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Hop in a canoe on the undeniably beautiful Shoalhaven River and discover serenity in the remote Morton National Park wilderness.
The Shoalhaven Gorge is home to some of the best canoeing in Australia. Winding its way down 327km from Southern Tablelands all the way to Nowra on the South Coast of New South Wales, the river offers a perfect wilderness getaway for beginners and experts alike. Along the way, paddle up river from Tallowa Dam to explore the heart of the gorge, only accessible via canoe.
Once you’ve discovered this paddler’s paradise, it’s certain to stay with you forever!
As there are no towns, houses, roads or trails, you’ll find yourself lost in the pristine nature. Its landscapes draw numerous types of plants and wildlife. So keep an eye out for some remarkable wild animals in their natural habitats.
We’ll camp at a river-side grassy bank for the night. Enjoying switching off with no reception, just the sound of birds and enjoying new surroundings.
The trip includes a skills briefing and development as you paddle that will prepare you for the days on the water.
* All prices are per person and listed in Australian Dollars (AUD). All prices shown are GST inclusive where applicable.
Our wilderness canoe trip begins in Kangaroo Valley at our meeting location - Kangaroo Valley Safaris Base House - 2210 Moss Vale Rd Barrengarry 2577 in Kangaroo Valley.
Here, you’ll get the chance to meet your guide who will take you through what items to place in your allocated waterproof drum barrel. After a short shuffle and sorting of gear, the group will jump on the bus and head south 15 minutes to the starting point of our canoe adventure at Tallowa Dam.
Once we arrive, take a deep breath of fresh, outdoor air and get excited to being packing gear into the canoes before setting off.
Our guides are experts and will provide you with canoe-specific skills and emergency procedures including hand signals. You’ll learn some basic paddle strokes that will help you to maneuver your canoe with your paddle partner more effectively. You’ll also be advised on minimal impact or “leave no trace” camping in the wilderness. Our group will camp in the untouched wilderness without causing harm to its precious ecosystem.
At first, we move slowly to get used to the canoes and being on the water. Keep in mind that your paddling speed is highly dependent on the wind and your guide will instruct a slow pace for the group. You’ll spend 1-1.5 hours on the river before stopping for morning tea.
After a rest break, we continue further up river, another 2-3 hours before arriving at camp. We will pith our tents on sandy river and grassy banks.
During the afternoon, you’ll have ample time to enjoy swimming, reading your book in your camp chair and a bite to eat. Spend the night around warming campfire to the crackle of a fire. If it’s a clear night and we’re lucky, the stars will illuminate the dark night sky.
In the evening, a healthy dinner awaits.
No need to set an alarm, local birdlife begin early. Enjoy a cuppa coffee/tea as you wake and settle into a morning in the wild. Your guide will prepare breakfast, before we begin to pack up our gear and make our way back down river to Tallowa Dam.
On the return journey, we stop again for rest breaks. Back at Tallowa Dam, we meet the canoe trailer and bus to transport us back to our cars in Kangaroo Valley. Expect to be back between 1.30-2pm.
Our trip is designed to provide a moderate outdoor adventure experience for women, including those who are new to such activities. While the trip is graded as easy to moderate, it is important to note that a basic to good level of fitness is required as we will be in a wilderness context. Paddling a canoe can be physically demanding, especially if this is your first time. However, you will be in a double canoe with another lady to help share the load. We cannot control the weather, and in some cases, higher winds may make paddling more difficult. We are not in a rush and are here to help. Therefore, we recommend that healthy women in good physical condition who are willing to engage in canoeing and camping activities over a three-day period book this trip. This includes setting up tents, moving gear in and out of canoes, and paddling. You can expect to be out on the water for 3-4 hours each day.
To prepare for the trip, we advise engaging in at least 1 hour of physical aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week. Our goal is to provide a safe, enjoyable, and rewarding experience, and your physical preparedness is essential to that end. Beginners to canoeing are welcome.
The answer is still yes! We recommend contacting us if you’re unsure about our trips and want to chat through this overnight adventure. Our experienced and certified guide team will do everything they can to make your trip within your reach. A good base level of fitness is required and this will make your trip more enjoyable.
Our healthy, fresh-food menu has evolved over the years of wilderness canoeing camping. With space in double canoes and drum barrels, we have the luxury of including fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses and frozen items carried in special cooler-packs. Imagine having fresh springs rolls around the compfire - that’s ridiculous! It’s what we do. At Women Want Adventure, our guides prepare healthy meals with originality and sometimes “shock and awe” to every meal.
Provided we are advised in advance we are able to cater for vegetarian diets, and can assist with food intolerances. Please ensure you discuss your requirements with us at least a month prior to your trip to determine whether we can cater for your dietary needs. We do not cater for FODMAP on this trip.
All equipment is placed inside the canoes (there is surprisingly more than you think!). Once we pull up to the shore of camp, it’s roughly a 100-200m walk up the shoreline to camp. We unpack the canoes and carry out gear to camp to set up.
Yes. Please email a picture and description to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A normal size pillow is more than okay. It will be placed into the blue waterproof drum we provide you.
Yes. These can fold up and be placed inside the canoes between the front and back seat.
Almost everyone! Welcome to the community. Most women turn up individually to our trips to connect with others and make friends with like-minded women who enjoy getting outdoors.
Cars will be left at Kangaroo Valley Safaris Base House - 2210 Moss Vale Rd Barrengarry 2577 in Kangaroo Valley. It is safe to leave your car here.
There is a bathroom at our meeting location in Kangaroo Valley and another public bathroom at our launch and finish location at Tallowa Dam. There is one pit toilet at our camp location up Shoalhaven Gorge.
We will introduce you to your fellow women paddlers and help you match with someone to hop in a canoe with you. Partners can be changed on the second day if you wish and stronger paddlers can also team up with first-timers.
Women Want Adventure is always checking weather forecasts and will notify you if the weather is unsafe to run a trip. Please note, if wind directions change, we can alter the trip to paddle from Tallowa Dam to Bendeela Picnic Area. This is also a fabulous route on the water.
Is it suitable for beginners?
I would do this trip again and again!!!
I don't know where to start! Exceeded all my expectations from day one. Our guide Monique worked non stop to make sure we had the trip of a lifetime! The group bonded like old friends and quickly fell into a routine in camp. You truly get out of this experience a two days of absolute wilderness. I’m honestly shocked that I’ve never even heard of the Shoalhaven Gorge let alone knew you could canoe up there living close in Wollongong! Even getting to swim at camp and then eating Mon’s food!!! Wow, that woman can cook! I would like to say thank you to the group and Mon for a truly memorable experience, it wouldn't have been the same without you all!!!!!😃
Shoalhaven Gorge TestimonialLOVED, loved this trip. Take me back. Thank you Mon for the spring rolls around the campfire and your home made brownies! Didn't think I would swim in the river but glad I did. I would like to come back for a two night trip. Just amazing!
Great weekend away!
Was an amazing weekend with a great group of women!! Thanks to our guide Sandra! Totally recommend this trip!
"This was my first trip with WWA and won't be my last! Thank you to our guide Monique for making this so special. I booked this with three of my friends to celebrate my 40th, and Monique whipped up a cake! I honestly did not want to leave on Sunday and could have stayed up there camping another few nights. Amazing trip and well organized."