Paddlers from Bendigo Canoe Club visit the Serpentine Creek

Published on 21 September 2017

Members of the Bendigo Canoe Club enjoyed a new experience this month when they made their first-ever visit to Loddon Shire’s brand-new Serpentine Creek Canoe Trail.

Starting at Durham Ox, the 5km-long self-guided course takes in six key points of interest with floating trail markers pointing to little-known historical and natural features.

The first marker points to a former inn, originally constructed in 1848 and rebuilt nine years later after it was destroyed in a ferocious bushfire.

At various times also acting as a post office, store, ballroom and Council chamber, the building is now a private residence.

Later markers alert paddlers to trees scarred and marked by ancient indigenous hands, majestic gums and black box, platypus habitat and the feeding platforms of native water rats.

Club member Greg Cowling said the paddlers greatly enjoyed the outing.

“What made it distinctive were sights such as the ‘ring trees’ hundreds of years old, the birdlife, nesting holes in tree trunks and even an eagle’s nest,” Mr Cowling said.

“There’s a pamphlet provided which points out the features of the trip, like scarred canoe trees and other signs of past Aboriginal activity.

“The water’s high – near the top of the banks – so as we were going along we could see into the surrounding forest.

“Because there’s no flow, with the water held back by weirs, you could probably paddle it all year round.”   

Established in 1974, Bendigo Canoe Club has about 70 members and caters for recreational paddlers through to serious competitors.

Based at Lake Weeroona, club members participate in a range of kayaking disciplines including flat water marathons and sprints, wild water, slalom and ocean skis.

The club hosts weekly events, but the annual Bendigo Cup, held every October, is a key fundraiser for the year.

“This year’s event is planned for 21-22 October, with racing on the Loddon River at Bridgewater on the Saturday and a family day at Lake Weeroona on Sunday,” Mr Cowling said.

“Both are open to everyone and there’ll be spot prizes given away.”

For more information on canoeing in Loddon Shire, phone the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on (03) 5494 3489 or visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au