35 great paddle trails
Finding a great place to go kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddleboarding in the Inland Regions of New South Wales is easy when you are a Global Paddler member. All you need to do is pick a number on our trip locator map and click or tap on the trail name with the same number in the list below. Global Paddler memberships are available from our online store.
Each Global Paddler guide includes a map, colour photographs, logistical details, a route description, local points of interest, quirky facts, and recommended places to eat, drink, and stay the night so that every day you spend on the water is fantastic.
- Yates Crossing
Many think the upper Clarence River is purely a playground for white water 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.
- Bonshaw Weir
Bonshaw Weir is the pride and joy of the little village of Bonshaw on the northern perimeter of the Inverell Shire. It is a brilliant place to paddle, with amazing birdlife, excellent fishing, pretty scenery, and a free camping area at the launch site.
- Tareelaroi Weir
Tareelaroi Weir is a winding pool on the Gwydir River near Moree, the Artesian Spa Capital of Australia. The chance to dip your blade in a cool stream before immersing yourself in thermal mineral waters makes this a compulsory stop on the paddling tourist trail.
- Pindari Dam
Pindari is a word in the language of the Kwiambal Aboriginal people that means “high rocks”. It is a fitting name for a place characterised by spectacular granite rock formations, but there are lots of other wonderful surprises hiding between the cracks.
- Lake Inverell
Lake Inverell was born in 1938 when the Macintyre River was dammed to store water for the town of Inverell. In Gaelic, Inverell means the meeting place of the swans. The name still holds true today but the swan is just one of the many creatures that thrive in this nourishing place.
- Lake Copeton
At Lake Copeton, the answer is fishing and nobody cares what the question is. If Copeton was a Kamilaroi word, it would no doubt mean “good fishing”. Lake Copeton is famous for its fishing. However, there is a lot more fun to be had and these paddle trails are the perfect place to begin.
Gamilaraay is the traditional language of the indigenous people of Walgett. The town’s name comes from their word for “the meeting of two waters” in reference to its position on the junction of the Namoi and Barwon Rivers. Both of these star in this lovely paddle.
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.
- Split Rock Reservoir
Split Rock Reservoir is a man-made lake that 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.
- 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 more treasures to uncover.
- Chaffey Dam
The Fossickers Way is a much-loved tourist trail through the New South Wales North West Slopes region. 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.
- Lake Wetherell
Lake Wetherell is a place you will never forget. Outback light frames endless skeletal silhouettes of trees that once shaded this part of the Darling River floodplain. These reminders of the past are perching places for the wonderful array of vibrant birdlife that is now sustained by the waters of the lake.
Mumbil is a lovely locality that kisses the southern side of the Macquarie River immediately downstream from Burrendong Dam. It is home to cheeky sulphur-crested cockatoos, regal white-bellied sea-eagles, attractive river red gums, and the starting point for a superb 34 kilometre paddle into Wellington.
The 150 kilometre Macquarie River Canoe & Kayak Trail from Wellington to Narromine is one of the great river trails of NSW. Free campsites and other places to stay make it possible for you to spend up to eight wonderful days completing the entire adventure.
- 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 Macquarie into Dubbo isn’t already on your bucket list then you should add it right now.
- 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 give it an escort for the next leg of its epic journey.
I can feel a Neil Diamond Fan Club 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…”
- Mookerawa Waters
Mookerawa Waters is a secret hideaway on the western bank of the Macquarie River in the quiet upper reaches of massive Lake Burrendong. Fishing, forests, farmland, and fossicking make it a golden opportunity for a paddle through the Golden West.
- Dunns Swamp
This is a swamp by name but definitely not by nature. Dunns Swamp is a place of crystal clear water, extraordinary sandstone pagoda rock formations, abundant wildlife, and the wonderful expanses of open eucalypt woodland and heath in Wollemi National Park.
- 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.
- 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 spectacularly scenic location for long open water paddles and lazy days fishing for trout.
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.
- 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 an otherwise semi-arid region is almost too good to be true.
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.
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.
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 wool.
- Gogeldrie Weir
Just over halfway through its long journey from the Snowy Mountains to the Murray, the persistently playful Murrumbidgee River tumbles through red gum forests and plunges headfirst into a well-earned rest in the refreshing pool behind Gogeldrie Weir.
- Wagga Wagga
There are many ways to get to Wagga Wagga. 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 best way to arrive is by water, on the flow of the Murrumbidgee River.
If going to Deniliquin and not seeing the Ute On The Pole is like going to Disneyland and not seeing Mickey Mouse, then going to Deniliquin and not paddling down the Edward River is like going to Disneyland and not riding Space Mountain.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 magical reflections of Canberra’s skyline for over 25 years. Isn’t it time you joined the fun?
- Lake Burley Griffin West
When the Commonwealth of Australia was established in 1901, we decided our nation deserved a new capital, so a beautiful garden city centred on a dazzling ornamental lake was built. That city is Canberra and its prized water feature is Lake Burley Griffin.
- Googong Reservoir
This picturesque waterway is the centrepiece of the Googong Foreshores outdoor recreational facility just over half an hour from Canberra. Paddling can easily be combined with mountain biking and running to create your own personal adventure race.
- Lake Jindabyne
Lake Jindabyne lies in an area better known for skiing and snowboarding than flatwater paddling, but clean crisp air and alpine reflections on glassy translucent waters are an amazing setting for what is a truly remarkable and memorable trip.