Trip Reports | Southern Highlands

Kangaroo Valley

Bendeela to Fossickers Flat

13-14 March 2021


Club members enjoyed an action-packed weekend in the Kangaroo Valley, exploring Lake Yarrunga. It’s a perfect spot for beginner and experienced paddlers alike. It consists of two flooded river valleys—Kangaroo River and Shoalhaven River—and approximately 35km of flat water held by Tallowa Dam.

On Saturday morning, after setting up base camp at Bendeela Camping Ground,  we all headed out to Lake Yarrunga in Morton National Park. After a briefing, we launched our boats and headed off into the remote wilderness of the Shoalhaven Gorge. We were well prepared, with plenty of water on board to cope with the hot weather conditions expected. The highlight of this paddle was the spectacular sight of near vertical sandstone cliffs of 400-500m high, largely untouched, without a road, bushtrack or powered craft in sight!

At the 7km mark, the group stopped for a short break and a few photos.  At this point the group split into two, with the larger group heading further up the river towards Fossickers Flat. The smaller group, led by Simon, headed back to the launch site for lunch.

The return to the launch site was eventful, with the smaller group coming across a novice paddler who was sick and in need of assistance. Simon came to the rescue, towing this paddler back to shore safely.  Jackie, Rob and Simon assisted the paddler to collate his things and provided first aid assistance before he was driven away for medical care.

The two groups reunited later in the day back at base camp.  A few members enjoyed a refreshing swim and a cold beverage to cope with the heat. Simon and John enjoyed a second paddle of the Kangaroo Valley rapids at twilight, before returning for dinner.

A cook-up at camp, followed by a visit from the Easter wombat, left everybody in good spirits.  Col brought out the guitar and treated everybody to a few tunes.  Unfortunately this was cut short by a downpour, with the group running for the cover of their tents and retiring early, lulled to sleep by the sound of raindrops falling around them.

A few brave souls ventured out the next morning for another paddle in the rain, whilst others packed up early to head for a hot breakfast in town. A terrific weekend was had by all! Thank you to John, Simon, Steffi, Murray, Andrew and Scott for organising the trip and providing options so that everybody could take part and have a great time!

Kangaroo Valley 2021-03-13
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