Season: Summer, generally - after rain
Time: 1hr to 3 hrs
Level: 0.7 upwards. (Has been run at 0.3 but is a waste of time)
Gauge: Glenbrook Causeway
Shuttle: Short (6 minutes 15 seconds) car shuttle on bitumen.
Character: Boulder strewn rock gardens and drops interspersed with flat pools in a deep gorge.
Suits: River running boat – Anything (playboat, creek boat)
A great after work run for paddlers based in Penrith, this river only runs after very heavy and constant rain for several days. Paddleable above 0.7, at low levels is a tight technical run, with lots of big boulders and trees. At higher levels, it becomes a steep rollercoaster ride with plenty of good holes and waves, ideal for playboats.
The river at the put in is flat and placid, but quickly steepens as the gorge narrows and the river drops off the escarpment. Everything can be easily inspected, but be wary of the best drop on the trip (Waterfall Falls – Named due to the 100m high waterfall that enters on river right.) This 2m drop can be run at any level (up to 2.6m to date) and has a nice hole at the bottom that flushes. Get out well above on river left to inspect.
Shortly after, where the river runs hard against the cliffs on river left a gnarly drop called ‘The Sphincter’ which consists of a newly formed sieve where most of the river flows underneath a large rock. At high levels, it forms a 2 metre fall, but at lower levels can be run around the left of the sieve. Inspect from the boulders on river right.
Mushroom rapid follows shortly after, and consists of a pillow off a rock on river right which can be boofed off at high water. At low water there is a chicken chute on the left or run the slot beside the mushroom.The final rapid, ‘Pearly Gates’ which consists of a large twisting chute past the ‘C – Rock’ and ends in the ‘G-Spot’ a superb play hole on river left just before the river enters the Nepean River.
At the Nepean River, turn left and paddle down towards the M4 motorway bridge. Follow the left bank of the river for about 1 km and a track comes down to the river in a clump of she-oak trees
Putting In: Take the M4 motorway from Sydney or Penrith, heading West, after climbing up the mountain to Glenbrook, turn left onto Ross St, heading for the Blue Mountains National Park, Glenbrook Entrance. Take first left on to Park St and then first right on to Euroka Rd. At the end of Euroka Rd, turn left on to Bruce Road, and follow this to the national park entrance. Go through the NPWS booth and down to the car park just before the ‘road closed’ gate. If this gate is open, forget the trip, because the river will not be high enough.
Taking Out: Coming from the put in, take the M4 to the Emu Plains exit and turn right on to Leonay Parade and follow this until it reaches the river and turns in to River Road. Approximately 200m from the southern end of River Road, there is a bitumen parking area on the Nepean River side of the road. Park here. There is a small path down to the river.
Map: Penrith 9030-3N 3rd Edition 1:25000 or Street Directory
Camping: There is a camping ground on the Nepean River in MacKellar St, Emu Plains. (Nepean Caravan Park – 02 4735 4425)From the take out, follow River Road to the northern end, turn left on to the Great Western Highway and then right at the second set of lights – under the railway bridge. Take the first right, then the first right again. Turn left at the end, on to MacKellar St and it is on the right about 500m down.
Entry Date: 10/02/02
Comments: great trip!
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