Well we had a full contingent for last Sunday’s paddle from Sancrox upriver to Sarahs & King Creek. It was a lovely morning weather wise & thanks to Di’s friends Keith & Liz Charles for allowing us to launch from their property. It is a beautiful spot just before the Rawdon Island Bridge ( coming from Port ) which they had kindly slashed for us. We welcomed Bruce & Lynne back to Sunday paddles & new members Grant, Steve & Kevin ( & Kevin’s daughter Natasha who was visiting).
Due to the numbers, we split into two groups with Stephen & Greg as leaders. At various times when I was taking pictures along the way, the kayaks looked like an Armada advancing up the river. As the tide was low, we got excellent close ups of where the treacherous rocks are situated under the bridge & up near Narrow Gut. It was pleasant paddling up around the islands before linking up with the main river again, but we did not get far up Sarahs Creek due to a fallen tree. A few of us paddled on to King Creek & had better luck but did not paddle all the way up. We crossed paths with the second group on the return trip & all made our way back down to Sancrox. Lunch was back at the launch point overlooking the delightful little ‘Monet’ lilypond.
Sancrox is approximately 12 kms west of Port Macquarie. Records from the Mid North Coast Library revealed that surveys of land around Port started in the 1830’s with a view towards opening up land for free settlers.
The survey here commenced in this area in 1831 & the starting point was the south west corner of the township named Hay ( named after Colonial Under-Secretary Robert William Hay ). It was known as Portion 1. There was a plan for a town but it never eventuated & for generations the area was referred to as Haytown or Haytown Reserve. By the end of the 1800’s there was a timber mill, a wharf & a punt across the river to Rawdon Island. The river at the time was impassable past this point for shipping due to a reef of rocks ( the remnants of which you see at low tide ). The area was, in the beginning, variously called St. Croix, St. Rocks & San Roch ( the latter meaning ‘saint on a sunken rock’) & was the site of a government farm run by a Frenchman. The name Sancrox survived all others, possibly as a misuse of the word San Roch, & was gazetted as such when timber mill workers cottages stood thereabouts. Eventually, the rocks were blasted through, the river dredged & from 1835 onwards ships were able to travel up as far as where Bain Bridge now spans the river.
Sarahs Creek flows from Cowarra Forest & is named after Sarah Allman ( wife of Captain Francis Allman, Commandant & Magistrate of Port Macquarie ) & her first child. Sarahs Creek Bridge was built in 1886 & is purportedly named after one Sarah Suters, wife of local farmer James Suters.
Thanks to everyone who turned out to support this paddle & to Stephen & Greg for leading.
Hope everyone enjoyed their morning on the water