Seven of us enjoyed perfect conditions on our Wilson River paddle last Sunday. The water was smooth as satin & a slightly overcast sky shed a different light on the riverscape, creating a different mood. This is a paddle where it does not have to be bright sunlight for it to be beautiful. A dull light seems to enhance the different hues of green & what some might pass off as ordinary becomes extraordinary by virtue of the light & shade, texture & composition.
There are some beautiful scenic stretches along the river’s course, ranging from the tall, vertical white trunks of the river gums which seem to march up the slopes, masses of cascading vines adorning some trees, grassy islands dotted here & there to the backdrop of darker green hills which seem to wrap around the river.
With a good run in tide we had no trouble negotiating the shallows above the cluster of little grassy outcrops round about the half way mark. This is such a pretty part of the river & it was nice to just be able to soak it all up without scouting around all the time for rocks beneath the kayaks! I was surprised how overgrown our regular morning tea/swimming spot has become with most of the river rocks at the water’s edge camouflaged by grasses & weeds. While most got out for a leg stretch, Stephen, Bill V & myself pushed on through a few obstacles & were rewarded with the call of bellbirds, cows that looked like they had been painted into the landscape & some lovely reflections. It feels wonderfully remote up here & as Stephen commented it is these extra experiences that make it all so worthwhile. I spotted some delicate little waterlily flowers nestling atop giant lily pads; they had fringed edges, almost like some orchids. Our paddle back to Tele Point was just as enjoyable with the sound of birdsong up in the trees, a light breeze & sunlight throwing a spotlight on the white tree trunks. Bill W was waiting for us, enjoying a cup of coffee & the weekend papers after paddling up from Riverside. The day had warmed up & we had lunch under the picnic shelter.
Thanks Stephen for leading this paddle.
A little bit of information on the Wilson River & Telegraph Point for those who are interested.
The Wilson River rises on the south east slopes of Mount Banda Banda in Willi Willi National Park flowing south east to its confluence with the Maria River near Telegraph Point. It is 69 kms long & descends 559m. It is named after Lieutenant W.E.B Wilson, engineer & inspector of works with the first settlement in Port Macquarie. Telegraph Point gets its name from the telegraph line which crossed the river in 1869. The river played an important role in the logging of the surrounding forest & there are the remains of several old wharves, the most well know being Log Wharf after which the reserve is named. The first land grants issued in the area (the region was formerly known as ‘Prospect’ ) were in 1832. The present day bridge over the Wilson & above the reserve at Telegraph Point replaced an old single lane timber bridge. There also used to be a railway station at Tele Point but it was closed in February 1983.