Bob Turners Track to Upper Colo Bridge Colo River

jeffcottrell's picture
Colo River
Main Entry Point: 
Main Exit Point: 

This trip starts with an hour long track walk to the river with a back pack. The track starts out and finishes with a series of steps but the rest of the time it has a gradual decline (with the occassional incline) to the river. Add extra time if you are carrying a boat. A hard shell boat would be difficult. A packraft or li-lo is preferable. If you are going to take a kayak, do the walk first so you know what you'll be in for. Do not take in a trolly and then just dump it at the river.
The trip starts out on the edge of the Greater Blue Mountains world Heritage area in the 500 meter deep Colo Gorge. There are three rapids on this section the first two are grade 2 and can easily be portage on river right. The 3rd rapid is a short grade three and if you get the line wrong and get hung up on a rock at the start you can get pinned to a flat rock about halfway down the drop. It is only a short rapid and can be portaged on river left. There are many great camp sites along the river with flat high sandbanks next to each of the rapids and deep pools between the rapids. Once you pass the last rapid the river starts to become shallow and meanders across a wide sandy river bed. There are lower sand banks around the bends in the river near Mt Townsend which get covered at about 1.5m. There is a high sand bank on river left and then on river right from there down to the Colo Merroo camp ground. Once you go past the Colo Merroo camp ground it is private property until you reach the upper Colo Reserve which is about 1km upstream of the Upper Colo Bridge on river left.
This is a great wilderness trip and is so close to Sydney.  Clean water, great scenery, swimming, fishing and camping. Lots of bird life but strangely not a lot of other native animals are visible along the river in the gorge.

Trip Duration: 
2 hour walk and 5 hours paddling
Trip Length: 
Average Grade: 
Highest Grade: 
A great introductory packrafting wilderness trip.
Section location: 
POINT (150.679337 -33.41758)


Hi i have paddled the this trip several time in my packrafts and i also carried in a heavier double inflatable a few time but it does take some time with the heavier boat if you are also taking in overnight gear. But with the packraft you can make it down the well maintained walking track to the river. there are three rapids in this section. the first two are grade two and relatively easy to paddle but the third can be a tricky as it you get turned around by brushing a rock you can easily get pined on a rock so best portage this one. There are heaps of camp sites along the river on sandy banks with plenty of drift wood for a camp fire i have more photos on my web site