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Young adventurer’s Murray River ascent not deflected by venomous snakes and extreme weather
Young adventurer and all-round nature man Chris Hayward (19) has just passed the half way mark of his ascent of Australia's longest river the Murray. He already covered over 750 miles (1,200 km). When he runs out of river Chris will trek for 100’s of miles to the finish on the continents highest mountain. On previous adventures Chris has survived venomous bites, extreme weather and multiple kayak capsizings non of which has discouraged his exploits. During his ascent of the Murray he has been rescuing and introducing wildlife to local children and indulging in his favourite hobby wildlife photography.
Chris embarked on his first adventure at the ripe old age of 16 when hitch hiked solo 4,600km across Australia. He began this adventure at the end of last year (19 December 2013) at the mouth of the Murray River, in the Southern Ocean. His plan is to kayak 2,520km upstream before taking the kayak out and hiking the last 236km to the Murray source. But he will not stop there once he reaches the source, he plans to head east and trek to and then climb the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko, Australia's highest peak.
Speaking about reaching the half way mark on the Murray Chris said “People told me it is impossible to kayak up the Murray River, well with some careful planning and consideration there is only one way to find out, now here I am, passed the half way point and prepared for the increasing flow. One of my favourite parts of all my expeditions is educating and inspiring kids and adults alike in relation to nature and adventure!”
Throughout his Murray ascent Chris has rescued various types of wildlife including an Eastern Grey Kangaroo which was stuck almost neck deep in river mud. He also rescued an Eastern Brown Snake from a man beating it which caused a the snake few broken ribs and a damaged back.
Chris has encountered many mishaps including being bitten by two venomous snakes and a redback spider. He also spent an entire night on a cliff face in freezing weather and end up in hospital after capsizing six times previously on the Murray River. He is following in the footsteps of British explorer Captain Charles Sturt who was the first to map much of the Murray and Darling river system and recognised as discovering the Murray River in 1830. The expedition is expected to take between four and seven months as it depends on rainfall and river flow.
Chris gain his skills and knowledge of long distance river kayaking on a previous expedition. At the beginning of August 2012, Chris set off from Biggara, Victoria and kayaked for 99 days down the Murray River. The trip will be raising funds for Greenfleet, an environmental charity. Greenfleet encourages people to avoid & reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then offset what's left by planting biodiverse native forests in Australia.