of my gear at the campsite after a very tiring haul up the bank.
 
The next morning I caught a taxi into Albury from where I catch a bus, through a heavy thunderstorm back to my car at Walwa, from the Snow White Depot in David St (02) 6021 4368.
 
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