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Camden Haven River, Kendall


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After all the recent smoke, heat & winds, Sunday was a perfect day to be out paddling on the beautiful Camden Haven River at Kendall.

With everything still so parched, it was a pleasure to paddle the calm waters bathed in a light sprinkling of rain. The droplets looked lovely as they landed gently on the water. As we headed downstream it was hazy in the distance & views towards North Brother were smudged somewhat mysteriously against the sky. In the absence of the smell of smoke, this haziness was quite atmospheric.

This is always a calming & relaxing stretch of river, meandering as it does down towards the highway bridge, & everyone ( nine of us ) enjoyed the scenery & the pleasant conditions. (Another four paddled across Watson Taylor Lake from Dunbogan & caught up with us at the bridge).

I saw five Azure Kingfishers streaking along the banks, narrowly avoiding collisions with branches,  a swamp fowl preening at its own reflection & two fearsome looking ‘watch’ geese. As we hugged the right hand bank going down the strait towards Rossglen I spotted a grove of grassplants/trees just below the railway line. You have to be right alongside the bank to see them. They are amazing, growing straight out of the rocks on a slope!!

Back at Kendall we washed our boats & settled down under the verandah of the shed for lunch.

Thanks Stephen for leading the paddle & Bill for the longer one.

Cheers
Caroline

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Logans Crossing & Watson Taylor Lake


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We had another lovely day on the water last Sunday & got our paddle in before the wind really kicked in.

13 members left from Kendall to explore Logans Crossing while 4 of us departed from Dunbogan, paddling across Watson Taylor Lake & into the Camden Haven River. We had a comfortable crossing which we did in 35 minutes & the wind just started to pick up strength as we pulled in on the sandy beach for a rest stop. In case anyone is thinking of using the Apex Park ramp, it is closed off for ramp & retaining wall upgrades. We went over the bridge, veered right & launched at the little beach just a short distance up the road. The Camden Haven River is always a pleasant paddle with lovely trees & views. Just around the corner from our rest stop there was a group of ibis grazing peacefully amongst the mangroves. When we reached the bridge we checked out the ramp off Sunnyvale Road as an alternative to the one at Rossglen & then proceeded up the long straight. A couple of kms from Kendall we spotted some of the other group which had ventured downstream & caught up with them. Back at Kendall we all washed & loaded up & headed over to the little park for lunch.

Thanks Greg for doing the car shuffle for the Dunbogan paddlers & to Peter for leading the Logans Crossing paddle.

Hope everyone enjoyed their paddle.

Cheers
Caroline

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Queens Lake Nature Reserve


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Last Thursday five of us enjoyed a beautiful paddle from Queens Lake Nature Reserve.

The weather was perfect & we launched from the picnic area at what we now call ‘Bob’s Creek’s little brother’. This is a pretty little paddle but very short due to fallen timber. Once in the water we veered right & paddled around the perimeter of Queens Lake, enjoying the tall trees rising up alongside us & the occasional rocky outcrop occupied by cormorants. There were lots of black swans on the lake & their cries are always a bit haunting as they drift across water. The entrance to the ‘real’ Bob’s Creek came into view & we turned into it. This is a lovely paddle, not quite as long, wide or open as Herons Creek, but with some real highlights including some huge sunken trees which, while not a threat to our kayaks, looked stunning with the sunlight illuminating them in the relatively shallow water. The trees along the banks were beautiful as was the whole atmosphere of the creek, as well as Mother Nature’s landscaping features here & there. After coming to a stop at a tree across the creek, we headed back & paddled out across the lake to the entrance to Herons Creek. The lake was calm & picturesque, a panoramic landscape of distant mountains with water in the foreground. The swans were gliding elegantly all around us & there was one lone cormorant perched on a solitary twig like branch in the middle of nowhere; it certainly found it’s very own personal space! After enjoying the wide open spaces we headed back on an angle across the lake & back to the picnic area having spent a very pleasant two hours exploring. As the Water Rat said to Mole in ‘The Wind in the Willows’…”Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”.

