Inland Regions

Want to know the best places to go kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddleboarding in the inland regions of New South Wales? These guides are free for Global Paddler members and yearly memberships are available now from the Global Paddler online store. To download a detailed trip description for a great paddling destination with photos, paddle map, GPS coordinates, fishing information and recommended places to eat, drink and stay the night, simply click on its name in the table below.

Trip Locator Map for Inland Regions

1. Yates Crossing Many people think that the upper Clarence River is purely a playground for whitewater enthusiasts but at Yates Crossing near Tabulam, there is a 15 kilometre ribbon of flat water that makes it possible for paddlers of all persuasions to enjoy this gorgeous part of the world.
2. Tareelaroi Weir Tareelaroi Weir is a long winding pool on the Gwydir River just outside Moree, the Artesian Spa Capital of Australia. The chance to dip your blade in a cool fresh stream before immersing yourself in healing thermal mineral waters makes this a compulsory stop on the paddling tourist trail.
3. Pindari Dam Pindari is a word in the language of the Kwiambal Aboriginal people that means “high rocks”. It’s a fitting name for a place characterised by spectacular granite rock formations, but there are also many wonderful surprises to be found hiding between the cracks.
4. Walgett Gamilaraay is the traditional language of the indigenous people of Walgett. The name of the town comes from their word for “the meeting of two waters” in reference to its position on the confluence of the Namoi and Barwon Rivers, both of which feature in this lovely paddle.
5. Bourke Henry Lawson famously once wrote, “If you know Bourke, you know Australia.” Whether or not you agree with that sentiment, you will have a tough time finding anyone who has been to Bourke who hasn’t heard the Outback whispering to them quietly but confidently… this is Australia.
6. Split Rock Reservoir Split Rock Reservoir is a man-made lake which was originally created to store irrigation and town water for the Namoi Valley but it is now so much more than that. It is a fantastic recreational venue for anglers, birdwatchers and water sports enthusiasts alike.
7. Lake Keepit One of the great things about being a paddler is you can take in so much more of a place than anyone who is stuck on land. Most visitors to Lake Keepit only see its southern broadwater but it weaves much further north and there are many additional treasures to uncover.
8. Chaffey Dam The Fossickers Way is a much loved tourist trail through the North West Slopes region of NSW. It is famous for discoveries of precious metals and gems, but there’s a far more valuable prize at its southern end – the “blue gold” waters of Chaffey Dam.
9. Lake Wetherell Lake Wetherell is a truly stunning place. Outback light frames endless silhouettes of floodplain trees protruding from the water. These trees are an eerie reminder of the past and home to wonderfully vibrant birdlife.
10. Mumbil Mumbil is a lovely locality that kisses the southern side of the Macquarie River immediately downstream from Burrendong Dam. It is home to sulphur-crested cockatoos, white-bellied sea-eagles, lovely river red gums, and the starting point for a wonderful 34 kilometre paddle into Wellington.
11. Wellington The 150 kilometre Macquarie River Canoe & Kayak Trail from Wellington to Narromine is one of the great river trails of NSW. Fantastic free campsites and other places to stay make it possible for you to spend four, six or even eight wonderful days completing the entire adventure.
12. Dubbo South Dubbo is both the centrepiece of the superb Macquarie River Canoe & Kayak Trail and a feature of one of the most popular events on the NSW paddling calendar. If riding the flow of the Macquarie into Dubbo isn’t already on your bucket list then you should add it right now.
13. Dubbo North It is incredible to imagine that water running out of Dubbo in the Macquarie River today could eventually make it all the way to the Southern Ocean via the Barwon, Darling, and Murray Rivers. The very least we can do is provide it with an escort for the next leg of its epic journey.
14. Narromine I can feel a sing-along coming on. All together now. “Sweet Narromine… Boh, boh, bohhh… Good times never seemed so good… So good, so good, so good… I’ve been inclined… Boh, boh, bohhh… To believe they never would… Oh no no…”
15. Mookerawa Waters Mookerawa is a secret hideaway on the western bank of the Macquarie River in the quiet backwaters of Lake Burrendong. Fishing, forests, farmland, and fossicking make it a golden opportunity for a paddle through the Golden West.
