TOP 12 PADDLING
DESTINATIONS IN AUSTRALASIA SHOALHAVEN RIVER AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC 2014
MANY EXPERIENCES - ONE DESTINATION
Kayaking | 1
The waters of the Shoalhaven are paddling heaven with its extensive network of rivers, estuaries, lakes and beaches. The world is a gentler place when viewed from a kayak skimming over some of the cleanest water on the planet and exploring nature’s best-kept secrets. In this guide you’ll find a selection of local kayaking spots – however with over 100 beaches, and 170km of coastline along beaches and waterways, you’re sure to find your own favourite.
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KANGAROO VALLEY BERRY
RIVER OA EN L H AV
8 9 10
NOWRA GREENWELL POINT
16 15 CALLALA BAY CURRARONG MYOLA
HUSKISSON BEWONG WANDANDIAN
20 BASIN 23
VINCENTIA HYAMS BEACH
ST GEORGES BASIN SUSSEX INLET WRECK BAY CUDMIRRAH
25 CONJOLA FISHERMANS PARADISE
29 MOLLYMOOK ULLADULLA
31 30 BURRILL 34
RIVER CL YDE
Rivers Estuaries Lakes 100 beaches 170km coastline
TERMEIL BAWLEY POINT
For our online map of kayak launch spots, visit shoalhaven.com/kayak
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Kangaroo Valley SHOALHAVEN GORGE
Access Tallowa Dam. Day paddle or overnight camping upstream along Shoalhaven Gorge (3 hrs still-water paddling).
The towering sheer sandstone cliffs of the lower Shoalhaven Gorge are considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Australia, especially after rain with many waterfalls tumbling over the majestic cliffs. Only accessible by kayak, this remote area is tranquillity at its best with only the sounds of birds to wake you in the morning. HAMPDEN BRIDGE
Access from from Hampden Bridge, a 5km one-way paddle to Bendeela along the Kangaroo River, with several small rapids.
A great two-day paddle, camping in the bush. Lots of wildlife including wallabies, kangaroos, wombats as well as beautiful kingfishers and sea eagles. BENDEELA
Access Bendeela recreation area, explore as much of the river as you like, and return to car park.
Bamerang SHOALHAVEN RIVER
Access from Bamarang Rd. Dedicated kayak launch site with off-road parking, a great spot to explore the quiet upper reaches of the Shoalhaven River.
Berry BROUGHTON CREEK
Access from Wharf Road.
Beautiful paddle up and down Broughton Creek with long reeds BENDEELA - TALLOWA DAM 3 and pretty dragonflies, lovely Access Bendeela recreation area, views of the adjacent farm lands. 6 hrs paddle to Tallowa Dam. 4 | Kayaking
SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS PLAN YOUR TRIP – CHECK MAPS, WEATHER REPORTS, TIDES & RIVER LEVELS. TELL SOMEONE THE PLAN. Hampden Bridge, Kangaroo Valley
Back Forest BROUGHTON CREEK
Access from Back Forest Road near Bolong Rd. Paddle up Broughton Creek, or downstream out onto the Shoalhaven River.
Bomaderry BOMADERRY CREEK
Access from Scenic Drive southwest of bridge. Paddle in Nowra Creek, (Ben’s Walk area) under suspension bridge.
Access from Bomaderry Lions Park boat ramp.
FLAT ROCK DAM
It is a gentle paddle upstream to She Oak crossing on Bomaderry Creek Walk at high tide. You can also paddle downstream to the Shoalhaven River for breathtaking views. Continue through to Hanging Rock and Nowra Creek to paddle along Ben’s walk.
Nowra GREYS BEACH BOAT RAMP
upstream past the golf course and turn into the creek opposite Shoalhaven Zoo for a running waterfall in the right weather.
Access from Fairway Dr northwest of the bridge for kayaking up or downstream on the Shoalhaven River. Option to paddle
Kangaroo Valley Kayaks 10
Access from Yalwal Rd, a gentle, freshwater, non-tidal paddle about 1km long.
