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Paddling Kambah Pool to Casarina Sands

It was a cold early highland morning. The car had been packed the night before. The check list including kayaks, paddles, dry tops, boardies and of course, food.

The 2 hour drive began with the sun rising over Canberra well in the distance. Just beautiful! On arrival we launched the boats into the freezing flow from the snowy mountains. Jumping in to that water you really know your alive!

The Murrumbidgee River has much to offer, from gentle flowing flat water to grade 3 rapids, with the section we paddled including both of these at this water level and everything in between. This is really the only time of year with consistent flow due to water releases (from snowy mountains scheme), or you could wait until there's a big storm for bigger water levels. Although being the driest continent in the world, white water paddling is a niche sport where you find yourself playing the waiting game, watching weather reports and keeping an eye in the sky, waiting for the wet weather.

Back on the river, there are loads of camp sites (even a nudist one) along the way which makes for some interesting scenery. The paddle takes about half a day at a steady pace, with some stopping along the way for some playing around retentive waves (called holes) in the river. The best part of this trip is that it's relatively close to the city, which means if you live in Canberra and the water levels are right, it can be

a quick trip to organise. Towards the exit point there are some more serious rapids as you get close to crossing underneath the Cotter Road Bridge, these are easily portable if you're lacking confidence, but we ran the rapids without any trouble.

All and all this is an awesome trip if you've done a bit of paddling before but not for the feint hearted, as white water rapid can be very dangerous for the unskilled.

All that was left to do it to pack up the boats complete a car shuffle to the top (a Ute is recommended for these trips).

Casarina Sands (Canberra)

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