Glenelg River Canoe Trail

Glenelg River Canoe Trail

Glenelg River Canoe Trail


Glenelg River Canoe Trail

Stretching from Dartmoor to Nelson, the Glenelg River Canoe Trail meanders through the lower reaches of the Glenelg River. Embark on this scenic journey and take in the best of Lower Glenelg National Park - from towering limestone cliffs to the underground wonderland of Princess Margaret Rose Cave and abundant wildlife that calls the park home.
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The Glenelg River is perfect for flat water canoeing over the 75km from Dartmoor to its mouth near Nelson. For most of its course, the river flows through the Lower Glenelg National Park, a place of exceptional natural beauty which is home to spectacular wildlife. 

Stay at some of the seven campsites reserved exclusively for the use of canoeists and kayakers and try fishing for your dinner on this memorable journey. 

While the full Glenelg River Trail takes around four days, there is a popular three-day option and you can even hire a canoe for a day-trip. There are canoe hire outlets in Dartmoor, Winnap and Nelson. 

All canoe campsites in the park must be booked and fees apply. Sites can only be booked for one night.

Things to do in the area

Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to explore beautiful waterways. Enjoy the tranquility and spot wildlife that hikers don’t normally see.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.
A couple watch the sunset at a picnic table on the edge of Lake Catani at Mount Buffalo National Park.

Sunrises and sunsets

Spectacular sunsets from the summits and to west, and picturesque sunrises in the east , top-and-tail your day the perfect way.

How to get there

Glenelg River Canoe Trail

Canoes can be hired from Dartmoor, Winnap or Nelson. Many hire shops will also drop you off and pick you up at various points along the river depending on your needs. Lower Glenelg National Park is in south-west Victoria adjoining the South Australian border, about 420km from Melbourne and 490km from Adelaide. The major access roads into the park are the Portland - Nelson Road and Wanwin Road.


Need to know

Glenelg River Canoe Trail

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Lower Glenelg National Park

    This park has been impacted by recent significant weather events

    This park has been impacted by significant flood and/or storm events and some areas may be closed or restricted. Check the Storm and Flood Affected Parks page for the most up to date information on this location.

    Visitor Saftey - Glenelg River Fluctuating River Height

    Please be aware, the water level in the Glenelg River is currently fluctuating regularly due to seasonal conditions including rainfall events, tidal movements and ocean conditions.  Higher than normal water levels can cause some jetties and boat ramps to be inundated with water.
    Visitor Safety is priority - Do not enter an inundated jetty or boat ramp, as conditions are likely to be very slippery and there could be damage to the structure not easily observed. 
    Park Rangers are regularly monitoring conditions.  If a jetty or boat ramp is expected to be inundated for an extended period, the visitor asset may be closed for public safety until such time the asset can be deemed safe for use.  Please observe warning and closure signs where erected.

  • Sapling Creek Picnic Area (Glenelg River Heritage River, Lower Glenelg National Park)

    Temporary closure of Sapling Creek boat ramp

    Sapling Creek boat ramp will be closed from the 6-10th December for an upgrade. The new jetty will replace aged and fixed infrastructure, it will be all abilities accessible and allow the jetty to move with the rise and fall of the river. Please use other boat ramps such as Simsons, Pritchards and Saunders to allow this work to continue uninterrupted.

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