The Darter Trail
One of a series of seven canoe trails on the Peel Region’s rivers and waterways, The Darter Trail begins in the delta of the Murray River and its pretty islands, and can be entered by a number of access points.
All year round canoeing can be enjoyed on this trail, which can be enjoyed as a short segment or a long spell right up past the Ravenswood Bridge.
The Darter Trail is a tidal trail suitable for exploring year round. Meander through the Murray River delta past bushland islands and holiday homes and watch dolphins and the abundant bird life.
The trail stays close to the inlet shore and there are beach landings at the Peel Inlet end of the trail. You may have a short walk with your canoe in the shallows. Because of its long and slender neck, the Australasian Darter is sometimes called the snakebird. Usually inhabiting freshwater wetlands, darters swim with their bodies submerged beneath the water’s surface, with only the sinuous neck protruding above the water, enhancing its serpentine qualities.
Darters forage by diving to depths of about 60 centimetres, and impaling fish with its sharp, spear-like beak. Small fish are swallowed underwater, but larger ones are brought to the surface, where they are flicked off the bill (sometimes into the air) and then swallowed head-first.
The Murray River is popular for power boating, and the banks dotted with jetties and riverfront homes. At the mouth of the river, on Cooleenup Island, you’ll see Coopers Mill which dates back to 1843 and was the Peel’s first flour mill.
To undertake this trail, you should be experienced in canoeing and paddling, be able to swim confidently, always let a responsible person know of your trip plans, and keep to the right in boating channels or canals.
Admission Prices | Free Departures | Beach canoe-launching site at boat ramps at Wharf Cove and River Road South Yunderup, plus boat ramps at North Yunderup Road, Pinjarra Road (opposite Ravenswood Hotel) and Murray Bend. You can also commence this trail in the mouth of the Serpentine River (see Herron Trail) and link to the Murray River via waterways. Duration | Ranging. Sections from 4kms - 12 kms return. Regional Information: Shire of Murray (08) 9531 7777 City of Mandurah (08) 9550 3777