nelbuck island loop trail

A loop trail which starts from Murtho (Canoe the Riverland) and travels via Kylie Creek, Ral Ral Creek and Nelbuck Creek back to the Murray River and returns to the start point. This trail can be extended to 2-days by paddling on through the Ral Ral wide waters and around Reny Island (past Calperum Station). Campsites can be found along the way. Be aware that you are travelling through National Park and reserve areas.



Renmark (260km from Adelaide)

24 km return or 44 km Extended trip

24 km return or 44 km Extended trip

Paddle Time One day or two days for the extended trip



Easy to moderate

  • Paddle Distance

    Approx 24 km return one day or or 44 km for the extended 2-day trip.

  • Weather

    Always check weather and wind conditions before setting out.
    Visit BOM for weather conditions

  • Conditions

    Easy to moderate- Protected waters – river and river backwaters.
    Do the five weather safety checks

  • Facilities

    Secure car parking; camping facilities including showers and toilets also available.

  • Parking

    Available at launch point

Paddling five checks BOM
Paddle SA is the governing body of paddle sport and recreation in South Australia. It leads and supports paddling in South Australia and encourages the safe exploration of our waterways. Paddling Trail South Australia has a range of Paddling Trails to suit different abilities. Know your ability.
Canoe the RiverlandCanoe the Riverland hire and deliver kayaks in this area. 835 Murtho Rd, Murtho, SA 5340 Link to waterproof Chowilla map available for purchase online

Trail 35

Paddling Trails South Australia Avenza mapsIf 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.

Trail Information

The trail starts at Canoe the Riverland located 8.35 km from Paringa on the Murtho Road.
Canoe the Riverland near Paringa (GPS 34.1117 S 140.8009 E)

Trail notes
The trail starts at Canoe the Riverland located 8.35 km from Paringa on the Murtho road.

Turn left from the launch site into the Murray River, turn left again and travel about 3.25 km to Kylie Creek located on the RHS at Point
M (GPS34.1216 S 140.7723 E).

Keep left for about 3 km in this creek ignoring any creek entrances on the RHS until you reach a T-intersection at Point H (GPS 34.1303 S 140.7513 E). This wide creek is Ral Ral Creek.

Turn right into this creek and travel for 6.4 km until you reach Ral Ral wide waters. At this juncture Point G (GPS 34.0902 S 140.7310 E) turn hard right into Nelbuck Creek.

Note: There may be quite a strong flow to paddle against in this creek.

Travel about 3.7 km along this picturesque creek until you reach a T-intersection with the Murray River at Point K (GPS 34.0831 S 140.7554E). Turn right into the river

From here it is an easy 6-8 km paddle back to the launch site.

Note: There is a short cut that can be taken through Log Creek at about the 3 km mark from your entrance into the Murray River and this cuts off a loop in the river of about 2 km.

Two day trip:
This trip can be extended into a two-day trip by including Reny Island on the trip.

At Point G instead of turning right into Nelbuck Creek continue into Ral Ral wide waters for about 2 km until you see the continuation of Ral Ral creek on the LHS. Continue along this creek for about 2 km; the creek divides at this point into three, take the middle route. Travel a further 5 km and you will reach Calperum Station. Immediately after Calperum Station, the creek makes a hard right turn.

There are numerous campsites available along this section of the creek and some even have toilet facilities. Campsites can be booked at the station. Note: Calperum Station is part of the Riverland Biosphere Reserve (formerly Bookmark)

Travel for a further 5 km and you will reach a major intersection at Point D (GPS 34.0463 S 140.7615 E). Turn right here into this creek.

Travel about 2 km along this creek and you will re-enter the Murray River at Point E (GPS 34.0590 140.7611E).

Turn right and travel about 12 km downstream to your launch point at Canoe the Riverland.

Secure car parking, camping facilities including BBQ, Firepit, Kitchen (fridge and oven), power, showers, toilets, and change room all available at Canoe the Riverland.
Limited on-site dormitory accommodation is also available.
The moored paddle steamer Julie Fay is also available as an Airbnb. Canoes and Kayaks can be hired from this site


Read this safety information page
before your paddling trip.


How to use maps and contact
Paddling Trails South Australia.

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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.