Shoalhaven Heads SHOALHAVEN/CROOKHAVEN
Access from River Rd. Still-water kayaking within closed Shoalhaven River – or along river to Greenwell Point (8km). Watch out for Comerong Island punt crossing – avoid underwater cable. Kayaking | 5
Moona Moona Creek, Huskisson
Shoalhaven Heads cont’d BERRYS BAY
JERVIS BAY NORTH
Access from Hay Ave boat ramp. Paddle amongst the mangroves at high tide.
Greenwell Point CROOKHAVEN RIVER
Access from ramps at Greenwell Point Road or West Street. Calalla Bay
Very fast-flowing tide – caution needed for inexperienced paddlers. However, by paddling with the tide a couple of very nice 1 to 2 hour round-trip paddles through the channels of Comerong Island and Bay can be followed.
Orient Point ORIENT POINT TO SALTWATER SWAMP 14 Access Orient Point boat ramp. Paddle around Goodnight, Crow and Billys Islands and up the Crookhaven River to Saltwater Swamp for birdwatching. 6 | Kayaking
Callala Bay 15
Access from boat ramp or end of Sheaffe St. Parking approx 10 metres from water’s edge at both locations. Still-water kayaking on Jervis Bay. Good chance of dolphin sightings. COONEMIA CREEK
Access from Coonemia Creek Rd off Currarong Rd. A majestic paddle on Coonemia Creek into Lake Wollumboola.
Huskisson CURRAMBENE CREEK
Access from Woollamia Boat Ramp, Frank Lewis Way. Currambene Creek meanders through mangroves, saltmarshes, and waterside villages for 9km to meet Jervis Bay at Huskisson.
SAFETY FIRST CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT IS IN GOOD WORKING ORDER BEFORE YOU GO.
Booderee National Park - Eco Tourism Kayaks
St Georges Basin
Vincentia JERVIS BAY WEST
ST GEORGES BASIN
Access from Church St off Elizabeth Drive. Beautiful views, paddle in the protected corner of the Bay. PLANTATION POINT
Access from Plantation Point Parade. Option of paddling in the protected cove, or paddle out around the point in the Bay.
Basin View ST GEORGES BASIN
Access from Island Point Road. Kayak on St Georges Basin and explore Sepulchre and Garden Islands.
Sanctuary Point ST GEORGES BASIN
Access anywhere along the waterfront.
Lots of great spots for a paddle. Calm, clear, shallow waters.
Access Basin View Boat Ramp. Kayak on St Georges Basin and head up Wandandian Creek. A large waterway with great paddling and fantastic birdlife (black swans, pelicans, sea eagles, herons, egrets, plovers, herons, wrens and parrots) and turtles in summer along with the amazing fishing.
Access Wandandian Creek picnic area in Corramy Regional Park. A leisurely paddle to admire waterbirds in the casuarina trees or follow the creek downstream St Georges Basin or upstream to beautiful rural scenery.
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Sussex Inlet SUSSEX INLET
Conjola Park 24
Access from Nielson Lane boat ramp, Cater Crescent Reserve or Chris Creek Boat Ramp.
Cows Crossing at Conjola Creek - Helen Moody
Sussex Inlet is a unique urban paddle winding through the town and waterway between St Georges Basin and Bherwerre Beach on the coast. Explore the canals of Sussex Inlet town or the shores of Booderee National Park.
Swanhaven SWAN LAKE
Access from Lake Drive or The Springs Rd. Swan Lake is adjacent Conjola National Park, with sheltered creeks, soft sandy beaches, scores of black swans, and impressive sand dunes.
Access from Valley Drive. More than just a lake paddle. Head up Conjola Creek to Fishermans Paradise or out to the ocean to catch a few waves.
Lake Conjola LAKE CONJOLA
Access from Norman Street boat ramp and paddle North-East into Berringer Lake.
Fishermans Paradise LAKE CONJOLA
Access Anglers Parade, paddle downstream into Lake Conjola.
Narrawallee NARRAWALLEE INLET
Access Normandy St boat ramp, only accessible on high tide. Narrawallee Inlet peacefully meanders through sandy lagoon, nature reserve, and farmland.
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SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS WEAR A LIFEJACKET AND VISIBLE CLOTHING. CARRY A TORCH AT NIGHT.
You may time your journey to paddle upstream and return on the outgoing tide. A good place to take your fishing rod. Option to paddle all the way upstream to Croobya Creek under the bridge at the Princes Highway on high tide.
