Tallowa Dam in the Shoalhaven River Gorge, southern New South Wales
The dam was created just below the confluence of the Shoalhaven and Kangaroo rivers. It's easy and very scenic flatwater paddling upstream in both gorges - for about 12km in the Shoalhaven and 22km on the Kangaroo. See below pics for notes on the white water sections of these rivers.
*Click on pics for a larger version (1.38M) - press the back button to return
Car park at the dam which is just to the left of pic. The trees on the right of pic separate the Shoalhaven, at the rear of trees, and the Kangaroo, in the foreground.
Looking upstream on Kangaroo River - gorge is more open
Setting off towards the narrower part of the Shoalhaven gorge
Former river once wound its way through the bottom of this valley, well below this water level.
Soaring sandstone cliffs - this is about 6km upstream. It is a flatwater paddle for another 6km whence it becomes a rocky, moving river with rapids.
Perfect reflections on a calm day
Downstream of dam is pleasant paddling with small rapids and some portage, depending on the water release from the dam.
Shoalhaven River above stored water: at the end of the stored water are grade 1 and 2 rapids separated by large pools. As you proceed up the river the rapids are larger and increase to waterfalls. We have to have good rains to make the river canoeable otherwise you bump through rock gardens most of the day. It takes about a week to paddle from Oallens Ford down to the dam but there are waterfalls that have to be portaged. There are also other access points at Braidwood and Charleong firther upstream and these sections are mainly grade 1 and 2 rapids.
To access between Oallens Ford and the dam there are access points at Sewells Point through private property but the portage takes about 4 hours. Other access points are worse.
Kangaroo River: It is 22km on the stored water through Kangaroo Valley. Above that is the Kangaroo River with grade 1 and 2 rapids to Upper Kangaroo River. Half day paddle after rain. Paddling above this point is not viable as the river is blocked by large boulders and drops.
With thanks to Caryll Sefton for these notes.
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