Clarence Canoe and Kayak Trail
195 km trail / 8 waterfalls / 12 campsites / 8 sections
ONE TRAIL, MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS
The Clarence Canoe & Kayak Trail is the longest mapped whitewater trail in Australia – covering more than 195km of river between Nymboi-Binderay National Park and the township of Copmanhurst – and contains some of the most diverse paddling conditions found anywhere in the world.
The combined weight of three spectacular river systems are at your disposal here: the Nymbodia, Mann and Clarence rivers. Which means that one moment you can be gently cruising along glassy sections with barely a ripple, admiring the beautiful scenery, and the next moment you’re holding on for dear life through bone-rattling Grade 3 and 4 rapids with names like Tombstone and Demolition Derby.
Don’t worry or be freaked out by this epic once-in-a-life-time trail, its not just for the dare devil adventure type. There are 8 sections of varying degrees of difficulty which also includes friendly family, novice paddling on the river. Just ask us whereabouts, and we will definitely point you in the right direction.
Talk to an expert - tours, equipment hire and more ...
NYMBOIDA CAMPING & CANOEING – 02 6649 4155
EXODUS ADVENTURES – 0410 404 078
MANN RIVER CARAVAN & CANOE PARK – 02 6647 4662
DAVE’S OUTDOOR FAMILY ADVENTURES – 0481 782 308
NYMBOIDA RIVER CANOES – 0407 571 402
RIVER SHERPAS – 0437 470 116
JOURNEY OUTDOORS IN NATURE – 0457 661 573
WILD RIVER TOURS – 0477 779 983
Good stuff to know ...
There are plenty of places to drive in and enjoy the Clarence Canoe and Kayak Trail at any level of experience, from splashing in the grade 1-2 shallows at Lilydale and Copmanhurst, through to grade 4 paddling at various waterfalls along the trail. You’ll be awestruck; and you’ll return home with bragging rights to last a life time.
Check your skill level …
Experienced – (minimum standard) – Ability to paddle grade 3+ rapids
Intermediate – (minimum standard) – Ability to paddle grade 2 rapids with confidence
Novice – (minimum standard) – Ability to manoeuvre canoe with confidence
Before you go …
- Always check the river levels before your trip at waterwaysguide.org.au, bom.gov.au or waterinfo.nsw.gov.au
- Always let someone know of your trip plans and ensure your support vehicle is aware of your intended rendezvous point and how to get there
- Canoeists/kayakers should be proficient on moving water. Beginners and children should be competent canoeists/kayakers on still water
- GPS coordinates have been supplied to help you locate major hazards and camping areas. Set up your GPS for the GDA datum and enter the coordinates of the features in advance
- Ensure you have enough food, water and fuel for the trip
- Do not enter or camp on private property without first gaining consent from the owner.
- A Lifejacket Level 50S or greater (i.e. a Personal Floatation Device or PFD) with a whistle attached should be worn at all times on the water. Helmets should be worn while paddling rapids.
- Hat, mosquito repellent and sunscreen
- Map, compass and GPS
- Spare paddle and repair kit
- Adequate drinking water and food for the trip being undertaken
- A first-aid kit and basic knowledge of CPR
- Waterproof containers for food and warm/dry clothing
- Appropriate footwear for water and rocks
- All canoes/kayaks should have fixed buoyancy with securing loops at each end
- A rope or throw line should be carried for rescue purposes.
On the river
- Make sure you have all your gear when you set off as the river’s flow may be too strong to paddle back upstream
- Avoid travelling alone and stay in contact with other canoes/ kayaks in your group
- If you capsize, hold on to your canoe or kayak until you can beach safely. If the water is freezing leave your craft and head for the bank immediately
- Be alert for hazards such as trees in the river, overhanging branches and snags
- If a rapid can not be scouted from the water or if in doubt about a rapid or obstacle ahead pull into the bank and check on foot.
- Approach compulsory portages with caution, allowing some distance between each canoe/kayak as not to crowd the take-out point.
- Mobile phone reception is not available along most of the canoe and kayak trail, make sure you carry another form of communication in case of an emergency
- To avoid overheating, paddle early in the morning or late evening with a break in the hottest part of the day
- To fish in NSW waters, you must pay a fee and carry the receipt showing payment. For more information visit dpi.nsw.gov.au.
At the campsite
- Practice low impact camping – take out what you take in
- Do not drink the river water without boiling or treating it. Carry adequate supplies of drinking water with you
- Light fires in fireplaces provided and extinguish completely before leaving. Observe any fire bans that are in place
- Bury your waste at least 50 m from the river if there are no toilets
- Do not use soaps or detergents in the river
- Do not interfere with vegetation, gates, fences or stock
- Respect other canoeists/kayakers and campers.
In case of an emergency
- Stay calm, assess the situation before attending to the incident. (Do not endanger yourself or others).
- Attend to the situation, with first aid as required. Provide
- Call for assistance from any people nearby.
- Contact Emergency Services on ‘000’ or ‘112’ if your mobile is out of range, in the event of a life threatening emergency. Be sure of your exact position before calling. Act on advice given to you.
- Be aware of keeping your group together and safe until the incident is resolved or emergency services have arrived and taken control of the situation.
- Take notes of the situation including timings during the incident if possible (or at least soon after).
- If you need to evacuate the area do so in an orderly fashion to avoid additional incidents. If you need to leave gear/equipment, make safe noting exact location for later retrieval. Do not overload your vessel.
Need some more inspiration?
Pop on the kettle, get a cuppa, pull up a chair and have a look at the adventures of We are Explorers in this awesome 4 min video shot on the trail. They came, they saw, they really didn’t want to leave.
Want to know more about the Longest Whitewater Trail in Australia? Of course you do!
Part of me wants to keep it a secret,
part of me wants to tell everyone I know,
the Clarence Valley is paradise.