I left my backyard Thursday morning on a small sit-on-top kayak, and it was a good choice swapping out my large fiberglass canoe for a more maneuverable craft to navigate the Yea river. For the following six hours there wasn’t a section longer than 10 minutes that didn’t require me jumping on and around logs and snags to heave the kayak over, sometimes sliding off the top of massive trees that had fallen across the river, plunging underwater momentarily before resurfacing and to continue to the next obstacle. I would be very surprised if anyone else had ventured down this section of river in many years!
In addition to the mass of fallen timber and vegetation, the Yea river is also home to a vast variety of wildlife. Wetland birds, parrots and honey eaters roam the banks and perch on branches, while in the river turtles wander and sun themselves on logs. At one point I rounded a corner coming across three wallabies swimming, they were surprised by my appearance and hightailed it out of there! The twisting and densely covered, slow flowing waters of the mysterious muddy creek eventually opens up into the massive Goulburn river. It is here at the confluence I make camp for the first night, thoroughly satisfied after my Yea river exploration and generally stoked to have started my journey towards the ocean.
I am still well within the shire, though I am now a few paddle strokes closer to the ocean.