Overnight Canoe Hike - Distance 30 kms over 2 days - Brooklyn to Spencer return. Refer GWS Activities Page for more details. Numbers limited to 14 participants.
A great winter hike! This hike is not recommended for inexperienced paddlers due to strong tidal flows. Best suited for paddlers with some paddling experience (Lvl 2 Scout or Venturers and Adults -SIS L2 or L2 equivalent with experience) - Scout age and above. This hike is suitable for a Scout Blue Cord journey, or a Red Cord journey (one way). Scouts must have the recommendation of their leader (an email to Tracey Hansford - firstname.lastname@example.org) to participate and must have sufficient skills to maintain a 4 kph paddling rate. (this is not fast - more a medium pace that can be sustained for several hours - with some rest stops in between).
Meet at Mooney Mooney at Deerubbun Reserve (opposite Brooklyn) turn left after crossing the river at Hawkesbury River Road Bridge arriving at 7am for a 7.30am start.
Day 1 16 kms - Travel upstream with the assistance of the incoming tide towards Spencer via Milsons Island. We will stop at the village of Spencer for a drink of hot chocolate or coffee, refill water and eat lunch, and to use the bathrooms. After lunch we will paddle across the mighty Hawkesbury to our campsite at Gentleman's Halt and set up Camp around 1pm. Once camp is set up, we will go for a paddle upstream towards Gundermann, returning on the outgoing tide around 3pm, for a walk, some free time and maybe a play board game after dinner.
Day 2 16kms - downstream - anticipated speed 3kph. Departing at 9.30am, it will be a little more challenging as we will be paddling against the tide. Today we will hug the banks and look for economies, learning to paddle to a race line, using the sheltered banks to protect us from the fast-moving current in the centre of the river. At Bar Point we will be turning across to the left side of the river to head over towards the shallows at Cascade Gully where we will search for the wreck of HMAS Parramatta which was abandoned in the River last century. We will continue to hug the shoreline back to Deerubbun Reserve in time to meet parents at 3pm.
Participants will need to self-cater on this journey and should pack as if traveling on a lightweight hike. You are reminded that night temperatures can drop to around 1-6 degrees in Winter but day temperatures on the water are generally around 16-20 degrees. We will need to bring our own firewood, drinking water and personal hand sanitiser as there is no water or wood at the Campsite. There are Fire pits and Composting toilets available.
Lightweight camping list attached. You will need to load gear into waterproof bags (Sea to Summit Dry Sacks (anaconda) or similar type of dry bag). Don't forget your towel (you will need it to dry yourself) and your water shoes for getting in and out of the boat. You will need a hike stove and something to light it with if not autostart. If you want a shower, you will need to pack a solar one and carry the water!
Pack a raincoat/wind jacket, at least 1 warm jumper, track suit pants, woollen socks and enclosed shoes for around the camp site. Ensure you have your thermal underwear for night time and a sleeping mat to insulate from the cold ground. Recommend 0 degree sleeping bag and good quality hiking tents.
I recommend the purchase of the journey boating map. Boating maps are available for purchase for a nominal fee from RMS website below. They are a vital tool for negotiating NSW waterways and include handy hints for safe boating. The maps are printed on special waterproof paper and can be viewed below before purchasing. To buy a map, contact your local registry or service centre, or order boating maps online The map for this journey is Waterways Map 9B - Mid - Lower Hawkesbury http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/using-waterways/maps/boating-maps.html#HawkesburyRiver/BrokenBay
Payments to Scouts NSW GWS Region Bank Account - BSB 032-000 Account No. 213088. Note your name and Canoeing 28-29 July on the description. To secure your place on this trip, payment must be made at the time of application.