Old River Kayaking and Canoeing Tour

Ord River 5 Day Adventure

East Kimberley – Ord River 5 Day Adventure – KO5  (Ord River 3 Day Adventure – KO3 Ex Kununurra)
Journey from Katherine along the Victoria Highway to Kununurra, Western Australia. Pass through the amazing Gregory National Park and see the rugged Victoria River Region, glancing up at amazing cliff faces and down at a river over 700 kilometres long.

Beginning the 3 day paddle at the Ord River/Lake Argyle Dam, cruise through the Carr Boyd Ranges keeping an eye out for the shy rock wallabies hiding in the crevices above. Watch the sun set and the colours change, float peacefully through Carlton Gorge or just relax in the afternoon with a glass of wine.

The river tour finishes with a visit to the Zebra Rock Gallery an overnight stay in Kununurra and then the return drive to Katherine learning a little more of the history of Augustus Gregory and his explorations of the area.
Tour includes a nights accommodation in Kununurra at either end of the 3 days canoeing, ensuring that we have 3 full days to spend exploring the Ord River.
Tour Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 8
2019 Cost: KO5 – AUD$2360.00 (Single Supp $200)      KO3 – AUD$1650.00
Tour Code: KO5 and KO3


Using top quality equipment and qualified, accredited guides, this trip covers up to 55 kilometres of river and approximately 1200 kilometres of road. Fed by Lake Argyle and the Argyle Dam all year, the river winds through rocky escarpment that will show its true colours on sunset. Wildlife encounters, comfortable ‘swag style’ camping, great dining, fantastic service, – it all adds up to being a unique experience. A trip you may never forget.

Day 1 Flight with Air North from Darwin to Kununurra.  Met at airport and transfered to accomodation.  The afternoon is at your leisure, however, some time will be spent packing your clothes into waterproof bags.

Day 2 After breakfast it is time to gather up all belongings and head to the base of the Argyle Dam. Here you will be fitted with Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) a requirement, to be worn whilst on the river. A safety brief and paddling instructions for kayaking and canoeing will be given before entering the water.At a relaxing rate, there will be stops along the river for a morning break, lunch and time to view the diverse river environment, bird and wildlife. This is probably the narrowest section of the river that you will paddle on. The escarpment is high, the water is still flowing from the dam and the trees provide a nice amount of shade. A fairly easy start to 3 days on the river. Approximately 4 pm (1600) you will step ashore for an overnight camping experience. There will be time to relax; fish or read all whilst your guide prepares the evening meal.
After a fulfilling meal, enjoyed with your favourite bottle of wine or spirit, sleep in a bed-roll (swag) under a blanket of stars.

Day 3 After breakfast, we pack-up camp and continue paddling down-stream. There will be opportunity for walking as we visit waterfalls and swimming holes along the way. The river continues to change as you move into areas where the red cliffs will glow in the afternoon light and provide fantastic photo opportunities as the sun sets.
Carlton Gorge will be a highlight of the day as you paddle through seeing small rock wallabies watching you from ledges high above. There will also be the chance for a small hike into a narrow canyon where a cool & shady pool awaits your arrival. Take the chance to swim and relax in the shade, camp is not far away.At the end of this satisfying day, you will find yourself in a bit of a routine and will have camp set-up quickly. Leaving yourself enough time to explore, relax, chat, check-out some animal tracks or just ‘find yourself’.

Day 4 You will find the scenery changing again, as the river widens, the escarpment starts to fade into rolling hills as you return to civilisation. You will find yourself paddling past large flat areas of land in the Kununurra Region where Sandalwood, melons and other fruits are being grown.The day will finish at the Zebra Rock Gallery, here you can wander up to the shop and peruse the fine works of art that have been carved out of this 670 million year old rock. After all of the gear is packed you will be transferred in a 4WD to your evening accommodation in Kununurra where you will be able to shower, enjoy dinner with a glass of wine and sleep comfortably in your air conditioned room (unfortunately the stars won’t be able to follow you inside!)