Burrill Lake BURRILL LAKE
Access from Lions Park, Maria Ave or Moore Ave. Explore the beautiful estuary area and head upstream under the bridge into the lake. Follow the fresh waters of Stony Creek through farmland toward Milton.
Kings Point BURRILL LAKE
Access from James Cr.
Clyde River The Clyde River, known as Bhundoo to the local Yuin people, flows from the Budawang Mountains through uninhabited forests and national parks where its pure, clean waters meet the coast at Batemans Bay. CLYDE ESTUARY
Access Shallow Crossing to explore the tidal estuary section of the river. CLYDE RIDGE ROAD BRIDGE
A lovely coastal lagoon with glassy reflections of Pigeon
Shallow Crossing - The Escape
Access here for 10km downstream trip to Shallow Crossing. Some rapids and tricky sections for the adventurous. YADBORO BRIDGE
Lake Tabourie Access from Caravan Park Entrance Road.
House Mountain and five creeks to explore.
Access here for 17km downstream trip to Clyde Ridge Road Bridge. Good camping at Yadboro. Great wilderness paddle, some blockages by fallen trees and tight maneuvering. Kayaking | 9
KAYAKING TALES We asked some keen kayakers about their favourite experiences on the Shoalhaven waterways.
Kangaroo Valley Paddling Kangaroo Valley Kangaroo Valley
â€œA group of us headed to Kangaroo Valley on Saturday morning for our kayaking weekend, we marvelled that this place is only a two hour drive from Bondi, it is a must for anyone looking for a break from the city. The views over the misty valley and secluded river scenes are absolutely breathtaking. The kayak operators know the waterways really well and armed us with plenty of instructions for things to bring along, and maps showing best routes and camp spots. From the drop-off we paddled a few peaceful hours downstream where we found a great camping spot - all to ourselves. Took a late afternoon explore along one of the creeks, then back to camp for a cook-up and cool drink. We chatted late into the night under the stars. During the night we heard a wombat scratching very close by! Other wildlife we encountered on this trip were frogs, kangaroos, water dragons, echidna and lots of beautiful birdlife. Highlights of our second day were a delicious bacon and egg breakfast, glassy reflections in the water and a refreshing swim before our pickup. This is a must-do, good value trip for overseas visitors or those wanting to escape the city.â€?. - Heather Schimmer
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Shallow Crossing - The Escape
Shallow Crossing Tales “We drag our kayaks to the boat ramp, awkward in our life vests and rolled-up jeans. Afternoon light plays on the water, inviting us in. I launch my companions first, slipping on the mossy cement as I clamber into my own boat and push off with the paddle. Tipping and tentative at first, we break the surface, and then we’re paddling upriver, sun in our faces, sun off the water. Bonsaid trees lord over golden rocks, swallows dart, and beneath the clear shallow water, the tide flattens green fern over riverstones. A hawk follows, above, as we pass over rainbow riverstones. Everything is mirrored, either side: twice as many trees, two of each of us. The world above is the world below; we are in the water and in the trees, in-between and everywhere. Nowhere. Here, there is all the time in the world. It’s easy to forget.
Shallow Crossing - The Escape
This is Yuin country. An eel made this river tens of thousands of years ago – Bhundoo. Our heads are full of this story and others, our tongues still rolling over the words we have learned – new to us and older than anything we know. Our bellies are full of oysters, scallops and king fish, and produce from the land. Bhundoo is one of the cleanest rivers in the world. I feel whispers across the water, over my wet forearms, and stop paddling to listen.” - Inga Simpson. Extracted from a piece penned at the Shallow Crossing nature writing retreat in 2015 after a week’s immersion. Retreats are held annually at The Escape, luxury camping on the Clyde River.
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Gentle Jervis Bay “We hired 2 double sit-on-top kayaks for 2 hours. This was our first time. The kids’ first also. The kayaks and all other equipment are in excellent condition. The operators are helpful, friendly and thorough. They also lent us a dry bag to put our snacks in.
