Last week I made the trip to the Penrith white water stadium for the first time.

Penrith Whitewater Stadium was the competition venue for the canoe/kayak slalom events during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Located only an hour from Sydney, it is the only man-made whitewater course of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

The construction of the Stadium was a joint venture between Penrith City Council, the International Canoe Federation and the Olympic Co-ordination Authority.

Penrith Whitewater is available year round for whitewater rafting, kayaking, beach volleyball and guided venue tours, all of which may be arranged by prior booking.

The drive from Canberra was a touch over 3 hours. The cost for recreational kayaking was $25 for the day plus a $20 dollar refundable deposit for your numbered bib. The paddling is grade 3, it is a hard grade 3 because there is very little break between rapids, although, it is much safer then your average river rapid.

The water is generally only turned on if there are raft trips booked for that day. You need to ring in advance (02 4730 4333) to find out if the water will be running and for how long, if they only have one raft trip booked for the day the water may only be switched on for an hour.

We were lucky and had about 4 hours of paddling, at the end of which I was pretty wrecked. Below are some photos of the action, click (more…) to see them.

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Overall we had a great trip, I highly recommend the trip up when the rivers are not running down this way. Check out http://penrithwhitewater.com.au for more information.