Dan Owbridge

Yellowpatch on Curtis Island

WHEN people think of Curtis Island these days, it’s often in association with the new coal seam gas plants that have been erected there. And while the trio of plants certainly dominate the view of the island from Gladstone Harbour, it is by no means typical of the rest of this large Curtis Coast feature. Yellowpatch Curtis Island Curtis Island …

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What is a pack canoe and why do you need one?

pack canoe one tree canoe

ORIGINALLY developed for the Adirondack region of North America, the pack canoe or pack boat is traditionally a small, lightweight open-top paddle craft designed to be manoeuvrable and easy to carry. The original concept was for a boat you could literally drop your gear into and go – it was open-topped for easy gear access and usually quite short, wide …

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Paddling on Somerset region dams


IF Brisbane is known as the River City, then Somerset Region must have to be Queensland’s Lakes District, though a little different to the one in Cumbria, northwest England. Wivenhoe and Somerset dams are Queensland’s third and fourth-largest dams respectively, and the lakes they form are fantastic boating, fishing and of course paddling destinations. At only one to 1.5 hours’ drive from …

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Solar-powered canoeing

solar powered canoe

HOW often in life can you say you get something for nothing? There aren’t many places you can go or many things you can do that won’t cost you something. In fact, I used to think the only way I could move my canoe from A to B without any cost except the sweat off my brow was with a paddle. Turns …

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Fishing from canoes

fishing from canoes

WITHOUT doubt, kayak fishing is one of Australia’s rapid growth activities. More and more amateur anglers are hitting the water in an array of craft, from cheap plastic sit-on kayaks to top-end composite offshore fishing kayaks, fishing in waters from narrow freshwater creeks to open lakes and oceans. It’s no surprise really; paddle craft offer anglers a low-cost and hassle-free …

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O’Sheas to Logans by canoe

O'Sheas to logans canoe

AN annual event run by a group I’m a member of within the Scout Association is a trip down Wivenhoe Dam from O’Sheas Crossing to Logans Inlet. The length of the paddle (40km) is definitely a challenge but is achievable for anyone with reasonable paddle skills and levels of fitness. It was certainly one that my partner and I were …

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Canoe sailing on Somerset’s dams

canoe sailing

IT’S no secret to anyone who has known me for more than 30 seconds that I’m a huge fan of canoes. The primary reason for this is their incredible versatility – one simple craft can perform so many tasks. One of my personal favourites, aside from paddling of course, is canoe sailing. Canoes have a relatively stable and efficient hull …

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Canoe camping around southeast Queensland

canoe camping

The only limit is your imagination! In addition, canoes themselves are quite inexpensive when compared to other expedition watercraft. An average canoe suitable for camping will cost between $1500 and $2000, compared to an equivalent kayak that will often range from $2000 upwards. Note here I said suitable for camping. A 10’ sit-on-top kayak is not really going to cut …

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Paddling the picturesque Mary River

paddling mary river

And that’s why the Mary River is one of my favourite paddling destinations. What the Mary offers better than most other locations in Queensland is a trail. A trail offers a challenge and some excitement on a paddling journey. It gives a traveller a sense of purpose, a one-way journey through new country with new things to experience around each bend …

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The great debate – fibreglass v plastic canoes and kayaks

fibreglass v plastic canoes and kayaks

It produces a consistent product and suits complex shapes and the addition of accessory fitments such as nut inserts. The key to the success of rotomoulded PE is its flexibility. This property allows it to give slightly when under impact and prevents it from cracking or chipping as stiffer materials tend to do. The downside of this is reduced stiffness in the …

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