Tuross River – 12-13 March 2011

After watching the river heights around NSW quite carefully, it was decided we would try the Turos river, as none of us had paddled it before. we set off down south on Friday night, and didn’t get lost till we were almost there! After driving up and down assorted dirt roads at 1 o’clock in the morning, we finally found our intended campsite and collapsed into bed, only to be woken mere hours later by Jiri’s blaring music.

Everyone was keen to get on the river, so after a brief side trip to check the water level (1.1m) we headed to a nearby farm to ask if we could use his property to put in. The farmer was quite happy to let us cross his land. I think he was glad to see young people getting away from their computers and getting some exercise. he even hopped on his old post bike and showed us where the best spot to put in was.

After some brief rolling practice and stroke instruction, we set off downriver. the river was a little choked with fallen logs from recent floods, but the rapids were quite pleasant and challenging enough for our beginners. Many swims were had, and by the time we reached the pullout, everyone was exhausted. We had a nice dinner around our campfire right on the riverbank, and by 9 pm most of us were already in bed.

Day two dawned nice and clear, and after a quick breakfast, we headed further upstream to the put-in. this was a longer section, with many more rapids and a beautiful gorge section. The gorge started with a grade 3 and a nice play-wave where experienced and beginner paddlers attempted to show off their surfing skills (Kosta wins the award for the best tail stand!).

After a stop to surf and snack, we continued down the gorge past numerous grade 3 rapids. Everyone seemed to be having fun, and the river was excellent, with many exciting and challenging rapids. Lunch was had around the half way mark, and from here the character of the river changed, becoming more tree-choked and having smaller rapids. This did not mean less carnage, however: at one point, the main flow was blocked by a fallen tree. Some tried to sneak under it (with swims resulting) while others took a long narrow side channel through the trees. It was on this channel that a boat god badly pinned on a log, and about an hour was spent with throw ropes and pulleys before the boat was finally freed. After a good soaking from some heavy rain and a bit of excitement from some nearby lightning, we all made it safely to the cars, and after a car shuffle, we were on our way back to Sydney.

Thanks to everyone for a great trip on a beautiful river.