We started at Shark Net Bay and paddled across at a leisurely pace to Callala Beach. There was a little offshore wind but we had been told in our briefing to expect this, what to do and where to go to avoid getting too far out. Stopping at Callala, we walked in the shallows to find lots of hermit crabs and spotted a small stingray. The water was an amazing aqua and so clean. It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning and introduction to kayaking. We will be sure to do it again.” - Must do in Huskisson, Tripadviser review by CrystalStar6381 Jan 2015
“I did the half day tour with my 13yo son. The kayaks are good quality doubles, stable but still slippery enough to get through the water nicely. I would think anyone of reasonable health could do the half day trip without any difficulties. The tour is well organized, and they stick to a pretty tight schedule. There is a good attention to safety, and every detail is sorted to ensure the day runs to plan. The northern end of Jervis Bay is pretty spectacular, and we got very close visits from both dolphins and seals. In all, it’s a great day and well worth the effort.” - Brilliant Day Out, Tripadviser review by Wayne J
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Shallow Crossing - The Escape
The Clean, Crisp Clyde “The Clyde River from Yadboro Flat to Shallow Crossing by kayak or canoe is an adventure and experience to rank with anything this world has to offer. Having had the privilege to do this twice, I encourage anyone who is properly prepared to glide, paddle and drift down this exquisite natural gem in the Shoalhaven. Depending on the water levels the river is both beautiful and tough going at the same time. Fallen trees, small rapids, long still pools that mirror the surrounding rainforest, water dragons, platypus, glorious birdlife and so much more await those willing to put in the effort. Camping overnight near upside down bridge also allows you to experience this unique environment at night. The river has a wondrous surprise awaiting around every bend and this natural untouched treasure needs to be respected and protected. Never attempt this trip during or just after heavy rain. – Oh, and another highlight is no - or very limited - phone coverage!!!”
Clyde River waterwaysguide.org.au
– Steve Cannon of Ethik, Huskisson
“Find the quiet places of the Shoalhaven... search for the hidden beauties. Watch sea eagles learn to fish in Lake Termeil, explore the backwaters, paddle upstream from Shallow Crossing, chase kingfishers along creeks, follow little known trails through mangrove stands at Narrawallee. Make glow trails across black waters at night to watch fish darting by and stirring the glowing phosphorescent animals in the lakes. There are no fees to pay, no bosses, no competitors just a healthy, fun lifestyle for all to enjoy.” – Ron Smith of the Culinaryyakers group Kayaking | 13
Beautiful Burrill “My favourite paddles start at the top of a river, creek or lake then travel downstream into an estuary to finally end up at the ocean. The changing landscape, from verdant cow pastures alongside a creek, scrubby bushland or tall forest around the lake, provides variety, but it’s the sense of arrival as the destination approaches that really thrills me. The sound of ocean waves, the meandering aquamarine waters and estuary sandbars, and the screech of sea birds signal the completion of a journey. Burrill Lake
Burrill Lake, just south of Ulladulla, offers this experience. Launch at Barker Reserve off Lake View Drive, or from the beach at the Big4 Bungalow Park (great facilities here for kayakers); paddle up the lake past Kings Point into Stoney Creek. Turn around when you can paddle no further; retrace your route until the lake divides, then keep left to head to the ocean. Heed the channel markers, keeping to the left shore lest a receding tide maroons you on the sand bars in the centre. Paddle under the bridge toward the ocean, but take great care if the tide is flowing out fast. Best to pull up on a sand bank well before the ocean if this is the case. Paddle back to your start, or walk back to collect a car from the camp site. Enjoy coffee or the best fish and chips on the south coast just nearby. Soak in the ocean views. From Barker Reserve or the boat ramp at the end of James Crescent at Kings Point you can paddle for an hour or a day in various directions depending upon prevailing winds.” – Helen Moody
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WHALE & DOLPHIN WATCHING Whales may be spotted migrating along Australiaâ€™s east coast from May through to November. They head north to breed and return slowly with their young. The best time to see the young calves in the Shoalhaven is October to early December. Dolphins can be seen surfing the waves all year round.
Whale and dolphin watching guidelines
Whale approach distances
Be alert and watch for whales and dolphins at all times. Do not approach closer than 100m to any whale or 50m to any dolphin.
