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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

the drop. All rapids in this section must be carefully inspected before heading towards them. When in any doubt, you get off and walk. Canoeing books describe this section of the river as dangerous and non-canoeable. It is also un-walkable as the cliffs often disappear sheer into the water from both sides.

After a day of this adventure there are two big waterfalls to negotiate followed immediately by a large pool where the Corang River enters from the west. This was where we camped.

Up until now we had been heading mainly north, but for the next two days the river ran mainly west. Numerous waterfalls and dangerous rapids continued to intersperse the rapids that are so exciting for liloing. We walked about 30 per cent of the time, and travelled quickly on our lilos for the other 70 per cent. We were lucky this time as the water level was low, which was good for liloing; there was a sense of excitement but no real danger. In the afternoon of the fourth day the river went over a major waterfall in a series of drops and pools. Balancing packs and lilos we negotiated our path down the side of the watercourse.

Then the valley of the river changed once more, with small rapids and long pools while the main direction became north - pleasant liloing and even pleasant walking along the side. One member walked alongside the river for the whole of the sixth day. Walking was as quick as liloing. Our fifth camp was on Skull Island, completely surrounded by water. Sitting around the camp fire at night, the fireflies put on a display for us among the rocks and trees on the main hank of the river. Once a party from the Coast and Mountain Walkers were marooned here for two days when the river flooded, rising at night while they slept.

After an hour's paddling next morning we passed a party of canoeists preparing for a trip to Burrier. They had carried their canoes down the steep spur from Sewell Point. This section is ideal for liloing: small rapids, some current in the river and lots of long pools. There is plenty of time to relax and watch the scenery as it slowly moves past.

The junction with the Endrick is a disappointment. One could walk past it without noticing a big river that oozes its way in between lots of small boulders and assorted scrub. Both sides of the Shoalhaven River are covered with pebbles for a kilometre below the junction. We retraced our steps above the junction and found a camping spot with level ground, firewood and drinking water but we did not have our customary swimming pool. Footprints on the sand and a messy fireplace indicated that there were 'natives' nearby. The level of water in the river was low, the party was large, we were enjoying ourselves, but we were running out of time and the planned end of the trip was many kilometres down river.