One of the other lovely features of this paddle is the drive in to the picnic area off Bob’s Creek Rd. It is a dirt road in good condition flanked by magnificent tall timber which gives it a real forest feel. The picnic area itself is in a stunning location with views across the lake towards Laurieton.

Thanks to Peter, Carolyn & Bruce for joining us.

Cheers
Caroline

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Connection Creek to the Upper Maria


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Hi everyone,

Last Tuesday our paddle converted from Connection Creek to the Upper Maria…total serendipity as it turned out.  Bill always does a quick check in the hope that we can navigate this part of the river once again, & this time he hit the jackpot. We have not been able to paddle up here any distance for some years due to fallen timber & narrow sections choked with water rushes etc. It was a bonus as neither Greg or David had been up here before, & it did not disappoint.

The drive up Maria River Rd. was dusty & the atmosphere heavy with recent bushfire haze, but this cleared as the morning progressed into a glorious day.
We paddled up with no serious obstacles to contend with & went a bit past the lovely deck where we have enjoyed a cuppa & rest stop in the past. The owner now has a lovely rustic sign which says ‘Visitors Welcome’, a pleasant change from ‘Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted (or shot!!)’.

This paddle is special & I think it is because it still looks & feels like a wild, densely vegetated, untamed environment. The early wattles were in flower, there was a lot of birdsong up in the canopy, the elk ferns were abundant & the melaleucas with their peeling white bark were beautiful. When you have not done a particular paddle for awhile it is exciting to come across landmarks that jog your memory. The rusty, skeletal remains of ‘The George’, a little boat, were visible just below the surface where it was left to deteriorate & ultimately sink; the beautiful, winding water corridor flanked by feather duster topped grass plants, old trees with gnarled, white trunks & fallen branches now decorative landscape features in the river. On the top of one old tree trunk that had broken off, Greg spotted a sassy goanna with its tail hanging down. The elk ferns are still as numerous as before & the shadows & reflections amongst the trees were superb.

Back at the cars we enjoyed lunch & a cuppa & reflected on how beautiful this paddle is. Definitely back on the schedule.

Cheers
Caroline

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Camden Haven River at Rossglen


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Hi everyone,

After a windy day last Saturday ( July 13 ), it was great to paddle out on the Sunday onto the calm waters of the Camden Haven River at Rossglen. The humour of the locals about their launching spot could be seen in the wording of their rustic sign which read:

“BEACH: CAFÉ COMING SOON” with an arrow pointing to the ‘ramp’ which has deteriorated considerably since our last visit….so thanks Ray, Bill & Richard & others who assisted with getting kayaks in & out.

We don’t often paddle this section of the Camden Haven which is a shame as there are lovely views of North Brother mountain as well as tall, graceful trees lining the banks. It has a bit of a Dreamtime feel about it. On our way down towards the lake I jokingly asked Martin ( who paddles here regularly ) if he had organised any sea eagles to do a fly over for us. Right on cue we heard, & then saw, a pair of beautiful white bellied sea eagles in a tree right in front of us. We wondered why they were making such a song & dance up on their perch but the answer, which was up above us, became clear almost immediately. Two wedge tailed eagles were on a reconnaissance mission. The sea eagles were most concerned about the presence in their territory of the wedgetails & were very vocal in their disapproval. The wedgetails, for their part, continued to be provocative by gliding, soaring & diving in the disputed airspace!! We paddled on, past little weekenders & the Oxenbridges property where we have enjoyed several great camps in the past. We veered left & Watson Tayloe Lake opened up before us. We pulled in for morning tea at the little sandy beach at the end of their property. From here we could enjoy the lake vistas over to North Brother & south towards Johns River. As it was a cool morning, it was nice to find a sunny patch to stand in. The scene was gorgeous with the sun glinting on the water. This spot is practically at the midway point of the lake & gives you a clear picture of the size of the lake area.

We paddled back steadily & negotiated the bank again. Thanks again for all the assistance here. After washing down our boats we found a lovely sunny spot to enjoy lunch.

Thanks to those 13 who came along; we hope you enjoyed your paddle.

Cheers
Caroline

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