PaddleNSW club Rivers – Recreational Paddle ‘Nepean Gorge & Hawkesbury River’ by Tracy Hudson

PaddleNSW club Rivers – Recreational Paddle ‘Nepean Gorge & Hawkesbury River’

Nepean Gorge, Sunday 19th May

This trip was hosted by Rivers and attracted 19 recreational kayakers (and Dolly the Dog) on a clear and sunny Sunday.

There were short rec boats, skis, sea kayaks and whitewater boats on the day with the group, or more correctly groups depending on boat speed, being guided by Deb Cunneen, George Cowan, Steve Wellman and Tracy Hudson, all accredited instructors/guides.

The trip started at Tench Reserve, Jamisontown and up the gorge travelling through an unspoiled stretch of river.

At the 7.5 kilometre mark everyone met up for lunch at a small landing place.  After we split into three groups, the faster paddlers heading upstream and the slower commencing the return paddle, with the intention of all kayakers arriving back at the put in at the same time.  Overall the fast kayakers covered 20 kms, the intermediates 17.5 kms and the slower 15 kms.

Post reloading the boats all headed of for coffee and cake at the local coffee shop; an excellent end to a good day.

Hawkesbury River (aka Colo River), Sunday 9th June

A trip hosted by Rivers, which attracted 8 kayakers, and Dolly out on another clear and sunny Sunday.

This trip started life as an overnighter to Gentlemans Halt on the Hawkesbury, however, as only a few people were interested in a weekend trip, but several interested in a day trip it was changed.

The Colo was chosen as it is one of the prettiest paddles close to Sydney through open, bushy country and a number of those wanting to come had not paddled it before.  The beauty of the river combined with ideal, sunny conditions made for an ideal day.


The start was at Skeleton Rock Reserve, Lower Portland, paddling upstream to the Putty Road Bridge; a 25 kilometre round trip (not 20 kms as stated in the River Guide). The group, led by Deb Cunneen and George Cowan, got underway at 10.30am and, after a break about halfway at which we were joined by some local bovines, reached the beach at the bridge at 1.15pm for lunch.

For the return we were on-water at 2.15pm and back at the put in by 4.30pm.  Tides helped in both directions; however, the incoming tide in the morning was less evident due to the negating effects of the river while the return leg was greatly assisted by the outgoing tide and river flow.