Murray River Expedition
by matthew fallow
I picked up Steelo (from SA) and Boofy on Wednesday afternoon with boat in tow and headed for Bathurst. We stopped by the ‘scenic railway’ in the Blue Mountains and took a run down the 55 degree track, breath taking and well worth it. Out tiki tour continued via Historic Hartley Vale where I have a small farm and on to Bathurst, we did a quick lap around the race track with boat in tow. The next morning I had some business in town and we then headed off to Cowra to pick up Steve Links and Gary; with a convoy of boats we drove to the Tyson Farm for a BBQ dinner on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Friday morning we had 4 keen jet boats assemble at the Phillon Marine Jet Boat workshop in Tumut, Ryan P, Steve L, Paul T and myself; all with full crews we headed for Jinjellic to launch into the Murray river. The day was a great adventure; boating the skinny shingle river for nearly 5 hours on our way up into the heart of the snowy mountains and the source of the Murray at Khancoban. In all we covered 190km return do careful planning of fuel requirements was required. The river technical, shallow and very clear; the day stinking hot so we were all pleased to be back on the trailers. This is a fabulous river and provides classic jet boating conditions all the way up to the mountains; this should definitely be added to your ‘bucket list’.
Jan & Goose; an Excellent Adventure
by Mr & Mrs Goose
Picked Jan up from work at 6.00 pm then headed straight for Gundagai!
Earlier on Friday 15th Jan, I organised the boat and packed the car to make sure we were ready for the Gundagai trip organised by Matthew Fellow.
We arrived at the Sovereign Motel, Gundagai around 10.45 on the Friday evening. I checked my phone to find that some members were at the club enjoying some samples of local liquor.
Being sensible for a change, we decided to head straight to bed.
Early Saturday we started with a delicious breakfast at the local café, and met some new faces. Intros completed, eggs, bacon and sausages washed down with some average coffee; it was time to fuel up, ice the drinks, pack the sandwiches, and launch the boat at Paul and Lyn’s property.
What a ‘turn-out’! Nine boats and a heap more people!!! Jan and I met at least a dozen new faces. To quote Mrs Goose (Jan); “Every one is so friendly, helpful, kind, and intent on having an excellent adventure”.
For those that could not attend, some quick back-ground on our boat….It’s a 4.4 metre ‘Ranger 440’ by JetSeeker, Christchurch, NZ.
With a wide beam, 14 degree dead rise and a Hamilton 212 pump spun from a 350 Chevy, insures exceptional skinny water performance coupled with great acceleration.
Our first run was ‘down river’ on the Murrumbidgee with Russell comfortable in the back seat, Jan up front and me driving. We enjoyed beautiful scenery, masses of cockatoos, galahs, ducks, and high, fast moving water that can lure you into a false sense of security. More of this later….
There were many opportunities for ‘skinny water’ experiences via the occasional shoots. These provided an excellent training scenario for people such as us. We boated for approximately 75 mins before heading back to our start point. This was the leg that tested my ‘over confidence’ and driving skills.I chose a shoot on the starboard side that was very skinny and narrow. It looked clear all the way through, but….. Before we knew it, we hit a log that propelled the boat upwards around three feet (as witnessed by Mathew and his crew). We came down hard on the port side, reasonably out of control; but I did manage to pull it back together so we weren’t “beached as”. Skill or luck? I’d have to say a large load of luck. Live, learn and remember….
The second part of the day saw us turning right into the Tumut River some 500 meters up river from our launch point. Jan found this leg more picturesque and exciting because the river was narrower and faster moving. Our meeting point was just after the first bridge in a setting ideal for lunch.Our day’s jet boating ended back at Paul and Lyn’s property where we retrieved the boat, then headed back to our motel for some rest.
Saturday night I (Jan stayed in for an early night) headed back to Paul and Lyn’s for some exceptional hospitality. Think…. slow cooked ‘legs of lamb’ via a bbq rotisserie…. two huge ‘potato bakes’ (one garlic, the second mushroom), heaps of green vegies, beers, great wine and even better company…. a sensational night!
Sunday morning we decided on a quick breakfast at Hungry Jacks. Mmmmmm……. ; manufactured steak, greasy egg, fatty cheese all enclosed in a wrap.
We launched back at Paul and Lyn’s around 9.00 to head off upriver for 500 metres before turning right into the Tumut River. Once again, magnificent scenery, and still more stunning birds of all types; occasionally they fly next to us or directly in front. We boated all the way to Tumut and just beyond to stop for a break at the bridge. Seeing all the jet boats lined up on the river bank was most impressive.
Heading back, our first stop was a great picnic spot near another bridge over half way back to Gundagai. As we had our trip back to Sydney in the afternoon, we didn’t stay at this beautiful spot for long.
The weekend of boating was now coming to an end. We arrived home (Sydney) about 6.45
• The people
• Using our boat and gaining more experience
• Bird life
• Enjoying the ‘excellent adventure’
• Paul and Lyn for your outstanding hospitality
• Mathew for organising such a great adventure
• All the members and friends that made the weekend.
Jet boating Australia