Easter 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015
River Grade: 
Platypus Flat


Easter 2015

Most Trips which ran were combined with the Sydney Uni Canoe Club who were also camping at Platypus Flat. We knew some  rain was forecast for the weekend but were expecting minimal river levels and came prepared for other activities in case the river level was too low.

Day 1 Good Friday written by Deb

The level was 0.36m at Platypus Flat which was low but ok. There were 3 paddling groups.

The First Group: Greg T., Marcus, Tim, Deb, John M., David B., Cat, Petra ( ie the paddlers who arrived late on Thursday). We set off at11.30am and had a relaxed trip with some rope swinging mid way where one camera was left on the bottom of the river. There were the usual portages and we were welcomed at the Codhole by Lynn and Basil at about 3.30 pm.

The 2nd Group arrived later on Good Friday left after us to also paddle to Codhole. The paddlers were Glenn, Craig, Casey, Kevin and Michael T.

The 3rd Group consisted of even later arrivals who practised at Platypus Flat and this involved Marshall, Nic W., Jo H., Will H., Will S.

It started to rain that afternoon and continued to rain steadily all night collapsing the carefully constructed tarpaulins etc and bringing out the leeches. The river started to swell and by early morning had risen to 0.6m at Platypus Flat and reaching 0.9m by midday when we set off for another paddle from Platypus Flat to the Codhole.

Day2  Easter Saturday Platypus Flat to Codhole written by Marshall

On Friday night it rained heavily and we woke on Day 2 to see the river had risen about 1-m at our Platypus Flat camp. We set up the shuttle at the Cod Hole and broke into three groups to paddle. By the time we reached the first big rapid—Lucifer’s Leap Falls—those who had paddled this same section the previous day said it was a totally different river because at this level, there was a lot of water! We portaged this and two other rapids. At Devil’s Cauldron Falls we portaged along a low island. Some launched from the end of the island and ran the S-bend while others portaged the flood channel on river left using a rope strung across the channel. In general, the water was quite pushy and it made for a challenging trip for intermediate paddlers. when we left the gauge was showing 0.9m and when we returned that afternoon had risen to 1.2m.

That night we had a large fire and celebrated Lynn's birthday with a piece of delicious fruit cake provided by Basil S.

We awoke on day 3 to find we had been visited by the Easter bunny.

The Little Nymboida River (Sunday 5th, report by John Maddox)

Able to be paddled when the Nymboida guage is high11 km section from the Coachwood track to the Junction with 80m drop over the section.Grade II & III with two walkable larger rapidsGauge at Platypus Flat 1.7m, Gauge at the Nymboida gauge 2.2m

The guys who didn’t  play golf on this Easter Sunday were:

Group 1, Jo, Will, Will, Nick  Dave

Group 2, Tim, Greg, Deb, Marshall, Michael

Group 3, Kevin, Glen, Kat, John, Craig, Marcus

After carrying / dragging / kicking our kayaks down the final 600m of the track and after a final meticulous inspection of our boats and person for leeches, we got into our boats and on to the little Nymboida river about 11 AM.

With the river flooded and meandering  around small islands, there was more than one way to go. We travelled a couple of kilometres with not a lot of drop ( a few races here and there ) and, if the river was going to drop 80m over our trip, it meant  we were going  to have a catch up  soon.

The catch up came in the form off two large rapids, the first was an open fast flowing rapid, 70m long x 15m fall  from top to bottom ( My estimate ) , easy to see, easy to scout, easy to walk. ( I walked it ) Everyone else paddled it and paddled it well.

The second large rapid was 500 m further on and was more of a surprise, we paddled slow moving water into what seemed like paddling into a room with trees forming the walls. On paddling out of this room we were in the major flow of the next big rapid. The rapid was quiet wide and flowing quickly towards some undesirable pour overs - holes with protruding rocks. There was a line through, exactly where I don’t know, because I swam a lot of it.  So thanks to Craig for grabbing my boat & paddle, and Marcus, Kat and Kevin for combining to get me out of a sticky situation.

That all out the way, the rest of the trip consisted of grade 1, 2 & 3 rapids & wave trains.  Lots of fun but some required caution because we could not always see a clear run through.  Kevin and Marcus combined to probe these rapids and show us a clear run.  The river was relatively free of log jams.

We had lunch about the 7km mark, and finished the 11km about 3pm.

Day 4  Easter Monday Platypus Flat to The Junction written by Willem Hendriks

A photo shoot of the whole kayaking company started the day off, provided by David Burgess. Some of us then readied our kayaks for a long day on the river from the campsite down to the Junction. Kevin, Tim, Jiri, Markus, Greg, Nic, Joe and myself were deemed competent enough for this paddle, however it felt as though Nic and Markus had never paddled before when they swam on the first rapid. After the shock of the volume of the water pounding past us we quickly adjusted, Nic and Markus began to redeem themselves.

Most rapids were easily boat scouted, but with the very high water level a lot of rapids had to be properly scouted. Some of the more wellknown rapids were hell of a lot of fun, such as the “S-bend”,” the shoot”, and the “Mushroom”. Others were not so comforting, Karl’s rock was intimidating and only a few ran it. The grand total of 25km on the river took the group roughly six and a half hours. It was a great grade 3/4 trip that kept everyone on their toes and fully entertained.

Big thanks to the River Canoe Club members to help with the shuttle!

Another group had a leisurely morning and paddle at Platypus Flat rapid and pool.

Day 5 Tuesday Nymboida River – Leech hill to Platypus Flat written by Johannes Hendriks

On the Tuesday after the Easter weekend a small team consisting of Greg, Michael, Kevin, Will, myself, and our leader Jiri paddled the upper Nymboida from leech hill to Platypus Flat. After a long shuttle due to the road closure, requiring us to drive all the way out to Dorrigo and back in to the national park from the other side we arrived at the aptly named leech hill. After a mad dash down the hill we put on to the river, and the water level promised a good day.

The run started out as tight and creeky; with lots of small eddies and boulder gardens. The high flow made this section fun and continuous.  It wasn’t long till the nature of the river changed with bigger rapids and drops interspersed with flat pool and some boulder gardens

We soon encountered a double drop that had the majority of the group considering a portage. A not so clean line down by Kevin had the rest of the group portaging. This unfortunately set the tone for the rest of the paddle, with the majority of the larger rapids having to be portaged. Thankfully there were enough smaller rapids and boulder gardens in between to make the run worth it.

The trip was a great paddle, and I look forward to paddling it again at a slightly lower water level. Thanks are due to Nic and Catherine who helped out with the car shuttle.