There’s an old saying along the lines, “Do something you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I think Scott Rawstorne has taken this to heart because in Global Paddler’s “The Paddler’s Guide to New South Wales – 3rd Edition” there’s not a photo of him without a smile on his face. He clearly enjoys his occupation and has put to paper some 15 years of passion that we can all benefit from.
Part atlas, part history lesson, comprehensive travel guide, this excellent book is a must have for anyone with the urge to explore the lakes and rivers of NSW by kayak, canoe or stand-up paddling, although you would need a couple of lifetimes to see the lot. Our “premier state” is home to geographically diverse and often stunning landscapes and there are 185 paddle trails listed from Sydney Harbour to Lake Wetherell in western NSW, and our own Lake Burley Griffin, all with beautiful full colour photographs.
The book is just under 600 pages with a very helpful introduction on trip preparation. The main guide is then cleverly presented around four distinct colour-coded geographical regions based on those used by the Bureau of Meteorology for weather forecasting. This makes it easy to check the weather predictions for any day on the water within a given area. The regions are:
Each trail is rated for difficulty and has detailed maps with distances, estimated trip times, and descriptions of interesting sites to look out for as you paddle. There are recommended places for food and lodging, parking, likely conditions and GPS coordinates. There is a wealth of historical information including some intriguing snippets on indigenous culture before European settlement that readers may not know unless they happen to be locals.
For example, the section on Sydney Harbour East (Trail 38 in the Sydney/Hunter section, pp. 131) involves a trip south from Watson’s Bay to Point Piper via Rose Bay and back. However, at the outset it says, “… it is worth taking a short detour to Camp Cove in the opposite direction first. The indigenous Cadigal people used to spend time fishing and collecting shellfish here and the sandstone rocks were once a canvas for their rock art.” This was the site of the earliest reports by Europeans of Aboriginal art in Australia. There are similar references scattered throughout the book which can add new perspective to a journey.
It is a huge effort to compile a book like this and it is highly recommended at $44.95. There is also a discounted Global Paddler membership as a bonus for purchasers. Members receive free use of enhanced online versions of all Global Paddler guides including many not found in the book. Everyone who buys the Paddler's Guide to NSW - 3rd edition from an authorised retail outlet gets their first year of membership for just $19.95. That's less than half price for a real treasure trove of information.
Printed on high quality stock, and a handy A5 size, it’s easy to navigate, ideal for planning your next trip, and it packs readily for travel.
So, if you feel the need to get out on the water, this is a great companion. Speaking of companions. Scott has four other books in the series: The Paddler’s Guide to Victoria, The Paddler’s Guide to South Australia, The Paddler’s Guide to Queensland and The Paddler’s Guide to Melbourne. All are available here at Global Paddler www.globalpaddler.com.au
I've only discovered the joys of kayaking in the past decade and currently use a "Quest 10" (manufactured by Canadian company, Riot). It provides an ideal platform to photograph lake landscapes, the occasional event on the water and other items of interest. Needless to say, kayaking is also a great way to keep fit.