NO APPROACH If there is a sudden change in whale or dolphin behaviour, move away immediately at a slow steady pace.
If whales or dolphins approach your kayak, make no sudden noise or movement; slow down and continue on course; or move slowly away from them. Do not get into the water if you see a whale or dolphin. If youâ€™re already in the water do not disturb, chase or block the path of a whale or dolphin and if possible, return to your vessel or the shore.
if calf is prese nt 0m 15
0m if on 10 adult ly
calf is pres en t
if 0m 30
Avoid disturbance to mother whales or dolphins and their calves. Mother and calf will be close together and the calves are sometimes difficult to see.
Approach at an angle of at least 30 degrees to their direction of travel and move off at a slow speed.
Dolphin approach distances
m if on 50 adult ly
Whale approach distances No more than three vessels should approach at one time.
For a link to the the Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2005 visit shoalhaven.com/ kayak Kayaking | 15
if calf is pres
if 0m 30
Remain quiet and do not try to feed or touch them.
calf is pres en t
Do not disturb!
0m if on 10 adult ly
Keep a safe distance.
SAFETY Whether you paddle for adventure, fitness or relaxation, it’s good to know about safety before you set out to keep you enjoying your time in the Shoalhaven.
Lifejackets Always wear a lifejacket and ensure that everyone on board wears one too. See the RMS website for lifejacket requirements.
Be Seen Take care when operating near other vessels and when crossing channels, paddle craft may not be clearly visible in some situations. Suggested precautions for improved visibility: • Wear highly visible clothing • Paddle in tight formation • Stay close to shore line • If paddling in restricted visibility, mount lights, one at the front and one at the rear. Check guidelines on the RMS website. • Paddlers must carry a torch if travelling between sunset and sunrise • Attach a high visibility flag to your canoe/kayak
Know the rules Familiarise yourself with the rules to navigate the waterways safely and avoid collision. • Keep to the starboard side (right) of the channel and close to the edge. Always avoid the middle of the channel • Channels are marked by green starboard markers on the right and red port markers on the left as you go upstream • Paddle outside of these channels where possible, to keep out of the way of other boats. It maybe safest to stay closer to the shore even if it means being on the left hand side of the channel
For a link to the RMS safety info for kayaks go to shoalhaven.com/ kayak
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The Right Equipment Choose your craft and equipment to suit your abilities and experience. Keep your equipment well maintained and check it is all in good working order before you go. Test your craft in shallow waters for bouyancy when full of water and consider extra buoyancy and something to pump out with.
• Lifejacket • Plenty of water and food • Shoes and spare clothing to suit the conditions • Helmet if going into moving water such as surf or rapids • A mobile phone in a waterproof case • A whistle to attract attention • Sun-protection
The Paddlesafe Waterways Guide app can be used to check conditions, plan your trip and share your plan before you go.
• Paddle leash or leg leash if going into open water • Waterproof, hand held VHF radio if going offshore or • EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon When transporting kayaks on your car, make sure they are centred and securely strapped. Under road rules, if they over-hang by over a metre, you will need to tie a red flag or rag to the end.
Planning Before embarking on a canoe or kayak trip, familiarise yourself with the area using maps and wherever you can, talk to local operators. Check the weather, wind direction, tides, swell, any flood warnings and plan your trip around the conditions and assess any hazards. Remember that conditions can change rapidly. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return. Tides change around every 6 hours or so. Changes in tides affect sea and river conditions. Low tides can expose hidden hazards such as rocks and oysters. An outgoing tide can be extremely difficult to paddle against, and you could get caught out unable to get back. The waves at a bar at low tide get steeper and more challenging. It’s always safest to cross a bar at slack tide – which occurs at the turn of the tide. When paddling on a fresh-water river, check the current rain forecasts and river conditions. Local operators may provide valuable knowledge such as how the current runs after rain and water depth following drought. Moving waters in rivers can be dangerous at any time, as they wash down debris, and disguise submerged hazards. Trees, logs and bridges can be very hazardous, especially in high water. Don’t paddle or try to wade through flood waters – people have drowned this way.
Know Your Limits Be realistic about your fitness and capabilities. Don’t travel so far that you haven’t enough strength for the return journey – conditions might be harder on the way home. It may be helpful to take lessons to learn how to rescue yourself and others. Consider paddling in a group so you can stay close and assist each other.
