Group Paddle This Sunday

Aussie paddlers,

For any one intrested in joining us, a group of 5 forum packrafters are having a paddle down a section of Eucumbene River this sunday (16-May) Meeting at Providence Portal at 9am on Sunday morning. It is a good tight strecht of water, grade 2-3. pretty easy stuff. PFD and helmet a must and a wet suit is a very good idea as it is pretty cold up there. Shoot me an email if your intrested and would like some more info. Andrew will be up there from Thursday till Monday fishing and rafting (?) the rest of us will be there on Sunday for the group paddle. Myself and Peter are going to stay on until Monday arvo, doing a bit more paddling if you cant make Sunday.



I just love the concept of a “group paddle” on the Eucumbene R, and am so proud that we have actually organised ourselves to do it…it’s 8-9hrs drive from Melbourne, and prob 6-7hrs from Sydney, and a major f… expedition for anyone (and ~2hrs for you lucky buggers who live in a “country town”)…and there are f… all packrafters in Oz in the first place. Me thinks the group max may be 5…

Let’s make the Eucumbene the Shit, whoops, Ship Ck of the southern hemisphere…or perhaps we could choose a river closer to Melbourne…?

I am soooooooooooooooooo looking forward to a paddle this weekend. As our Jan NZ fly-fishing/packrafting trip turned out to be a “negligible paddling trip”, I am hanging out for some decent rafting.

A vid is obligatory.

Beyond that, let’s get into some fish.

Looking forward to catching up on Sunday.


See ya’s there !


I guess this is kind of an unofficial inaugural get together, I was hoping we may be able to organise a 'group paddle’ every 6 months (i.e. twice a year) at least, with an open invite to all and sundry. It is pretty easy to set up a mailing list to keep everyone in contact. There are certainly enough good waters coming out of both sides of the mountains to keep us going until senility and/or arthritis slow us all to a steady paddle. We can discuss it on Sunday whilst we freeze our butts off in the river. I am already considering the purchase of a decked raft and a dry suit, I have been bitten by the foamy water adrenalin bug…see you up there.


A bit too far from Melbourne for me. Having just gotten it (Llama with deck, Sawyer paddle and Windpaddle sail) a few weeks ago I am still learning so might not be able to keep up with experienced paddlers anyway. Hope it goes well for you all.

A couple of pics of the Sunday float. Water was a bit skinny to call it a ‘paddle’.

Sorry to have missed you Andrew !

Putting in at the Providence Portal outflow

Providence lodge in the background

Wetsuited raftin mayhem !

Pre-paddle fish. It was rather chilly and the guides lept freezing up with ice. 'bows on bugs.

Overview of lower Eucumbene river above the backed up waters of the dam.

Glad you guys were enthusiastic enough to put in at the Portal, and float down. The whole concept of “wetsuiting up”, and then stripping down, and putting on waders to fish back to base just didn’t do anything for me, which was why we fished on the flats below the park. At least you had the mindset. I concentrated on the one pool which I knew held fish, and enjoyed casting to a number of “oncers” - with associated frustration!

Which of you has the blue raft in the pic. with the fully fixtured backrest etc? Looks luxurious!

As to the fish, that’s a fat little rainbow. My best was 18", and prob 2 1/2lb. I’ve had 5 trips up there over 12 yrs, and haven’t yet “hit the spawning run”…it must happen sometime!


Hi Andrew,

my 'bow and my boat ! Mine is an old dory bought s/h from Tassie guide Daniel umm, someone. I paddle it w/o the oar setup. Yeah, extra seat is looxshoorey ! Specially on the skinny water paddles !

It was forkin cold fishing before full sun in the am, but the paddle was fine in wetties.

We’ll catch up another trip !

Ahhhh. That’s why the boat looks a bit different.

We fished down the Eucumbene to about where you are in the last picture - was it much further to the mouth? (and was the river any better down there in terms of pools etc?).

Also, nice rainbow - how much did it weigh?



not much further - a k or half a k ?

the bow - dunno. I was so keen to get the fly in the water again I didn’t measure it fully or anything. It was plump though.

Looks like everyone forgot about the part where “PFD and helmet a must”. Does the wetsuit keep you warm enough in really cold water?

Well, I didn’t write that, however…

Re: Helmets:

I haven’t used a helmet to date, but many of our non-packrafting friends, particularly after our “Geehi River Packrafting” youtube submission, suggested we ought do so, so we got helmets for our NZ trip in Jan, and then the river turned out to be unraftable, so I’m left with that difficult dilemma of “how else to use a helmet on a wilderness trip”, and it comes back to being able to design one made from aluminium or titanium, which you can cook in as well. (there have been previous posts about this). Despite my medical vocation, it would seem to me that a helmet is rather “overkill” for most of my packrafting…

You would be hard pushed to drown in the lower Eucumbene river. Most of the pools are shallow, but, of course you don’t know this until you’ve fished it or rafted it. Unless you know this, a PFD looks a useful addition

Late May, Snowy Mountains…If you’ve ever fished there at this time, you’ll know that ice clogs the guides on your fly rods. For rafting, a wetsuit is a minimal addition. Poor man’s dry-suit better. Proper dry-suit best, but not so suited to fishing. Unless of course you’ve had your nuts cut off, in which case they don’t push on your throat!

The problem beyond this, of course, is the lack of raftable water…!


yer the unfortunate lack of water kinda meant the helmets and PFDs were not required on the lower river. We had intended to raft the upper river (with water in it…) there is some good pootube footage of the upper river with a bit more water in it…would definatly need the helmet and PFD for it .


Yeah - I think I saw that (although I looked on youtube!) - was that of a guy in a red kayak? Looked quite hairy.

When we fished up near the Kiandra Rd bridge, I walked down into the top of the gorge, which I think is where the “suicide hole” is. That little section of water would be very scary when the river was running properly.