The small Bellinger watershed, on the north coast of NSW, hosts a beautiful gravel-bed river that is suitable for a variety of canoeing day-trips. There is 70-km of accessible river, upstream of Bellingen. The steepest parts of the river--thus the most rapids--are above Thora, accessed by Darkwood Rd. Because of the number of low-level bridges along Darkwood Rd, there are plenty of options for paddling.
Between Thora and Gordonville Crossing (8-km), there is only one rapid (Grade 2) and lots of gravel races and pools. There are shallow sections that warrant the use of a pole.
Between Gordonville and Bellingen (11.5 km), there is only one rapid (Grade 1), and longer pools separate the gravel races. The tidal limit is at Bellingen bridge, or thereabouts.
The river can rise high very quickly, because the Dorrigo Escarpment that flanks the Bellinger promotes orographic rainfall.
This is an awesome video. Thank you for posting it. I hope this will not set a new standard in our forum as even less people would dare to post trip-reports;)
These low level bridges would scare me shitless with high water levels (as well as all these fallen trees). I realize that eye-catching trousers are mandatory while poling (we discussed this a few weeks ago). Seems like I should get me some too. The bamboo-pole looks nice. I will try to get hold of bamboo which is not really easy to get in this dimensions over here. You don't use any pole-shoe on it, do you?
What a beautifull river you have. Thank you for this glimpse into the Australian summer.