For a link to the Paddlesafe Waterways Guide website go to shoalhaven.com/ kayak Kayaking | 17
SERVICE DIRECTORY KAYAK HIRE BURRIER Coolendel Grassy Gully Rd www.coolendel.com.au 02 4421 4586 Gradys Riverside Retreat 674 Burrier Rd www.gradysriversideretreat.com.au 02 4421 3282 BURRILL LAKE Big 4 Bungalow Park 123 Princes Hwy www.bungalow-park.com.au 02 4455 1621 CALLALA BEACH Callala Paddle Café 6/1 Parkes Cres www.facebook.com/Callala Paddle Café 02 4446 4160 DURRAS NORTH Durras Lake North Holiday Park 57 Durras Rd www.durrasnorthpark.com.au 02 4478 6072 FALLS CREEK Valhalla Horseriding & Farm Hols 39 Falls Rd www.valhallahorseriding.com.au 02 4447 8320 GREENWELL POINT Angler’s Rest Boat & Kayak Hire 19a Adelaide St www.anglersrest.com.au 02 4447 1207 HUSKISSON Jervis Bay Kayaks 1/13 Hawke St www.jervisbaykayaks.com 02 4441 7157 Jervis Bay Wild 58 Owen St www.jervisbaywild.com.au 02 4441 7002 KANGAROO VALLEY Kangaroo Valley Adventure Co 215 Moss Vale Rd www.kangaroovalleyadventurecompany.com.au 02 4465 1372 Kangaroo Valley Kayaks 5 Moss Vale Rd www.kangaroovalleykayaks.com.au 1300 559 977 Kangaroo Valley Safaris 2210 Moss Vale Rd www.kangaroovalleycanoes.com.au 02 4465 1502 KINGS POINT Ulladulla Dive & Adventure 6 Aroo Road www.ulladulladive.com.au 02 4455 3029 LAKE CONJOLA Lake Conjola Post Office Store 41 Carroll Ave 02 4456 1163 LAKE TABOURIE Lake Tabourie Holiday Park 595A Princes Hwy www.laketabourie.holidayhaven.com.au 1300 559 966 SUSSEX INLET Alonga Waterfront Cottages 166–168 River Rd www.alongacottages.com.au 02 4441 2046 Sussex Inlet Marine Centre Jacobs Dr www.sussexinlet.info/marine 02 4441 2086 ULLADULLA Total Eco Adventures www.totalecoadventures.com.au 02 4471 6969 Walking On Water 23 Carramar Cres www.wow-watersports.com.au 0417 360 791 KAYAK TOURS JERVIS BAY Bay & Basin Sportsfishing www.bayandbasinsportsfishing.com.au 0413 610 832 Kangaroo Valley Safaris 2210 Moss Vale Rd www.kangaroovalleycanoes.com.au 02 4465 1502 KAYAKING EQUIPMENT SALES SOUTH NOWRA BCF Nowra 28 Central Ave www.bcf.com.au 02 4421 2668 Compleat Angler & Camping 1/142 Princes Hwy 02 4403 0650 Outdoors & Beyond 207 Princes Hwy www.outdoorsandbeyondcamping.com.au 02 4421 4388 Totally Immersed Watersports 2/126 Princes Hwy www.totallyimmersed.com.au 02 4421 5936 ULLADULLA Ulladulla Ship Shape 150 Princes Hwy 02 4455 7200 Boots Great Outdoor Cnr Deering & Vincents St www.outdoorzone.com.au 02 4455 2526 KAYAKING CLUBS & GROUPS Shoalhaven Canoe and Kayak Club shoalhavenpaddle.com 0401 445 058 Illawarra Ramblers www.illawarraramblers.com.au Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc www.shoalhavenbushwalkers.org.au Bay and Basin Kayakers 0418 251 306 Culinary Yakers culinaryyakers.com Sea Kayak Jervis Bay www.seakayakjervisbay.com.au 02 4441 7027 USEFUL INFORMATION Australian waterways resource www.waterwaysguide.org.au Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au 18 | Kayaking
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1300 662 808 SHOALHAVEN.COM.AU