Sofala To The Bridle Track

NSW Canoe Guide's picture
Alternate Name: 
Sofala To The Bridle Track - alt
Turon River
Main Entry Point: 
Main Exit Point: 
From Sofala to the Bridle Track there are about 150 rapids and races, being mostly quite easy gravel races with the exception being Sampson's marbles about 20km down from Sofala. Sofala to Coles Bridge (15km) consists mainly of gentle races with a few tree obstructions, and would be suitable as an easy day trip for beginners. An alternative day trip would be from the first ford above Sofala (about 5km) to either of the aforementioned bridges. From Coles Bridge down, the rapids become more interesting, with a good grade 2 and an easy grade 3 drop approaching Sampson's Marbles. In these boulders is a difficult grade 3-4 rapid, with the easier route on the extreme left (only in good water), but the difficult drop in the main current (also on the left). This rapid should be inspected and portaged on the left bank if in doubt. From the Marbles down the rapids are frequent, with easy grade 2's and many races. The country becomes precipitous and sparsely vegetated with many remnants of multi-layered aqua ducts, a result of the Chinese occupation in the gold rush days. There is a large campsite river right on a large bend beyond the Marbles and numerous site after that but more suited to smaller groups.  It is possible for strong paddlers to travel the 35km from Coles Bridge to the Bridle Track Ford in one day. Generally the river is canoeable if the race beneath the road bridge at Sofala is able to be paddled without bumping and scraping. The river does drop quickly so best to put in when the river is higher, we put in at 2.28 at Sofala and by the time we reached Turon Crossing it was 2.07 and very low and boney. That said this is a spectacular 2 day trip and highly recommended with history, scenery and wildlife in abundance.  
Trip Duration: 
12 hours or 2 longish days.
Trip Length: 
Average Grade: 
Highest Grade: 
Shuttle Length: 
2 hrs return. 49 kms one way
Hot Tip: 
The bridle track from Hill End is very rough and may be unsuitable for 2wd after rain
Section location: 
POINT (149.66226110421 -33.074550715746)


Min flow 1.95m Good Flow 2.1m high Flow 2.3m Flood Unsure I had paddled the sofala to Hill End section at 1.9m listening to the book (at this time it was litterally just paddlable. The best levels are over 2m. But due to the small rapids and races i think anything over 2.4 may be washed out. Except for sampsons marbles
jeffcottrell's picture

Thanks Nathan. I have added the levels you suggested to the section description so you can see when the river is ready to paddle. It looks like the recent rain have made it good to go right now. Do you have any photos or video would can post to the web site from this trip so others can see what the river is like?