If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the free Avenza PDF Map app and have interactive paddling trail maps on hand when you need them. The app uses your device’s built-in GPS to plot your real-time location within the park onto a map. The app can be used without a network connection and without roaming charges. You can also measure area and distance, plot photos, and drop Placemark pins.
Launch Sites: Boat ramps at
Dickson reserve, Tailem Bend (beside Ferry off the Princes highway) (GPS: 35.2566 S; 139.4535 E)
Fred’s Landing, Tailem Bend (pontoon) (GPS:35.2863 S; 139.4484 E)
Wellington East Boat Ramp (GPS: 35.3191 S; 139.3901 E)
Wellington Boat Ramp (GPS: 35.3192 S; 139.3772 E)
This trail has been developed and promoted by the Coorong District Council
The trail starts at Dickson Reserve (Tailem Bend).
The first loop is upstream to backwaters where there is the abundant bird life. This section of the trail is approximately 4.7k return (and should be completed in around 2hours). The entry point to the wetland is Point A (GPS: 35.2372 S; 139.4265 E)
The second part of the trail is from the ferry to Fred’s Landing. Approximately 4km this should take around 1-1.5 hours. This may provide a good stopover for lunch.
The third part of the trail is from Fred’s Landing to Wellington East and approximately 8.5k (or 2-2.5 hours).
The fourth part of the trail is from Wellington East to Wellington via backwaters. This is approximately 4km in distance and 1 hour to complete.
Each part of the trail can be done independently with a pick-up arranged at one of the various exit points. This trail has been designed to cater for all ages and skill levels with the recommendation that paddlers have some level of experience. A warning about strong winds in the late afternoon should be heeded by anyone undertaking these trails (see CAUTION). However, the rewards are enormous with the opportunity to see the picturesque River Murray from a new perspective and to see and learn about the abundant birdlife, especially in the quiet backwaters.
Dickson Reserve, Tailem Bend there is a free bbq, pontoon, picnic table, toilets, shelter
Fred’s Landing, Tailem Bend there is a picnic table and toilets
There are picnic facilities, a barbecue shelter, boat ramp, car park and public toilets at nearby Baker Reserve (Jervois Road, Wellington)
There is 5 educational signs to look out for along the trail, approximate locations are marked on the trail map. Make it your mission to locate all 5 signs, each providing you an insight into the river history and environment, featuring anything from the 1956 floods, river weirs and locks to native fish.
Your adventure is set to be informative, interactive and interesting!
There are many geocaching opportunities throughout the trail and the region. New caches are currently being developed for the canoe trail and will have the exciting challenge of only being accessible via water! Will you be the FTF?
There is an abundance of bird life along the river, particularly in the backwaters where it’s nice and sheltered. Trail routes no. 1 (Dickson Reserve to Backwaters) and no. 4 (Wellington East via Backwaters to Wellington) are both hot spots for bird watching.
Just a few suggestions for things to do in Tailem Bend……
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Read this safety information page
before your paddling trip.
How to use maps and contact
Paddling Trails South Australia.
Paddling Trail South Australia has a range of Paddling Trails to suit different abilities.
Know your ability
These are easy to access kayak and canoe trails through the Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Riverland, Murray River, and the Coorong.