Where Does The Murray River Start

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The Murray River has been a favourite destination for Australians for decades, being an ideal place for food production, river trade, a great place to live, and in recent times holidaying and tourism.

But where goes the Murray get its water from, and Where Does The Murray River Start?

Snowy River - Mt Kosciusko

Source of the Murray River

Nestled up in Australia’s High Country, the Murray River starts out as a small stream, just 40 kilometres from Mt. Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain, on the NSW/Victoria border.(36°47′46″S 148°11′40″E)

The landscape in the Australia’s High Country has its own special beauty, featuring pristine snow covered mountains that seem to touch the clouds in the sky, and sightseeing that will take your breath away. 

Much of the area that gives life to the Murray River is under snow for 5-6 months of the year, making it perfect to be part of Australia’s premier ski fields. Needless to say, the High Country is an extremely popular winter and summer tourist destination, due to its natural beauty and recreational activities such as skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, kayaking, sightseeing, mountain bike riding & cycling just to name a few.

Due to the regions high elevation, the local weather can produce clear and warm summer days. In winter, you can usually expect plenty of snow for the skiers and cold nights that are best enjoyed indoors in front of a fire or perhaps enjoying company sipping a glass of red.

 Australian Alps

Much of the area is above 6,000 feet altitude, and as such snow melt and rain on the Great Dividing Range drains inland to feed the Murray, via the Swampy Plains River, Geehi River, Tooma River and also the Murrumbidgee River. The Snowy River is also feed from the same mountainous area, but flows in the opposite direction, to the south into Bass Straight.

Its here that the Murray River starts its 2756km long journey across the Australian continent where it is joined by several other rivers including the Mitta Mitta, Ovens, Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon, Murrumbidgee  and the Darling River. This great river twists and turns on its westward journey, until it meets the Southern Ocean, in Goolwa,  South Australia.

 Murray Darling River System  

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Murray River Water Levels in NSW, VIC and SA

Whether your a local or a visitor, most of us enjoy the Murray River region when the weather is beautiful and sunny.

But is important to be aware that sometimes major rain weather events can change river conditions and access to the region.

The recent heavy rain in and around Murray-Darling catchment area, in particular Southern NSW and Victoria, has caused the Murray River Water Levels to be on the rise again.

Murray River Floods

With recent memories of the Murray River Floods still fresh in our minds, our hearts go out to the many families who are currently affected by the heavy rains and flooding in these communities. 

While its not unusual for the Murray River region to be affected by flooding, it certainly doesn’t lessen the devastation that the people and townships experience.

Murray Darling Catchment Areas

Much of the recent rain affected areas include the Darling, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Goulburn, Snowy, Upper Murray, Ovens & King, Mitta Mitta catchment areas.

Murray Darling Basin

It can take days, or even weeks, for much of the flood water to flow into the Murray River. For those that are travelling into the Murray Darling region, or those that just want to keep an eye on Murray River Water Levels, I’ve put together some resources so you can get the most up-to-date information.


Murray River Flood Warnings

NSW Flood Warnings (bom.gov.au)

Victoria Flood Warnings (bom.gov.au)

South Australia Flood Warnings (bom.gov.au)


Murray River Region Road Closures

NSW Road Closures

Victorian Road Closures

South Australian Road Closures

Flood Levels 

Murray River Water Levels

NSW – Murray River Water Levels

Victoria – River Water Levels

South Australia – River Water Levels

 Murray River Catchment Areas

Live River Flow & Catchment Data

Murray Darling Basin Authority:

River Flow Data for the following:

    • Edwards River
    • Barma Forest
    • Picnic Point
    • Yarrawonga Weir
    • Torummbarry Weir
    • Euston, Burtundy & Wentworth

Murray River Information & Advice 

River Smart Australia Flow Tracker

Blackwater Advice

Ferry Information



NSW Maritime Restrictions 



Parks Victoria


South Australia:

Parks South Australia

South Australia Water Flow Advice or call (08) 8595 2299

Boat Ramp Information


Murray River Weather Forecasts

If you’re traveling into the Murray River region you may also be interested in the regional weather forecast:


Healthy Murray River Bursts to Life

While flooding is often seen as a bad thing, its not always the case. History has shown over the decades, that rising Murray River levels are a regular and healthy occurrence for the river, flushing the river system, washing nutrients and food into the water for the wildlife to thrive on.

