Summer 2020-2021 season
Southern Cross Kayaking return to Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp with kayak tours and kayak/SUP hire, starting in the September school holidays (Saturday 26th September), operating on holidays and weekends from then until the 18th of April 2021.
Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp NPWS camp ground and picnic area has re-opened to visitors. Bookings are not required for day use visits, however are essential for camping, and can be made via the NPWS website.
Thanks so much for your patience and support. We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. Look forward to catching up!
Cheers, Cindy & John.
Stand Up Paddle Board Hire
We’re excited to announce that we have now extended our fleet of paddle craft to include Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs), which will be available for hire starting from the December school holidays.
Stand up paddle boarding has seen a great rise in popularity and many of you have asked us about it in the past. As you know, we always select quality equipment to maximise the safety and enjoyment of paddle experiences for our visitors. It has taken some time to research and find a great Stand up Paddle Board range and we’re pleased to have teamed up with Red Paddle Co to bring you fantastic boards that are super stable and fun to paddle.
So do come out and try this new way to explore ‘the Swamp’. We’re really enjoying the different perspective provided by paddling standing up; looking over the reeds into birds nests and straight down into the water to watch the Long Necked Turtles.
The calm, protected environment means that conditions on the water here are suitable for novice as well as experienced paddlers of both kayaks and stand up paddle boards and hope you’ll have the opportunity to come and enjoy an incredible and memorable paddling experience with us.
Stand Up Paddle Board Hire is available daily.
Cost $30 per hour.
Kayak hire is also available all day (in addition to daily guided kayak tours), providing a great opportunity to experience the wonders of Wollemi National Park from the peaceful perspective of a stable kayak gliding on the pristine waters of the Cudgegong River.
There are several kayaking options available:
Single kayaks – $30 per hour per boat ($50 for 2 hours)
Double kayaks – $35 per hour per boat ($60 for 2 hours)
Double seakayaks (with rudder) – $40 per hour per boat ($70 for 2 hours)
All prices include hire of kayak or SUP, paddle and safety equipment, pre-paddle safety briefing, map and paddling instruction.
Guided kayak tours of Dunns Swamp depart at 9:00 am daily cost $50 per person. Duration is approximately 2 hours and includes hire of kayak, paddle and safety equipment, pre-paddle safety briefing and a guide for your tour who will provide paddling instruction and informative commentary about the fascinating nature and cultural history of the area. Bookings are recommended. Contact us to book kayak tours or hire at Ganguddy. Internet access is limited if we don’t respond straight away, please call Cindy or John for bookings 0439 936 480, or book tours online at Mudgee Region Tourism website.
Part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area, the park is home to a rich variety of wildlife (with an amazing 235 recorded species of birds), over 40 species of rare plants (including the recently discovered ‘living fossil’, the Wollemi Pine) and an awe-inspiring array of geological features, such as the remarkable pagoda rock formations.
There is approximately 5kms of river which is navigable by kayak. We are situated at the boat ramp by the day use picnic area, which is roughly in the middle. Most paddlers are able to paddle from our base either upstream or downstream and return in around an hour, or explore the whole area in a two hour paddle.
Located approximately 3.5 hours from Western Sydney, 1.25 hours from Mudgee and 1.5 hours from Bathurst or Lithgow, access Ganguddy (Dunns Swamp) via Kandos or Rylstone and follow the signs to Wollemi National Park. The last 8km is gravel road but usually in good condition and suitable for 2 wheel drive vehicles.
“The first time John took me to ‘Dunns Swamp’, I think I took a bit of convincing: the European name given to the area doesn’t in any way reflect it’s stunning beauty. We left Sydney late in the evening after work, so it was dark when we arrived and the place still had no opportunity to impress. I’ll never forget the awe and surprise on waking in the morning and seeing it for the first time. I was left speechless by the sight and aura of the place and re-experience that wonder with every visit.
I love the peace and quiet, the wildlife, birdlife, flora and rock formations and treasure every chance to experience it from the water. I’ve often seen platypus there: one of my favourite animals and always a special treat to see them in the wild. I’ve learnt to spot the V shaped trail they make in the water and watch for the arch of their back as they dive. Most likely to be spotted as they feed in the early morning or late evening, we’ve seen them at Ganguddy at mid-morning on an overcast day.
My first ever encounter with a Musk Duck occurred at Ganguddy. Hearing it’s strange gutteral call, and whistling and loud splashing, for the first time left me wondering what kind of creature it could be. A later meeting with the duck revealed the unusual appearance of the male with his ornate, leathery looking throat flap, fluffy curled up tail and beautiful plumage. His appearance combined with his splashing, calling and territorial behaviour left me smiling for days.
The incredible treasures of nature here, the ancient connection of indigenous communities to the area and fascinating history of the creation of the Swamp by the damming of the Cudgegong River in the 1920’s to provide water to the cement works at Kandos, ensure that there is something of interest for everyone.” – Cindy.
What we will supply:
- Quality gear – stable kayak,
- Quality paddle,
- Australian standard certified PFD or Personal Flotation Device (that’s life vest in ‘oldspeak’), specifically designed for paddling comfort.
- Dry bags for your the personal items you can’t leave behind.
- Safety briefing and instruction on entering, exiting, paddling and stopping the kayak and what to do in the unlikely event of a capsize.
- Description, map and information of the hire area.
What you need to bring:
- Any personal medication you require (eg: asthma spray, epi-pen)
- Footware: needs to be able to get wet (well, it is a water sport after all!), stay on your feet in the water and provide protection for your feet, so no thongs, please.
- Drinking water – sufficient for the duration and forecast weather of the activity.
- Protection from the elements – sunscreen, hat, sunglasses (polarised lens give you better vision into the water). A strap or cord to attach hat and sunglasses to you or your PFD.
- Clothing: ‘rashies’ or suitable clothing that provides protection from the sun and also warmth. Polyproplene ‘thermals’ are most suitable – keeping you warm whether wet or dry. Don’t wear cotton clothing: it wicks moisture when wet and you will quickly become cold.
- A lightweight spray jacket will provide protection against rain and wind.
- Your sense of fun and adventure!
Things to remember:
- Electronic devices including (car keys) really don’t play well with water! While we do have dry bags for your gear, if something is dear to you and not essential in the kayak, it will be safest to leave it on dry land.
- Glasses and sunglasses are expensive to replace, particularly when they contain prescription lenses. Attach a strap or chord to your glasses to keep them attached to you.
Neoprene glasses straps hold glasses on your head and provide flotation if they do come off.
- The 5 C’s: ‘Cold Cotton Can’t Come Canoeing’!
- Please note that without suitable footware you won’t be able to join a Southern Cross Kayaking activity.
- For your safety and everyone else’s, you will not be permitted to join a Southern Cross Kayaking activity if under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When visiting Wollemi National Park, please help to preserve our precious natural and cultural heritage:
- Aboriginal sites, places and culture are protected as are all fauna, flora and rock formations within the Park.
- Wildfires can destroy lives and property, so be careful, especially during the bushfire danger period (normally October to March). Observe total fire bans and park fire bans. During fire bans use of gas barbecues is illegal.
- Leave pets and firearms at home-they are not permitted in national parks.
- Drive carefully. Vehicles, including motorbikes, must keep to formed public roads.
- No rubbish bins are provided. Take your rubbish with you when you leave the park.