Event Details

Windsor to Cattai Level 1 and above Canoe Hike

Sat 23rd Jun 2018 (8.30am) to Sun 24th Jun 2018 (2pm)
Hawkesbury River, Macquarie Park Windsor NSW

Participants using a Region Canoe ($65.00)
Members of the GWS Region Water Activities Team (Free)
Open: Wed 2nd May 2018 (12am)
Close: Thu 14th Jun 2018 (11.59pm)
Maximum 14 people
Brief Summary:
A delightful trip suitable for Level 1 and above Scout, Venturer and Adult Paddlers.
E-Permission Activated
Event Documents

  Download Cattai Camp Ground Information

Information about the campsite

  Download Canoe General Packing List

What you should think about taking.

  Download Scout Packing List - 1st Wentworthville

Another packing list for ideas

  Download Journey Map - Windsor to Cattai


  Download Example Weather Chart Hawkesbury River Windsor

Download your weather chart before you leave. Try Willy Weather as it shows the tides too.

  Download Boating Map Sample 9C - Upper Hawkesbury

a Sample of the Boating Map

Additional Information


Overnight Canoe Hike – Distance 26kms over 2 days – Windsor to Cattai return. Numbers strictly limited to maximum of 14 participants.  Payment is required to secure your booking. Trip cannot run with less than 10 people attending.


This hike is suitable for paddlers with some experience on the water. This hike may be suitable for a Scout Blue cord journey, or a Red cord journey (one way).  Scouts must have the recommendation of their leader to participate and have sufficient skills to maintain an average 3 kph paddling rate.  The hike is self-catered and there is no potable (drinkable) water available (this means that you must bring your own food and water for drinking and cooking - a minimum of 4-6 litres each person). Have a look at the documents attached for ideas on other things you might need.  Remember to bring a weather report and be prepared to talk about the effects of the weather on Canoe Journeys.


We will meet at Macquarie Park at Windsor (Turn Left almost immediately after the historic Windsor Bridge crossing of the Hawkesbury)) at 8.30am for a 9.30am start. After unloading the canoes from the trailer and loading our gear into the canoes, we will depart on our incredible water adventure. Hopefully we will learn some water navigation skills and some ways of dealing with strong tidal flows along the way.


Day 1   From Windsor, the river unravels towards the sea across flood plains and through spectacular sandstone country more than 200 million years old. Along its banks, the Hawkesbury tells the story of the earliest days of British settlement. This area blossomed into a food bowl for the colony. The river cradled a flourishing trade, as steamers carried passengers and goods up and down the Hawkesbury. The river was a lifeline for settlers, and it remains a timeline.

The section we are paddling on this trip runs from the historic Windsor Bridge, traveling downstream with the outgoing tide past the fabulous old Showboat moored on the eastern side of the bridge heading towards our overnight stop at Cattai National Park. Along the way, around 10am, we will raft up for a bite to eat on the water. 


This country around the Hawkesbury River belonged to the Dharug, Guringai and Dharginung people. The river was called Deerubbun, which seems a better name than what the colony's first Governor, Arthur Phillip, devised to honour the distant Lord Hawkesbury. (Look at our 28-29 July Paddle Parramatta on the Hawkesbury for mentions of Deerubbun Reserve.)


We will continue downstream to Cattai National Park where we will set up our campsite and stop for lunch.  The campsite has hot showers and flushing toilets. (Refer to the Cattai National Park information sheet in the documents.  After lunch we will secure our campsite and go for a short paddle to explore the local area.)


A couple of hours' paddle from Windsor, perched above a languid bend in the river, is the oldest church in Australia. Ebenezer Church is more than the final resting place for many of the area's pioneers; it is also an ideal exploring stop for us. While the sandstone church may feed the soul, there's also a café to feed the stomach!  You will need to bring some money if you want to partake in the delights of the café.  We will stop at the café for a Devonshire tea, hopefully piling the scones with great home-made jam!  Note – the café only sells Devonshire Teas. We will have a wander around the Church, schoolhouse and cemetery, before we return to our canoes and travel back across the river to our camp site in the Cattai National Park. After dinner we might go for a walk to see what animals are about and maybe play a board game, so if you have something small that you enjoy playing, bring it along.


Day 2 12kms – upstream. Breakfast will be early today at 6.30 am so we can clean up, pack up and load the boats by 8 am.. On our return journey we will learn about the economies of paddling, learning to paddle to a race line (travelling the shortest distance possible and how to read the river and use the conditions to protect us from the fast-moving currents. 


Participants will need to self-cater on this journey and should pack as if travelling on a lightweight hike. Make sure you bring a packed lunch including a drink and some healthy snacks like fruit or nuts, with you for Saturday!  You will be hungry if you need to wait until after we set up camp to make your lunch.  Understand that cups of soup, sweets, chips and 2 minute noodles are not satisfactory foods for this hike.  You can p[lan to carry an esky between a group of paddlers and keep your perishables in it. Ensure all food is packed in sealed containers to avoid unwelcomed visits from wildlife!


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 so you will need to bring some warm clothing that can easily be removed when paddling.


A lightweight camping list is provided for your guidance in the documents.  You will need to load gear into waterproof bags (Sea to Summit Dry Sacks (anaconda) or similar type of dry bag or a sealable barrel). Don’t forget your towel (at a minimum 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!  A small hike tent is suitable, or if attending with friends you could plan to share a larger tent i.e. 4 man.


Pack a raincoat/wind jacket, at least 1 warm jumper, track suit pants, woollen socks and enclosed shoes for around the camp site at night.  Ensure you have something warm for night time and a sleeping mat to insulate from the cold ground.  Recommend 0 degree sleeping bag and good quality hiking tents.


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 9C – Upper Hawkesbury and Colo River  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 23-24 June on the description. Payment must be made at the time of application.