Camden Haven River at Kendall

No Comments

 Hi everyone,

Well it was great to get out for a paddle on the lovely water on the Camden Haven River at Kendall last Sunday. Between the flood & its aftermath of floating debris, closed roads and ferries being out I felt like I had not paddled with a group for ages.

Thirteen of us spread across 3 groups enjoyed the sunny conditions, getting back to Kendall before the wind really sprang up (Bill & Colin got some strong gusts while crossing Watson Taylor Lake). Stephen’s group paddled from Kendall to the lake & return, while Bruce’s group paddled to just past the highway bridge & return. After the paddle we had lunch under the verandah of the Kendall boatshed rather than going to the park which sustained damage during the flood.

The Camden Haven is a fascinating area with so much history and the local historical society has compiled some fascinating facts via a timeline for the area. 

On 12 May 1770, Captain Cook sighted three mountains which he called The Three Brothers. Next came John Oxley who crossed the Camden Haven River on 15 October 1818. He named it after Lord Camden, John Jeffreys Pratt, 2nd Earl and First Marquess of Camden, 1759 – 1840. Watson Taylor Lake was named after Camden’s Private Secretary, Watson Taylor. By 1827 soldiers were stationed at Soldiers Point, on the edge of Soldiers Bay on the east side of Watson Taylor Lake. Their purpose was to intercept and escaped convicts from the penal settlement.
In 1883 the Queens Lake punt started and ran until October 1905 ferrying people and goods across to Limeburners Creek and Bob’s Creek. Against strong protests from the local community, the punt was taken by council to run on the Hastings River. (I have included a photo of an old punt that used to run from Camden Haven to Dunbogan). In 1891 the Village of Camden Haven was renamed Kendall after the poet Henry Kendall who lived there for a period of time. In 1893 the first bridge was opened at Rossglen, or Camden Haven Punt as it was known then. It was described as a hand operated, lifting drawbridge. Punts and other river craft had to whistle for the bridge’s operator, a Mr. Teague, to rush to open it. In 1898 a timber bridge over the river at Kendall was built and by 1915 the railway bridge was opened. The north coast railway line runs for a section alongside the Camden Haven River & it always sounds at odds with the tranquil surroundings paddling down towards the bridge to hear it rumbling along through the trees ( see photo).

On 19 February 1920, a German mine was found washed up on the beach south of Point Perpendicular, Camden Haven Head. It is thought to have been laid by the German raider ‘Wolf’ as it passed up the Australian coast dropping mines.

The Camden Haven River starts up on the Great Escarpment & Comboyne Plateau at an elevation of 698m. It flows for 72.4kms through state forests, valleys & through historic townships like Lorne and Kendall. It flows through Watson Taylor Lake and joins with water from Queens Lake and heads to North Haven and Dunbogan, finally entering the ocean at Camden Head.

Thanks to our leaders and we hope you enjoyed your paddle.

Well done to those who took on the 20 kms long paddle: Rosemary, Kevin, Bill V, Bruce & Lynne & Stephen.