The Hard Way: Australian’s Upstream Epic

Chris Hayward becomes first, and probably last, to ascend Australia's Murray River

Beginning. Courtesy Chris Hayward

Beginning. Courtesy Chris Hayward

After six months spent paddling upstream on the Murray River, 20-year-old Australian adventurer Chris Hayward stood on the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko, becoming the first and likely last person to ascend the full length of Australia’s Murray River system.

Hayward kayaked 2,200km upstream from the Southern Ocean to Lake Hume before completing a 350km trek to the Murray Rivers source and the Summit of Mount Kosciuszko.

Middle. Courtesy Chris Hayward

Middle. Courtesy Chris Hayward

Along the way Hayward allegedly rescued deadly snakes and saved wild kangaroos from mud. Half way through he was faced with the decision to continue against doctor’s orders or quit when he was hospitalized with poisoning and severe gastroenteritis. Hayward persevered and continued the expedition for another three months.

Hayward claims to have endured temperatures ranging from 23 to 127 degrees, as well as gale force winds and storms.

Towards the end of the expedition, Hayward faced very strong currents and poor river conditions, but he battled on.

End. Courtesy Chris Hayward

End. Courtesy Chris Hayward

He then began the 350km hike from Hume to the source, hiking Australia’s most rugged terrain with a 88-pound backpack.

Three weeks later he became the first person in history to have ascended Australia’s longest river from Sea to Source and ascend its highest peak.

The expedition benefitted the environmental charity Greenfleet.

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