Canoe The Shoalhaven Gorge from the Tallowa Dam

Rate this Adventure

Added by David Gregory

The Shoalhaven Gorge is a hidden gem, featuring stunning vaulting cliffs alongside a beautiful wide river. Only just over two hours south of Sydney, near Kangaroo Valley, this is a stunning paddling experience for anyone wanting to escape.

Even though the Shoalhaven Gorge is only about 120km from Sydney, it's a remarkable, rugged and remote adventure for those wanting a unique weekend away. Part of the Morton National Park, The Shoalhaven Gorge features stunning vaulting cliffs and remarkable pockets of rainforest that line the rugged waters edge.

Unless you're prepared for a massive hike through the challenging Ettrema Wilderness, The Gorge is only accessible via Lake Yurrunga in the East, so good preparation and considerations for an overnight stay is needed. Once you're up there, there's only one way back, which thankfully in itself has kept many crowds away from this stunning location.

Starting at Tallowa Dam (20km from Kangaroo Valley), a paddle up the Shoalhaven Gorge is a stunning, relaxing and memorable adventure, best done in a canoe or a sea kayak. Head West from Tallowa Dam up into the gorge. The lake is quite wide to begin with, but narrows considerably as you journey deeper and deeper into the gorge. You can paddle all the way up to Fossickers Flat, where there's a camping ground, however, be prepared for some rapids here, as the lake shallows considerably and turns back into the Shoalhaven River.

Whilst the paddle itself is only around 10-16km (depending on how far into the gorge you want to go), it's an amazing and picturesque flat water journey that's best done as an overnighter.

Due to the sheer cliffs and steep river banks of the gorge, there aren't many places to camp along the way. However, at around the 8, 10, 12 and 14km marks there are some nice camping grounds (some of which National Parks have installed toilets). There's a great National Park sign at Tallowa Dam showing all of the camping locations along the way. 

This is a fantastic get away, not too far from Sydney or Canberra and a magical experience for those who love to paddle! I've paddled this in both a canoe and sea kayak numerous times and I never tire of the amazing views and stunning remoteness of this hidden gorge.

Read More

Tags

Canoeing
Camping
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Nearby Adventures

  • Swim at Belmore Falls

    Belmore Falls is Plunge Type waterfall with three drops estimated at 77–130 metres. There is secret track that leads you down to the bottom of the water where you will be able to swim underneath the waterfall. Duration of walk to the bottom of the...

    2 miles 426.5 ft gain

  • Hike Wog Wog to Corang River

    Part of the Morton National Park, with a narrow, yet clearly distinguished track, this is a great taste of some of Australia’s most rugged wilderness areas located on the South Coast of NSW, just three hours drive from Sydney.To get there from the...

    8.1 miles -65.6 ft gain

  • Hike Pigeonhouse Mountain (Didthul)

    From Milton, turn off Princes Highway, following signs marked ‘Pigeon House’ (this will take you along Croobyar Road, Woodstock Road and Yadboro Road). The walk begins in the picnic area off Yadboro Road.Best to walk in dry weather as trail is ste...

    3.1 miles 2624.7 ft gain

  • Explore & Swim at Coalcliff Rock Pools

    Play around in this lovely seawater pool or get your goggles on and do some laps in this scenic pool. Safe and fun for all swimmers, it's also the perfect place to cool off and admire the Sea Cliff Bridge from below. Walk south along the rock plat...