Packrafting Wagga Wagga | An Urban Microadventure Paddling the Murrumbidgee River
The Murrumbidgee River, as it flows through Wagga Wagga, offers the perfect opportunity for an afternoon paddle, i.e., an urban microadventure. Microadventures are a brief yet satisfying taste of outdoor activities without demanding a significant time commitment. They are even better when the final destination is a cold drink at a local brewery. So, with a few packrafts and a few friends, the team here at Tom's had ourselves one epic urban microadventure paddling the Murrumbidgee River through Wagga Wagga.
The plan was to leave the shop at about 2pm and do the one-hour-ish drive to Wagga Wagga where we would pull up at the reserve near Eunony Bridge. From here, we paddled about 8km along the Murrumbidgee River, pulling out not far from the Thirsty Crow Brewery.
The word Murrumbidgee comes from the Wiradjuri word Marrambidya and means 'plenty water' or 'big water'. The Murrumbidgee rises from the wet heath and bog at the foot of Peppercorn Hill on Long Plain in Kosciuszko National Park. The river winds itself hundreds of kilometres westward through Jugiong, Gundagai, Wagga Wagga, Narrandera and Hay until it meets up with the Murray River at Balranald.
The easy flow of the river is banked by iconic river red gum and the occasional willow. We paddle to the soundtrack of white cockatoos and pass a fisherman or two. The Murrumbidgee River winds itself around and through farmland before reaching the outskirts of Wagga Wagga. Eventually, we found ourselves at the infamous Wagga Beach, which in 2020 was rated number #9 on the list of best beaches in Australia.
The gentle current of the river takes us further into Wagga Wagga. We pull out somewhere behind Cadell Place and follow the Wiradjuri Walking track around the levee. Conveniently, it's a short walk from where we pulled out of the river to the Thirsty Crow Brewery, where we sit back with schooners of their aptly named 'River Float' brew.