Party: Clint Felmingham, Marty Frappell, Paul Griffiths, Elizabeth Sharaq
Leader: Paul Griffiths
Photos and video: https://www.flickr.com/photos/130167675@N03/albums/72157673626687046
After dropping a car at Badgerys Lookout near Tallong in the Southern Highlands, we walked down the well-made track from Long Point Lookout. This drops about 400m into the Shoalhaven Gorge, with spectacular views up and down the river, and brought us to the river around 11.00. The river was only at 0.94m on the Hillview gauge, compared to 1.50 last time we were here, but this stretch turned out to be fine at that level – it would be perfect for beginners. There was enough water to sneak through the flooded forest at Long Point and to ride the little chute back down to the main river as our first rapid.
Although there were only four of us on this trip we met a group led by ex-SUBW member and packrafting maven Jeremy Platt, and also a gentleman checking out the course for an adventure race, with his son along for the ride. We all went down the river together, seven packrafts in all, which was a great sight. Jeremy gave us some great tips, demonstrated how to roll a packraft, and we played some ‘packraft touch rugby’, which was a lot of fun, and then paddled across to the sunny side of the gorge for lunch. At this point Elizabeth, does not have a raft yet and was sharing, headed back up the hill to the cars with another non-SUBWer. The rest of us headed downstream, encountering about 15 rapids, mostly broad rocky ones where the main problem was not grounding in the shallow water, but a couple of narrow chutes with good standing waves. At the largest of these we took turns to film people coming down – a really fun ride.
It took us about 1.5 hrs to do the 9km to Badgery’s crossing and by 3.30 we were packing up the rafts for the walk up to the lookout – 450m vertical in 1.5km and pretty brutal with a raft, paddle, wet wetsuit, etc! We were back at the cars by 5.00 and finished with excellent pizza in Bundanoon.