Day 5 – Return flight from Kunurra to Darwin

General Information

Gecko Canoeing; tours in the back country of our Tropical Savannah Region, away from the normal tourist destinations.

The Area (Katherine Region)
Katherine: 324 kilometres south of Darwin, Northern Territory.Kununurra: 500 kilometres west of Katherine, Western Australia. This Canoe/Kayak tour takes place on the Ord River System, starting directly below the Argyle Dam. The area that we paddle through is quite spectacular and represents a real opportunity for an environmental experience (keep an eye out for the rock wallabies on high ledges overlooking the river).

The local Riparian Flora and Fauna is prolific and the scenery is varied and beautiful. The river system flows all year round and during the long ‘Dry’ season, it becomes the only water source for all manner of wildlife.The Kimberley Region is a terrific place to visit, being so close to Gregory National Park it is worth the extra effort to stop in and see some what the area has to offer.

The Canoes/Kayaks
We use ‘Scupper Pro’ sit-on-top kayaks for all trips, (we do have 2 person canoes for those who wish to use them). The sit on tops are self draining, comfortable and very stable. Many of our guests have never paddled before. Our fully qualified and accredited guides ensure that this is not a problem. Feedback highlights that paddling your own vessel, adds to the experience. Special needs clients may be escorted in a canoe by a guide/chauffer.

Where We StopWe are totally self sufficient giving us the luxury of being selective with our resting points along the river, however we do use set campsites. There’s plenty of time to relax, swim, fish, bird watch, encounter wildlife and appreciate the scenery. We regularly access these sites with group sizes of 2- 8, ensuring that we have minimal impact on the environment.
How Far, How Long, WhenTypically, a 3 day trip can cover up to 50km of river. Paddling down stream, there is no portaging of equipment. Tours operate throughout the wet season due to the constant level of the river. The temperature ranges from 34 C to 42 C, but the nights can drop to 26 degrees Celsius.

Tour accommodation:We are fully self-sustained while on tour. You are supplied with: • A screen tent – for those who wish to sleep inside – you can still see the stars • A canvas bedroll, ‘we call it a swag’ – for those wish to sleep outside • A ‘Thermarest’ self inflating mattress • A sleeping bag which can be fully opened • A liner (or sheet) and pillow, a torch & mosquito repellent.

The Campsites
Exclusive to us and well equipped. It includes:

• Dining Tables and chairs (with back rests)• Cooking Grill, Kettle & Camp ovens
• Riverside views• A shovel and toilet paper (for the call of nature) We bring out our rubbish; bury human waste 100m from water and burn toilet paper in the fire

The Meals
Always a surprise for the nature enthusiasts! All hearty home style fresh food. • Breakfasts are a mixture of cooked & cereal and fruit with tea and coffee • Dinners are cooked on the grill • Lunches are ‘sandwich’ or ‘wrap’ style with cold meat and salad • Tea, Coffee and Hot chocolate are available at camp • The guide will do the washing up (unless you really want to help)

What you need to bring:We recommend that you pack lightly and limit the space required. A packing list will be provided for you. You are able to bring along a bottle or two of your favourite dinner wine. We have no space for cold drinks such as beer or soft drinks. For your personal gear we provide;
• A 20 litre water proof bag (for your clothes) • A 10 litre water proof bag (for camera etc)The group size:
We travel with no more than 8 people on tour, (unless it is a specific group booking). You may not see anyone else while you are on the river.

Getting to Katherine

• Catch the Ghan train
• Catch the Greyhound bus
• Hire/drive a car

Getting back to Darwin
Why not try this;• An all inclusive 2 day adventure through the famous ‘Kakadu World Heritage Park’. Travel North will show you some of the top spots in the park whilst accommodating you comfortably in their semi permanent tented camp.

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