This section and the next (to Hut Creek) are the best family canoeing opportunities on the river. When our kids were little (just a quarter century ago) we must have canoed them a hundred times. In the morning you can drop in at the Kingwell Bridge, spend two delightful hours on the river (much more with swims!) yet be back at your camp at the Black Snake Creek for lunch. After lunch you can canoe the two hours down to Hut Creek (between Maguires and the RPC Scorpion Track).
The photos that follow are of this first section. (I will post about the second section later). The photos are in sequence so I hope give some indication of what you will encounter (many delights) along the way. Both sections are just pebble races or Grade 1+ rapids. Of course you can fall out. Your kids should be wearing life jackets but I confess that once ours could swim we found it just about impossible to keep them on them.
Every now and then you might encounter something (a tree down perhaps, or a log sitting in a dangerous position) where you want to get out and walk the boats around. Della does not see as well as she used to, so reverts to this strategy more than I do. Also, sometimes she misses the deepest channel and has to get out – but she has only 38% vision, so if she can still canoe this river, I’m sure you can! You need about 1.70 metres at the Waterford gauge to canoe from the Kingwell Bridge to the Waterford Bridge http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDV60078.html
Setting out just above the Kingwell Bridge. There is a large cleared area on the upriver side where you can easily turn a car and trailer around – or camp if you wish!
There was some heavy roan traffic on the bridge that day!
Some majestic gums line the river.
Mostly, as you see, it is fun pebble races.
And pleasant deep sections just right for a swim. We could never go far before the kids wanted a dip!
A great little rapid.
And another deep section where you can ‘raft up’.
Hawkhurst’s sheep slumbering under their ancient poplars didn’t like the look of us – or our dogs!
What a lovely deep lead!
The gums and European trees get on together just fine.
Some wood ducks enjoying the river.
Della missed the channel here below the willows and poplars.
This gum tree though seems to be trying to avoid these poplars! Neighbours!
A great swimming hole.
And a lovely beach opposite.
Della always loves to have a fossick.
This time she has turned up a treasure!
She wanted to avoid this little rapid though she has canoed it scores of times before.
The dogs Tiny and Spot are all attention.
Some interesting cliffs for climbing.
And around the bend we go!
Another beautiful deep lead.
Looking back at the last little drop, the light catches the water splendidly.
As it does here.
Always some beautiful flowers to see.
This swing bridge is just above the Black Snake Creek. Time to start looking for the small landing beach (left) where the creek joins the river.
What a delightful trip! Hope you enjoy it too.
Nowadays there is a free camping ground (with fire pits, toilet, etc) at Black Snake Creek (which was a town with a PO etc during the Depression). The remaining hut is the home of its last inhabitant, Harry Gee who stayed on here alone for many years. His house used to have a huge walnut tree on the Downstream side and a vast loquat on the upstream side. There was a bridge spike in the walnut tree about 8′ up where he used to hang the carcass of a sheep, etc he was to eat.
The mine which was the purpose of the town lies further up the valley. There is a walking path. We used to park the camper under the deep shade of his walnut tree where the Gang Gangs and Major Mitchells rained down green walnuts on us! Before the kids could swim they would make a wading pool in the creek just behind his house. We had many lovely holidays there – I hope you do too!