AN UNRIVALED EXPERIENCE –
BARRINGTON RIVER KAYAK ADVENTURE
2 DAYS 2 NIGHTS
BARRINGTON RIVER, GLOUCESTER
14 YEARS & ABOVE
$480 FULL PRICE
MINIMUM SIX PADDLERS
FOCUS ON TRAINING AND FUN
NON PADDLERS WELCOME
Designed as a weekend getaway the Barrington River Kayak adventure is a chance to learn new skills, have heaps of fun with your friends and rejuvinate.
As you consider joining us on the Barrington River Kayak Adventure the following information will be important to you .
Walking Rivers discovered on a Barrington River Kayak Adventure its far more exhilarating, whitewater rafting or kayak paddling a single kayak.
That is to say we promote one person one kayak.
We provide equipment & training in how to use it, therefore you will have an exhilarating experience. To Clarify, nearly anyone with training can enjoy kayak paddling on whitewater.
Why pay for a personal experience and find yourself sharing your kayak or raft with others.
Companies only do this as a way to maximise their profits,and not for your enjoyment.
Our kayaks are real river touring boats they are not inflatables. We provide all transport, food, training, and equipment for you to have an excellent Barrington River kayaking Adventure.
Key points why are we different
WHY WE LOVE OUR BARRINGTON RIVER KAYAK ADVENTURE
The Barrington River kayak Adventure provides a fantastic opportunity for you and your friends, with any skill level to experience the thrill and fun of paddling down a pristine river.
Being only a couple of hours drive north of a major city, Newcastle NSW also adds to the appeal of the Barrington River Kayak Adventure.
A GREAT PLACE FOR LEARNING
The lower section from Rocky crossing to the Barrington reserve is excellent for people that are new to kayaking. Whether you want to learn paddling skills on flat water or experience a taste of paddling whitewater, this section of the river has ample opportunity you to practice both skills. As the water is moving downstream, it becomes interspersed with pools and some grade one rapids making it ideal for learning.
Advancing on from the lower section is the center section from Bindera down to rocky crossing a distance of approximately 15 kilometers. This section with grade two rapids offers quite a challenge for new paddlers and can take most of the day to complete.
AN EVER CHANGING RIVER BANK
As you paddle along you will see the river bank or its technical term the riparian zone has many old bottlebrush trees and casuarinas that provide homes for a variety of birds and different small animals. You will also paddle through some areas of rainforest and blackboys which makes for a pleasant variety to the scenery you will see during your day on the river.
Our Barrington River Kayak Adventure trip makes for the perfect relaxing two-day getaway. Additionally, it also provides plenty of time for you to become fully immersed in all the natural beauty the river has to offer.
Key points, why we love the Barrington River
Packed with excitement and fun the two day Barrington River kayking adventure highlight will see you learning and practicing all the skills you will need to safely paddle both the lower and center sections of the river.
Initially, you will possibly meet every rapid with trepidation, and then on each one’s completion, you will celebrate the joy of a successful passage down its bubbling waters.
Sometimes you may not be successful, rolling out of your kayak and having to swim to the bottom of the rapid, but this is all part of the fun and exhilaration that comes with paddling whitewater.
Additionally, sitting around the campfire at night sharing stories from the days paddling while slow roasting marshmallows and then curling up in your tent will leave you feeling like you are in another world.
As with all of Walking Rivers experiences for people with a penchant for photography, the opportunities are everywhere.
Key points, activity highlights
MORE ABOUT THE WILDLIFE
The wildlife in the river corridor is varied and abundant.
The pristine water quality of the Barrington River creates an ideal environment for a variety of wildlife.
Also of significance, areas the river passes through are recognized as critical bird areas. Australia has in total 314 identified Important Bird Areas, (IBA’s) these are areas that are perceived as internationally crucial for bird conservation and known to support key bird species.
The focus for Barrington region IBA is the protection of rainforest birds.
As you meander along between the many rapids keep an eye out for Azure Kingfishers, King Parrots, Black Cockatoos, Rosellas and Blue Wrens, to name just a few of the different species you may encounter.
