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Packrafting Coxs River

Sat 15 Oct, 2016 11:56 am

Hey guys,

A report from a weekend trip on the Coxs River:

http://adventuresandtinkerings.blogspot ... ck-to.html

Text, copied from blog - random little 1 sentence paragraphs are from the photo captions:

The Coxs river offers a great float through some of the most spectacular parts of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and drains it's highest peaks. As such, it has been documented about quite extensively (Noble report 1, Noble report 2 and trip 1 and 2 from me), so this will be a brief one...

Approaching the Little River Bridge

Stepping off the train at Blackheath around 8, I rode off from the station towards the house of an old friend I hadn't seen for years. The plan was to head to the Megalong Graveyard and have a little mosey on the Six Foot Track before I would put in and float down the river and Sam would head back out and on with her day. Plans however are funny things. John, her partner and our mutual friend had just celebrated his birthday and someone in the town of Bourke thought it was such a special occasion that they should steal his car, leaving John with a week off and no way to get back to his family. Being an absolute legend, Sam then drove the 8 hours to Bourke to pick him up and get back to Coffs Harbour.

Now with no travel buddy or transport, I thanked my lucky stars that I had been running late for the train, which now saw me with a bike. I did toss up the idea of bailing on the rafting to stash my floating gear in favour of an easier trip in the Grose Valley, but the warm weather and fire in my belly soon saw me whizzing down the pass on Megalong Rd towards the Six Foot Track.

Junction of Jenolan Ck and Coxs River

The track was in good condition and had me arrive at the river in an hour and a half, where I found the river with reasonably good flow (0.3m at Kelpie Pt). Dreading the idea of walking back via the Wild Dog Mountains only to have to cycle up Megalong Road, I had decided on my amble to end the walk at Breakfast Ck and check out the exit out of Ironpot Mountain. This also left with with some extra time to kill on the river so I decided to leave most of my gear and make the trek up river to Megalong Ck.

This upper section of river is worlds away from the fairly placid lower sections, with a couple of substantial rapids that would look great in an extreme whitewater clip, but also tons of strainers and portages. I ran a couple of the low risk grade II-III but most spent most my time in portages. Unfortunately, I didn't have my phone with me for this part of the trip, but you can get a feel for these rapids (though at higher levels), from this River Canoe Club video.

Spot the Goanna

After a chocolate and a faff, I now secured my gear to the front and set off down the river. This was my third time down the river, the first run at 0.2m, the next at 0.1m. Now at 0.3m, I can definitely confirm that higher is certainly better! One thing I did however notice compared to earlier trips, was that there were far more fallen trees across the river. I imagine this could become a real hazard at levels above 0.5m.

The other thing that I noticed, but I had just forgotten from earlier trips... I really don't like cows. They are big, they have horns, they get freaked out easily and they loiter by the river like muggers. On a past trip, I had a run in with one of the male variety which saw me retreat into the river in a burst of adrenaline. Thankfully on this trip they stayed their distance and simply moo'd aggressively.

Camping at the Breakfast Ck/ Coxs River junction

Past the farming land, native animals were out in force. Bunches of Water Dragons would splash into the water around every other bend, a Goanna tried to steal my food, an Echidna crossed a paths in front of me, Kangaroos where everywhere and the river appeared to be full of Bass or Trout. So after this big day of wilderness interactions and pleasant Gr II rapids, it was time to sink some food and get some shut eye before the morning slog out.

The night was fairly mild for this time of year and gave way to a clean crisp day. Trying to beat the heat, I got an early start and found myself confronted very early on with the incredible gradient that is Ironmonger Spur. There was a well established track leading up from the river (unmarked on my map), which helped incredibly and this hot work soon gave way to some wonderful ridge walking with views over the Megalong Valley.

Views from Ironpot Mtn

Back out at Dunphy's campsite I was greeted with the unexpected view of 7 or 8 cyclists with numbered placards pushing their way up the hill. When combined with the colourful looking event tents at the camp ground it quickly became apparent that there was an organised event in this part of the world. With a fairly brutal cycle up Megalong Ck ahead of me this made me hopeful that I might have some company in my suffering.

Alas, they were early birds and as I passed the community hall hundreds of eager people in colourful bibs were getting into buses and cars and trucking off to no doubt be productive somewhere else for the rest of the weekend. For me there was still a couple of hours pushing my laden bike up a hill that literally took me 15 minutes to descend. Thankfully this hill passes some delightful coachwood forest and offers great access to a mountain stream I used for regular cool off sessions

All things do eventually come to an end and fortunately for me, this includes Megalong Pass, which finally gave way to the flat plateau of Blackheath. From here it was a quick cycle, beer and wait before hoping on the train back to the city after another fun adventure!

Hauling up Megalong Rd

Re: Packrafting Coxs River

Sun 16 Oct, 2016 6:19 am

Nice one Jeremy :)

Re: Packrafting Coxs River

Tue 18 Oct, 2016 3:27 pm

I went down the six foot track saturday to the coxes. Set camp at bridge and went up stream a few hours and paddled back. Got back and some animal had taken all my food apart from a tooth marked tin of green curry tuna and two tea bags.

It was boney, a bit more water and running the smooth granite would be awesome.

Next morning realised the little dry bag i keep wallet and keys in is missing. Go and find it, as i couldnt really remember where ii put in, but did find it.

as crows yell phaaarck., inflationbag is back at camp. Walk and swim back. Tired, hungry, rooted have a swim and walk out.

as you come down the track from the megalong rd there is a right hand road/track with a sign saying do not go down here. UmI, l, ll leave tat one to your imagination.

Re: Packrafting Coxs River

Wed 19 Oct, 2016 2:33 pm

Wowsers Dave, sounds like quite the trip. Indeed it was pretty darn boney while I was there too and it was significantly higher than last weekend.

Indeed it is pretty brutal portage fest but I am certainly still thinking about some of those nicer slots!

Re: Packrafting Coxs River

Wed 19 Oct, 2016 3:22 pm

I particularly liked that shot taken at the junction of the Harrys. For future reference there is a very nice camping spot on the TR bank of the Harry's not that far up from the junction.


Re: Packrafting Coxs River

Wed 19 Oct, 2016 3:49 pm

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