16. Dunns Swamp This is a swamp by name but definitely not by nature. It is a place of crystal clear water, impressive sandstone pagoda rock formations, abundant wildlife, and gorgeous expanses of open eucalypt woodland and heath.
17. Colo River The Colo River has been officially declared a “wild river” by the New South Wales government. This means it is given extra protection because it is recognised as being in a pristine state and having high conservation value. It also means this will long be a place that paddling dreams are made of.
18. Lake Wyangala Lake Wyangala has been described as the “Jewel in the Crown of the Central West” and it’s easy to see why. This glittering expanse of green is a wonderfully scenic location for long open water paddles and lazy days fishing for trout.
19. Euabalong When driving from Condobolin to Lake Cargelligo, it would be easy to pass through the tiny town of Euabalong without giving it a moment’s thought, but then you would miss out on this fantastic opportunity to paddle on the legendary Lachlan River.
20. Lake Cargelligo It is not uncommon for people who are seeing Lake Cargelligo for the first time to pinch themselves to make sure they are not dreaming. The existence of this incredible body of water in what is otherwise a semi-arid region is almost too good to be true.
21. Wentworth Wentworth is the location of arguably the most important moment in the story of Australia’s inland waterways. This is the place where the Murray and Darling Rivers join forces to create the incredibly large and immensely valuable Murray-Darling Basin.
22. Balranald This home of funky green frogs and co-star of the 5 Rivers Fishing Trail is also a fine place to paddle. Excellent one way and return trips are both possible on the Murrumbidgee River between the town of Balranald and the Mamanga Campground in Yanga National Park.
23. Hay Never know how much I love you, never know how much I care, when you put your arms around me, I get a fever that’s so hard to bear. It’s Hay fever Jim, but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it. That is of course unless you are allergic to saltbush… or possibly wool.
24. Gogeldrie Weir Just over halfway through its long journey from the Snowy Mountains to the Murray River, the persistently playful Murrumbidgee River tumbles through ancient river red gum forests and plunges headfirst into a well-earned rest in the refreshing pool behind Gogeldrie Weir.
25. Wagga Wagga WThere are many ways to get to Wagga Wagga. Public planes, trains, and automobiles run services from Sydney and Melbourne, or you can drive, ride, or run from wherever you happen to be, but the most enjoyable way to arrive is by water, on the flow of the magnificent Murrumbidgee River.
26. Edward River If going to Deni and not seeing the Ute On The Pole is like going to Disneyland and not seeing Mickey Mouse, going to Deni and not doing the Edward is like going to Disneyland and not riding Space Mountain.
27. Lake Burrinjuck Lake Burrinjuck is unquestionably a very scenic waterway, with rolling farmland hills, steep wooded slopes, and sculptured stone features, but it’s so much more than that. This quiet achiever is also the star of one of Australia’s largest food production schemes.
28. Gundagai Gundagai has a special place in Australian history and culture. It is home to the Dog on the Tuckerbox and has inspired famous poetry. After this ride on two of the country’s most beautiful rivers you might just get some inspiration yourself.
29. Talbingo Reservoir Tucked into the towering terrain of the south west slopes just south of Tumut is the tiny town of Talbingo and the scenic 190 hectare paddling opportunity of the same name that was given to us by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme.
30. Lake Burley Griffin East Lake Burley Griffin lives in the heart of Australia’s capital city. It is one of our best-known waterways. Burley Griffin Canoe Club members have enjoyed gliding across the lake’s picture-perfect reflections of Canberra’s cityscape for over 25 years. Isn’t it time you joined in the fun?
31. Lake Burley Griffin West When the Commonwealth of Australia was established in 1901, we decided our nation deserved a new custom made capital, so a beautiful garden city centred on a dazzling ornamental lake was created. That city is Canberra, and its prized water feature is Lake Burley Griffin.
32. Googong Reservoir This picturesque waterway is the centrepiece of the Googong Foreshores outdoor recreational facility just over half an hour from Canberra, where paddling can easily be combined with mountain biking and running to create your own personal adventure race.
33. Lake Jindabyne Lake Jindabyne lies in an area better known for skiing and snowboarding than flat water kayaking, but clean crisp air and alpine reflections on glassy waters are an amazing setting for what is a truly memorable trip.
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