Key points, about the wildlife
GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN
We start our journey from our home base in Newcastle, travel North on the Pacific highway turning off towards the township of Gloucester and onto our start point on the river (approximately two hours). Our bus can pick people up at one of our designated meeting places along the way and return you to the same spot. We are as flexible as possible with our pickups to try and make it easy for you. Talk to us on an individual basis to arrange your pickup point. Of course, we will bring you back to your pick up location when your adventure ends.
Key points, about getting there
STRESS FREE CAMPING
For our two day trip because we are not traveling by Kayak, expedition style to different campsites, we do not need to go light on our camping equipment. We set up a base camp beside the river and enjoy as much as possible all the comforts of home.
Furthermore our bus is parked right where we camp, so we have everything close by for the whole time we are away.
Key points, about our camping
ABOUT THE KAYAKS
Custom designed kayaks for undertaking river journeys like the Barrington River Kayak Adventure. They are light, stable, easy to paddle, respond well to turning maneuvers and are excellent for learning to paddle whitewater.
Longer than a short whitewater boat but not as long as a sea kayak they are a compromise between the two, primarily because as well as needing to be highly maneuverable in the rapids they need to also be right on the flat water sections of the river.
Key points, the kayaks
ABOUT THE FOOD
We just have to say. When possible, we use locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from our nearby farmer’s markets.
Additionally, we like to top our delicious meals of with some camp style baking. Furthermore, we also provide 24-hour snacks just in case you get a hungry for something late at night. It is a Walking Rivers policy you will never go hungry, even after a day’s paddle in the fresh air.
Key points, about the food
Firstly, if you are at all apprehensive about your abilities to undertake something like the Barrington River Kayak Adventure, please remember our experienced river guides will train you in the skills needed to negotiate all of the rapids with ease.All you need is to be moderately fit and have a yearning for some safe and controlled adventure.
Secondly, joining a fully guided adventure is very different to going it alone. Being conducted by professional, trained, qualified people allows us to go to many places that would be unthinkable on our own. Additionally, we consider you to be part of a team overcoming all the challenges the river throws at us.
In conclusion, Walking Rivers has comprehensive risk management and contingency plans in place as well safety procedures in short it, means you will be free to not worry about anything too much other than having fun.
- Professional guiding service
- All kayaking equipment
- Meals on arrival at camp (four total included)
- Cooking equipment
- Camping equipment including tents, thick Therm-a-rest mattresses
- National Park Fees
WE DON’T INCLUDE
- Accommodation before or after the kayaking portion of your trip;
- Flights, airport transfers, ferries, taxis
- Travel/medical insurance
- Alcoholic or carbonated beverages
- Personal items (toiletries, clothing, etc.)
- Sleeping bag liner
Let us know if you are you are bringing any of your own camping equipment. After checking the list of what to bring lets us know if you have any questions about anything relating to gear.
PRE TRIP MEETING
Approximately one week before leaving
We endeavor to telephone or skype every person who has booked the Barrington River Kayak Adventure with us. After the introductions, your guide will tell you about the logistics of the journey and any other relevant details.
The call also gives us a chance to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your adventure.
Additionally, we will confirm the exact departure time and location, for each person or to alert you if there are have been any last minute changes.
You will be a member of a team partaking in an adventure experience from the moment we meet at our bus departure point.
Our guides will assist you to pack your gear on board the bus, introduce you to anyone you haven’t met and work to ensure you are relaxed and comfortable about the adventure ahead.
As we have a busy schedule, it means getting away early on our first day, 7 am or we prefer to go the night before.
Going the night before means we set up in the dark or with the vehicle lights but it gives us the advantage of heaps more time on the river.
The first couple of hours is spent enjoying a bus drive through the different countryside traveling to our base campsite at Barrington river reserve.
On arrival at our destination, we set up our tents beside the river, and generally, get prepared for another short bus journey up to Rocky Crossing.
It’s here at Rocky Crossing the real fun begins as this is where we launch our Kayaks and get prepared for a paddle back to our campsite. However, before we get in the boats, we will do some onshore training just to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Its a great chance for some revision for the more experienced paddlers and for the new kayakers they will quickly see how easy kayaking is.
