Peaceful little Talarm presides over a beautiful Taylors Arm paddle trail and boasts a lovely spot to get onto the water. Taylors Arm is familiar to many because it is the location of The Pub With No Beer but the waterway from which it got its name is worthy of just as much attention.
Up to 9 kilometres / Up to 2.5 hours
Creekbank, Welsh Pioneer Park, Welshs Creek Road, Talarm
GPS: 30°42’52.4″S 152°50’46.2″E / -30.714567, 152.846158
Riverbank, Boat Harbour Road, Talarm (private property)
Large parking area on grass
Sheltered, tidal, light traffic, shallow areas
Not so long ago, Taylors Arm was facing the prospect of being The Place With No Pub And No Beer as well as having The Paddle Trail With No Place To Launch. The pub was struggling financially and there was talk of Welsh Pioneer Park, where this trail begins, being closed to the public. However, local people came to the rescue of both. You can help both of them stay open long into the future by choosing to enjoy this trail and some good old Taylors Arm hospitality next time you are in the Nambucca Valley.
Talarm is also The Town With No Church but that hasn’t always been the case. There was a church here between 1928 to 2001. It was subsequently moved to the grounds of The Pub With No Beer where it is now used to display a collection of beer memorabilia. Another great reason to visit the pub for après-paddle refreshments.
From Welsh Pioneer Park, the aim is to paddle upstream on Taylors Arm until you reach the bridge that carries Boat Harbour Road over the waterway and then come back again. There is private property on both sides at this stage so it is not recommended that you start or finish a trip here. Having said that, in case of emergency, it is possible to leave the water and access the road at the northeastern corner of the bridge.
The total distance from Welsh Pioneer Park to the bridge and back is 9 kilometres as the bass swims. If the water level is low, there may be several gravel races at the upstream end that require portaging. If you don’t want to do that, the distance you travel will be a little shorter.
Welsh Pioneer Park is at the junction of Taylors Arm and Rohns Creek. The best place to get into the water is the gravel slope between the impressive river she-oaks (Casuarina cunninghamiana) that are doing an excellent job of holding the rest of the bank together.
River she-oaks share their Taylors Arm bank stabilisation responsibilities with red bottlebrushes (Melaleuca viminalis). For a long time, bottlebrush species have been known as callistemon. There has been a long discussion about whether they should be grouped with paperbarks and classified as melaleuca instead, mainly due to the arrangement of stamens on the flowers. Scientifically, the melaleuca side of the argument has won but for now, the name callistemon is still commonly used.
Around 3.5 kilometres from the start, there are remarkable lightly-coloured sedimentary rock formations at a place known as Hells Gates. This is a surprising name because it is much more like heaven than hell. This is a memorable highlight of the trail that is even more striking when the red bottlebrushes scattered among the stonework are in flower. The only people likely to have any ill feelings towards it are those who manage to collide with the rocks.
One of the best things about Talarm as a destination is that unless you live here, the only reason you are likely to come is to enjoy a picnic in the park, to go fishing, or to paddle. There are several great places to paddle in the Nambucca Valley but Talarm is unquestionably the most tranquil.
The Pub With No Beer, 4 Taylors Arm Road, Taylors Arm, (02) 6564 2100
Nambucca River Tourist Park, 143 Nursery Road, Macksville, (02) 6568 1850
Choices are the hinges of destiny.Edwin Markham