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The Glenelg River offers excellent opportunities for flat water canoeing over the 75kms from Dartmoor to its mouth near Nelson. For much of its distance the river flows through the Lower Glenelg National Park, enabling enthusiasts to observe wildlife in its natural environment.
Canoes can be hired from Nelson and Dartmoor/Winnap and taken either upstream or downstream.
The most popular canoe trip is the 3 day paddle from Moleside to Nelson. If travelling downstream, the last day of canoeing near Nelson can be affected by incoming tides and winds, which may slow progress. The section of the river from Dartmoor to Pines Landing can be difficult at times due to low water and snags.
Camping is available to all boat users on the river. There are seven designated campsites for canoeists located beside the Glenelg River among eucalypt forest. There is no vehicle access. However a number of other camping and picnic areas provide more opportunities for canoe launching or retrieval.
The seven designated camping areas are:
- Bowds Canoe Camping Area – 20 people
- Georges Rest Canoe Camping Area – 20 people
- Lasletts Canoe Camping Area – 20 people
- Moleside Canoe Camping Area – 20 people
- Pattersons Canoe Camping Area – 20 people
- Pines Landing Canoe Camping Area – 20 people
- Skipworth Springs Canoe Camping Area – 20 people
Facilities for all camping areas
Non-flush toilets, shared jetty, shared picnic table, spring water (treat before drinking), and a shared fireplace are available.
Only allowed in the fireplace provided but fuel stoves are preferred. Minimum amounts of fallen, dry firewood can be collected in the park.
Water is seasonally available but must be treated before drinking. It is better to supply your own.
Advanced bookings and payment is required. Bookings open on 1 July each year and will be based on a first-in first-served basis. The Glenelg River Canoe Trail is booked per person.
- Notify the park office of your intended trip
- Know your group's abilities and plan stages accordingly - choose sensible daily distances
- Do not canoe alone
- Ensure that all participants can swim and are wearing life jackets
- Do not overload your canoe
- If you do capsize, pull the canoe into the bank
- Do not mix alcohol and canoeing