An Australian White Water Classic – The Snowy River

One of the classic white water runs in Australia is the Snowy river and this summer I had the opportunity to lead a group of kids down it on a multi day paddling expedition. Having never paddled the run before I joined Josh and Rick to do a quick recci run before the trip and we blasted down the 50km 4 day trip in just 8 hours. It was amazing we paddled hard and pushed on through the flats and then had fun on the rapids. It was supposed to be an overnight trip so we had loaded boats but we were on a roll and having too much fun so we just kept going and got it done.

The Snowy is an amazing river on the boarder of New South Wales and Victoria. The section we ran started at McKillops bridge and we paddled all the way out to Buchan. Set deep in the Australian wilderness it was an amazing opportunity for these kids to be able to experience such a beautiful part of Australia and in such a unique way. There are very few roads down to the river in this area and they are all 4wd tracks and the only way to experience this section is on some sort of paddle craft.

The river is perfect slowly progressing from easy class 2 all the way up to the gorge section where is picks up to class3/4 with one big 4+. Cutting through a class 4 gorge half way down the run adds a unique component to this trip as its is very committing. Portaging the rapids in the gorge is very tough. The kids paddled all but the biggest two. Myself and Morgan each lead a trip and joined forces to take the groups through the gorge section. The first of the big rapids we portaged up and down and took it in turns to jump in and paddle all the boats through. The final and biggest rapid we worked with the kids to portage the boats before seal launching them back in.

The kids paddled inflatables, two persons duckies, loaded with all their clothes, tents and food. We ran safety from our Jackson Karmas also loaded with all our stuff. Our 4 day 3 night adventure took us all on a journey of self discovery as well as true adventure. The kids learnt loads about themselves, each other and river life. Each night we would find somewhere to camp, set up base and cook up some food. Hitting bed early in order to be able to get up and get moving in order to get the river miles done.

The Snowy is a phenomenal paddling experience and I would highly recommend this stretch to any class 3/4 boaters looking for a multi day expedition trip. Make sure you read up about the Gorge before committing yourself to this run and be knowledgeable and experienced advanced white water rescue skills and carry a Sat Phone as this is a very remote run.

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