We will be covering the following paddle strokes and whitewater skills;
- Forward and reverse strokes
- Sweep strokes
- Draw strokes
- Slap support recovery stroke
- Ferry-glide. upstream and down-stream
- How to read white-water to find the correct path down rapids.
- Eddy out
- Self rescue techniques
- Equipment demonstration.
- Group management
- Safety Procedures.
Don’t worry if that seems a lot to remember; we have plenty of time to practice and go over all the different techniques once we are on the water and paddling back to camp.
The river starts off with a nice long flat tranquil pool;
Great for enabling people to get their balance and to get used to how the kayaks move in the water.
The paddling distance to camp is approximately 11 kilometres, the river encompasses elementary grade one rapids and even with time spent on training it can be paddled comfortably in the afternoon.
At the far end of the pool, if the weather is warm, there is an excellent place for a swim and also for the more adventurous a jump or dive into the water from different height rocks is possible.
CAMP IN STYLE
Finally back at camp, there will be some free time for people to relax and enjoy the ambiance of camping beside such a beautiful river.
Dinner time will see us tucking into a sumptuous barbecue feast, sitting by a campfire, toasting marshmallows.
The campfire experience as well as giving us the opportunity to share kayaking stories also allows us time for reflection on what a fantastic day we had.
For those people that are tired bed is going to be very welcome at whatever time you wish.
Rise and shine ready for fun and adventure.
Firstly we have a hearty breakfast after that its back on the bus for a short drive to our second day’s launch site at a place called Bindera. Today’s paddle is from Bindera down the river to Rocky Crossing.
It’s approximately a 12-kilometer paddle, and with lunch, in the middle, it will take us a significant part of the day. We travel at a leisurely pace to allow for plenty of swimming, photography, animal observing and relaxation.
Additionally you will be implementing all the skills you learned yesterday as today ‘s section of the river has primarily grade two rapids.
Upon arrival at Rocky Crossing, after reloading the kayaks onto the trailer, its back onto the bus for a thirty-minute drive back to camp. At camp, after packing everything, we will board the bus for our final journey back home to our everyday reality.
Our approximate return time to Newcastle is between 5 -7 pm, however, due to the number of variables in wilderness travel we recommend that you don’t plan any critical appointments that rely on us being back at this time. Fixed times and dates can cause unnecessarily stressful complications should our return be delayed by something out of our control. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your travel plans in more detail. We can pick you up or drop you off at the Airport or from your house.
WHAT TO PACK
Our Barrington River Kayak Adventure is a base camping experience. Meaning we will not be packing all our gear into the kayaks every morning, we paddle the kayaks empty. Additionally, the good news is we can bring anything we want to make the camping as comfortable as possible.
You may wish to bring two bags:
1. your bus bag, a small backpack or similar
2. your general gear bag, these items will be packed into the rear of the bus .
Please remember the saying “when kayaking less is more”
Travelling on the bus
Your bus bag only needs to fit items you may wish to have with you while we are traveling.
For traveling, wear anything you feel comfortable in.
On our longer trips we do stop for toilet breaks and also from time to time and if we are passing through a town we might have a coffee break. This is usually done by consensus.
Items for consideration in your bus bag
- water bottle
- book to read
- reading glasses
- travel pillow
- travel rug
- clean underwear
- change of clothes to wear home
WHAT TO WEAR KAYAKING
All the below items should be in your general gear bag.
You will paddle wearing the items below.Our priority is protection from the sun it can be brutal in the middle of the day.
Small bottle of Sunscreen
Pay particular attention to face, neck, under chin, ears, backs of hands.
Ideally should be broad-brimmed and wind resistant. An excellent choice is a safari type of hat that covers your neck area. Remember we are paddling whitewater and must wear head protection, so your hat needs to allow for a helmet to go over the top of it.
Should be attached to a strap. We recommend taking a spare pair.
Short Sleeved Shirt
Over a thermal top. Both shirt and thermal top material need to be the quick-drying synthetic material such as polypropylene/polyester fleece or blend. DO NOT WEAR COTTON.
T-shirts and jeans etc. are not suitable clothing for Kayaking.
For people with more money a long sleeved Rash shirt is ideal.
Long synthetic thermals
A pair of shorts over the top of synthetic thermals are ideal for your legs.
