Fossickers Flat, Bundanoon Creek and Acacia Flat
25-26 March 2023
By JOHN WARD
A great weekend exploring the Kangaroo Valley was had with fifteen members of the River Canoe Club—starting with a great 30 kilometre paddle down the Shoalhaven Gorge on the Saturday, followed by a 22 kilometre paddle on the Sunday down the Kangaroo River. A great destination just a couple of hours from Sydney—we even got the chance to follow the early State Election results down at the Friendly Inn in Kangaroo Valley township.
The weekend was originally planned to include the Friday before, but severe thunderstorms were forecast so the Friday needed to be abandoned. This paddle was open to new paddlers to give them a taste of the Club’s weekend adventures. It was great to see some people that had recently attended the RCC Beginners Course come along.
Much of the time we paddled as one large group, but at times we split to cater for our different abilities. The conditions were good for paddling and a pace set to be enjoyable rather than demanding. With this approach several people achieved distances they never considered possible.
The group met at Tallowa Dam on Saturday morning and paddled into the Shoalhaven Gorge. Within four kilometres we were paddling with spectacular cliffs towering 400 metres or more in height. At about five kilometres we stopped for a group photo before splitting into two groups, with half of us continuing to Fossickers Flat (27 kilometres return) and the other half heading back to Tallowa Dam and beyond to paddle Bundanoon Creek (24 kilometres return). We had a couple of hours of rain late morning and into lunch, but with no wind this was never a problem.
The drive from Tallowa Dam to the Bendeela campsite included a period of heavy rain and I cringed at the thought of having to pitch a tent in the rain. In the end the rain stopped before I reached Bendeela and held off long enough to pitch the tent and sit around for a drink and snacks with everyone. We opted for a civilised trip into the Friendly Inn at Kangaroo Valley Village for a well-deserved evening meal.
On Sunday morning, we paddled as one group from Bendeela down the river and into Lake Yarrunga to Acacia Flat for lunch. The scenery changes from a river into a 400 metre wide lake at Acacia Flat. Kangaroos lazed on the banks and various water birds shared the waterway. The hills and mountains are set back giving this a grand, open vista. The weather started overcast but changed to broken clouds and was again perfect for paddling. The return trip to Acacia Flat totalled 22 kilometres. The icing on the cake for those that had left their tents up was that everything was dry.
For those wanting to explore Kangaroo Valley, the Club will run another trip in the late spring. This is planned to be a bush camping weekend where we paddle to a campground at Acacia Flat.