White Water Tourists in Australia!
We were only there for a few days between flights, but we had a great time in and around Sydney...
We didn't have any prior info and simply made it up as we went along. 'World Whitewater' orderable from the bookshop has some Australian rivers in it. The Slalom Course is described at http://playak.com.
Rivers We Paddled
We only spent a few days boating in Oz...
Bondi Beach - Jetlagged surfing in a Sydney suburb, tremendous views in every direction...!
Penrith Olympic Slalom Course - Grade 3. Surprisingly good, warm water and great playspots. And the ultimate toy, a conveyor belt to return you to the top! So good we spent two days there.
Wollongong Beach - a series of surf beaches south of Sydney. Not great conditions when we were there.
We carried our boats on the train, buses and underground railway. Noone blinked, try that in the UK. We hired a car from Bondi Rentals. Although they don't know we broke the rental agreement by sticking boats straight onto the roof, the b*st%rds still haven't paid up the deposit.
Accommodation and Food
Easy enough. Bondi Beach has loads of cheap and filthy hostels filled with Brit 'Gap Year' types who never made it further from the airport. Conveniently they also staff the numerous bars and restaurants so food is no problem. Morals are lax hereabouts, our female hostel roommates didn't waste time in asking our marital status. Outside Sydney we camped rough in the Blue Mountains National Park (ask Park Offices for info on permitted spots), gorgeous and recommended. We also slept in the car near a beach, not actually allowed.
Fairly expensive. I think the car cost about 50 Oz dollars a day with petrol. Our budget worked out at 30-40 quid a day, not including the deposit which we haven't had back from the rental people yet.
A few days in and around Sydney is recommended for a short stopover break. You must visit the Slalom course if you are passing through.