Kayakers should always wear shoes with sturdy grippy soles, toe protection, and a secure fastening system.Enclosed footwear can also assist with sun protection.
Genuine Dunlop volleys are a great option.
Avoid sandals and wetsuit boots, as they do not provide sufficient support when moving around on wet rocks;
We recommend at the very least pack a lightweight spray jacket with hood.
It can be preferable to have a waterproof and breathable material like Gortex. Other options include paddling specific apparel such as dry tops.
In cold conditions avoid apparel made from cotton. Cotton insulates using open air pockets in between the fibers. When cotton gets wet, these pockets fill with water, and the garment loses its insulating properties.
Fabrics such as wool, nylon, and polypropylene insulate with closed air pockets inside the fibers. Garments made from these materials will hold some of their insulating properties when wet.
Consider a Fibre pile/fleece jumper if cold weather is forecast.
Medication – please ensure
1) The name and expiry date of drug is on the container;
2) You have the detailed instructions for your dosage and frequency;
3) Packed in a waterproof bag; i.e., sandwich bag or similar
4) Pack a full spare prescription in a separate container.
Your river guide will carry this in case you misplace or lose yours. Lousy weather can also cause delays so having additional means you are safe.
If you are flying, please pack all necessary medication in your carry-on luggage. It helps eliminate some stress should your checked bags be misplaced in transit.
One litre Nalgene bottles are superior to all others for kayaking.
Lightweight waterproof digital cameras (can be attached inside your life jacket with a lanyard);
GoPro or similar waterproof action cameras can produce excellent footage however they are savage on batteries. Consider how you will charge or bring
spare batteries and memory cards.
WHAT TO BRING FOR CAMPING
Because we are only away for one night do not need to bring a lot. Below is a list to prompt you in what you may wish to bring.
We do supply snacks but if you have some favorites then bring them with you
A small hand-held torch will suffice but it is much better to get a head torch so as to be able to free your hands up for tasks. A good Head torch also allows you to read in bed at night if you wish.
Extra thermals & Camp Clothes
Winter , one set of synthetic thermals (we keep dry) for wearing in camp or sleeping in if it gets cold.
We are not really limited to how much gear we have as the vehicle is always with us on the Barrington trip so If you want to bring jeans and t shirt for around camp thats fine .
We will let you decide how much of these you need.
Sleeping bag Liner
We are supplying down sleeping bags, that we have tested and know they are both comfortable and they fit into the Kayaks. All we ask you to bring is your own liner. If you are really susceptable to cold a great liner is the sea to summitt fleece one. Our bags are comfortable down to zero degrees celsius.
If you would prefer your own sleeping bag we recommend getting the smallest one you can that suits your temperature range . Big cheap K mart type bags will not fit into the Kayaks. Please ask us if you are unsure.
Once again let me say because we are base camping if you thing you may get cold its ok if you want to bring an extra blanket (travel rug).
We supply a comfortable sleeping matt.
Because on this trip we are base camping a favourite pillow is always nice. For the diehards who don’t mind roughing it you can always stuff your jacket and spare thermals into a dry bag and use it as a pillow.
Often people just swim in their paddling clothes. Either way is successful.
Footwear around camp
Thongs or sandals for walking around camp work well and don’t take up much space in the Kayak
Minimal soap, toothpaste, and toothbrush, dental floss, feminine hygiene products.
Small comb/hairbrush, 2 disposable plastic razor.
Optional items for consideration
- Gloves either neoprene or fingerless sailing type
- Insect repellant small roll on
- Book to read
- Reading glasses
- Down jacket
- Travel boardgames
Please avoid wearing jewelry on the river.
We would just feel bad if you lost something precious to you. Leaving it at home is the safest place for it to be.
We supply a range of teas and coffee as well as juices. You are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages. Please note however that we do expect our guests to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and strictly enforce a no alcohol on the water policy.
It is against the law in Australia to smoke in National Parks. If you are a smoker, please consider nicotine patches as an alternative solution for the time you are on the river.
Leave no trace
Everything we take into the National Park we must take out. Including toilet waste. Don’t worry we have a system for dealing with everything. Your guides will go through it all with you when we are in camp on the first day.