I have kayaked the Tumut River twice in 12 months. First trip late December 2011 and second December 2012.
First trip was with my brother and four of my nieces and nephews in (all adults). The trip was organised through Tumut Slide and Ride a local family business in Tumut and was from Tumut to Gundagai.
Second trip was with my brother where we paddled from Tumut to Gundagai and then through to Wagga Wagga with our own Kayaks. We hired Tumut Slide and Ride to drop us off at the start point and pick us up at Wagga.They provided a fantastic service and I would recommend them not only for pick up but for advice on the river. Unfortunately they are no longer hiring kayaks but this may change in the future, Contact Adam on 02 6947 6225.
Both trips started at the Jones Bridge Reserve which is located at the base of the Blowering Dam which is approximately 10 km from Tumut by sealed road.
One of the most important things to consider when tackling the Tumut River is the the volume of water being let go from the Blowering Dam. Our first trip the volume was approximately 7 mega litres per day and the second it was 10 ML/Day, which equates to ~8km/h and ~10-12km/h kayak speed respectively. The increase in water volume significantly increases the difficulty of navigating the river and people should seek advice before attempting the journey.
As for the river it is clean and clear water with a few trees to navigate around, the scenery is mostly rural and very pretty. The river winds it way past Tumut through to Brungle Bridge which is where I would camp overnight for a two day trip to Gundagai; you can make Gundagai in a long 10hr day if you are an experienced kayaker or 2 days at a more leisurely pace. A couple of hours past Brungle Bridge there are some very tame rapids. Entering the Murrumbidgee river is another mile stone and which is approximately 3 hrs from Gundagai.
For those who want to paddle all the way to Wagga Wagga, we were able to make it in three long days, although I recommend taking the full five days as recommended in the guide (see NSW Government website).
I think the Tumut river is a great paddle and would recommend it to any experienced kayaker.
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