Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Vogalonga Down Unda

Home > Adelaide > Fun Things To Do | Escape the City | Community Events | Adventure
by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at https://www.facebook.com/walkeatshare
Event:
Don't miss this slow race in South Australia's Slow Town
The Vogalonga started, in Italy, over 40 years ago when a bunch of passionate Venetians got together to creatively protest against the increase of noisy, motorised craft on the waterways of Venice at that time. (Possibly against the increasing incidence of cruise liners also). They hatched an idea for a 'non-competitive' race that should be open to everyone and any type of non-motorized craft.

In 2020 a group of South Australians, who saw the potential for a similar event on our River Murray, organised a 'Vogalonga Down Unda' to take place in Goolwa. The setting was perfect; not only is Goolwa located on Australia's longest, and the world's third-longest navigable river, Goolwa is Australia's first Cittaslow (Slow Town). It's a perfect setting for a non-motorized, non-competitive regatta.

Goolwa Venetian boat. Photo by Rod Flintoff.
Goolwa Venetian boat. Photo by Rod Flintoff.


The event was originally scheduled for April 2020, with a hundred entries on the water and an accompaniment of land-based activities involving food, wine and music. A certain, unwelcome visitor put paid to those well-laid plans and a smaller event, without food, wine and music, took place in October 2020.

Photo from Hindmarsh Island Bridge by Rod Flintoff
Photo from Hindmarsh Island Bridge by Rod Flintoff


Undaunted, organisers planned, and held, another small-scale event in May of 2021. In 2022 Vogalonga Down Unda will proceed in its full glory.

Dragon boats line up, early morning 2021
Dragon boats line up, early morning 2021


The event will start, with a Welcome to Country (Ramindjeri) message at 9am on Sunday April 24.

Welcome to Ramindjeri Country. Photo by Rod Flintoff.
Welcome to Ramindjeri Country. Photo by Rod Flintoff.


A variety of watercraft, led by some of Goolwa's famous (motorized) vintage wooden boats, will start one of three courses from the Goolwa Aquatic Club (GAC) and proceed, with much fanfare and fun, along their chosen route. The main course is 12kms long but participants can choose a shorter, 6.5km course or an extended, 16.5km course.

Goolwa wooden boat. Photo by Rod Flintoff
Goolwa wooden boat. Photo by Rod Flintoff


Observers are encouraged to cheer the boats along from the Hindmarsh Island Bridge or other vantage points along Liverpool Rd, where locals are expected to dress up their jetties and cheer the boats on.

Viewing area - Vogalonga Down Unda
Viewing area - Vogalonga Down Unda


Participants in the past two events have rowed and paddled an eclectic collection of craft including stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, skulls, tinnies, dragon boats and even Venetian-style gondolas.

Stand Up 'Peddle' Board, Goolwa.
Stand Up 'Peddle' Board, Goolwa.


Colourful costumes and uniforms have been a feature as well as flags, banners and a bit of festive noise.

Colourful Vogalonga Down Unda participants. Photo by Rod Flintoff.
Colourful Vogalonga Down Unda participants. Photo by Rod Flintoff.


The youngest entrant, so far, was 8 years old, and the oldest, 92. Some participants were dogs.

Stand Up Paddle Dog. Goolwa.
Stand Up Paddle Dog. Photo by Rod Flintoff.


This year's event has attracted three hundred participants in one hundred 'boats' so far. Kayaks and canoes can be hired locally, from Canoe The Coorong, for those who do not own their own craft.

Kayak. Vogalonga Down Unda.
Kayak. Photo by Rod Flintoff.


With social restrictions reduced, land-based activities are set to proceed so everyone can enjoy lunch, snacks, drinks and music until 3pm.

Vogalonga Down Unda. Photo by Rod Flintoff.
Rowboat. Photo by Rod Flintoff.


Vogalonga Down Unda 2022 is promising to be huge fun. Find more details here.

Dragon Boats by Rod Flintoff.
Dragon Boats by Rod Flintoff.

Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  98
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Non-competitive fun for all
When: Sunday April 24, 9am - 3pm.
Where: Goolwa, South Australia
Cost: Cost to register is $35 for adults and $25 for children. Includes a $10 lunch voucher.
Your Comment
Looks like a cool event. Nice article Karen.
by Irenke Forsyth (score: 3|2582) 129 days ago
What a spectacle Karen. Looks like fun for those on and off the water.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4122) 130 days ago
Articles from other cities
Featured
Top Events
32
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions