Everyone who knows us personally knows we love to travel and immerse ourselves into nature, and we have been fortunate enough to explore many corners of the world – including our own great country. And we’ve paddled a kayak here, there and a fair few other places too. We’ve encountered all sorts of different water ways and each of them are etched into our memories for various reasons.
We’ve tried – but we still haven’t found a nicer place to paddle than this river. It’s untouched beauty, it’s sandy shores and clear waters – we just haven’t found anywhere better.
Our first kayak experience was in the canals at Noosa. Fun. Got a bit boring looking into fancy front yards – but the seed was planted. We loved kayaking. So we bought one and started to explore our own backyard. A little more each time. And in between times, we paddled at Narooma, Bermagui, Wallaga Lake, Tathra, Nelson’s Lagoon and Pambula then got adventurous at Bittangabee Bay. Each place – all in the Sapphire Coast region – has its own unique beauty, with clean water and white sand are a feature of all.
This river – the Towamba River – is a combination of all the best attributes of the Sapphire Coast: aesthetically beautiful, protected,with clear and clean water, varying from extremely salty to just brackish where our tours are conducted. Further upriver of course it is fresh and a number of small land holders take water for domestic use from its streams, whilst Council avails of its pure and mineral rich aquifer holding substantial volumes to supply towns in the southern section of the Shire. From its source just a little southeast of Cathcart, it winds through farmland that is thankfully not intensely cropped, past the little village of Towamba. Much of its catchment is protected in National Parks as it meanders its way to the sea, winding through tighter and tighter bends as it nears the mighty Twofold Bay at Kiah.
“First and foremost – it’s clean. Really clean. Flathead and little estuary rays wriggle into the white sand and you often see them dart out from under your kayak. Prawns and silver bait fish skip across the surface. It’s a magical place.”
So what makes it such a great place to paddle? First and foremost – it’s clean. Really clean. It has a sandy bottom and sand beaches around every bend, broken by sections of beautiful native reeds bordering green pastures, or rugged and steep rocky slopes full of towering Eucalypt trees of various species. It changes – so around every bend is a new vista – each offering a different display of plants and bird species. It’s calm – often – and almost always in the morning when we run our tours. Even on days when the wind does pick up, we can normally hide around a bend and stay in the lee of the breeze.
It’s tidal, with the tide here around 2 hours behind Twofold Bay, so we can use it to our advantage and often do. We always come home with the tide helping us along – and if we’re lucky we can grab a ride both ways. The river is brimming with fish: flathead, bream, tailor, mullet, garfish, blackfish, estuary perch and bass – they’re the ones I know anyway. And anyone who follows us knows about the birds. Lots and lots and lots of birds and a wide variety of species from big to little, colourful to dull, melodious and raucous. We’ve got the lot.
I guess what I’m working up to here is – we’ve paddled unique locations like Nitmuluk (Katherine Gorge) and the Dordogne River in France. They were beautiful too – in different ways. But neither can beat our own Towamba River. It’s the total package. Clean, clear, calm, diverse, ever-changing, full of fish and bird life, remote and resource-rich. We are truly blessed to live and work here. Come and explore it with the locals. We promise this river will tug at your soul and you will want to return.
So who’s the fairest of them all?