Regular river system flushes help maintain wetlands for wildlife, and water storage for farming food production. Much of food we enjoy at home and when we visit the Murray, is grown locally in the Murray Darling Region, and the sustainability of food production in these areas is reliant on these rain weather events.


Murray Darling River System

So if your visiting the Murray Darling Region, I hope this article gives you a great resource, so you can have up-to-date information, and an appreciation and awareness of what makes the Murray River System so amazing and great.

Just incase you have forgotten, checkout Grant Denyer’s recent visit:




Murray River Marathon – Australian Kayaking Event

The iconic Mighty Murray River is known for many great things, such as a perfect holiday destination, a haven for water activities and home to an abundance of wildlife and natural Australian flora.

It is also home to one of the worlds longest annual kayaking races, the Murray River Marathon, where you can kayak Australias finest river country, covering 404km in 5 days –



The Murray River Marathon Kayaking Event

The kayaking event starts in Yarrawonga on the 27th December downstream through Tocumwal, Picnic Point, Echuca, Torrumbarry and Murrabit finishes in Swan Hill on New Years Eve.

The Murray River Marathon began in 1969 when 10 friends decided to raise money for the Australian Red Cross.

This kayaking event has now grown in popularity with more than 750 paddlers, and over 3000+ support crew and volunteers, making it Australia’s premier flat-water kayaking event. The event would not be possible without support crew and volunteers which generally are made up of sponsors/partners, Management Committee, YMCA Staff, plus family and friends.

Since 2009 the VicSuper Murray Marathon has been managed and run by the YMCA Victoria after the Red Cross ended its association in 2008.  The YMCA Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation and has committed to invest all funds raised from the event into the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the Murray Region.


The Purpose of the Murray River Marathon

Although the aim of Murray River Marathon was originally to raise money for specific charities, this kayaking event has grown into much more than its over the years, now reaching and supporting into the communities that host this event.

So of these are: –

  • Promote active and healthy lifestyles for individuals and families
  • Support the Murray River Region through funds raised, tourism, and people to the area.
  • Increase the recognition for YMCA Victoria as a leading charity
  • It develops and strengthens partnerships with stakeholder and promoters of the Kayaking Event

Murray River Marathon

 The Options for Entry in the Murray River Marathon

There are various competitive and non-competitive options to suit different paddling abilities:

  • Full Distance (404km) – Take the ultimate challenge and race the 404km 5 day course by yourself or in a team.
  • The Half Marathon (202km) – Try the half marathon 202 km over the 5 day course.
  • Relay – Enter a team of three or more paddlers.
  • OC6 Challenge – Designed to allow relay teams consisting of up to 24 paddlers each to compete directly
    against each other.
  • Junior Marathons – Paddlers as young as 13 can participate in the marathon over a reduced distance in Junior 14, 16 & 18 age groups.
  • School’s Relay – Consisting of current year students from the school the team represents.
  • YMCA Murray Challenge Single Day Event (63km) – The Murray Challenge is a single day (30th December) 63km challenge starting at Echuca and finishing in Torrumbarry.
  • K4 Challenge – Limited to three teams of up to 16 paddlers you will compete amongst each other not only to be the first down the river.

Entry to the Murray River Marathon opens around July and generally closes on November 30th, and is certainly an event the requires thorough preparation, and a support crew to assist with food, water, shifting camp and basic medical assistance.


Accommodation for the Murray River Marathon

While enjoying the breathtaking environment while kayaking down the Murray River, you are going to need somewhere to stay. Luckily Free Camping is offered at all of the check points along the kayaking event, and more info about that can be found here => camping arrangements info

For those that don’t fancy roughing it accommodation can be found at many of the towns along the way, but it is recommended to book well in advance to avoid missing out during the holiday season:


The Preparation

Typically the marathon participants can expect warm to hot Murray River weather conditions, but should also prepared for cooler wet conditions, and in extreme circumstances flooding or even fire danger.

Even though there are different Kayaking Event categories suited to all fitness levels, ages, and groups….preparation and training for the event  is the key to a successful and enjoyable Murray River Marathon.

For full details and how you can be part of the action at this years VicSuper Murray Marathon visit http://www.murraymarathon.ymca.org.au.


Murray River Marathon Course

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