The Paddler’s Guide to Victoria
By Scott Rawstorne (Global Paddler, $39.95)
As the fourth title in the series, The Paddler’s Guide to Victoria joins similar guidebooks on New South Wales, Queensland and Melbourne, providing maps, tips and insight for canoeists, kayakers and even stand-up paddleboarders seeking out new adventures.
‘In this book I explain the equipment you need and the preparations required for every day on the water,’ Rawstorne writes in his introduction, mentioning the two opening sections of the book as laid out by the contents.
Following discussions on equipment and preparation, the book then delves into the various places to be explored, divided by region. ‘Central’, ‘Gippsland’, ‘Northern Districts’ and ‘Western Districts’ provide the framework, while each of these individuals sections are then broken down into individual paddling sites, which are provided alongside basic maps and GPS coordinates. Rawstorne even highlights the locations of toilet spots along the routes he details, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to giving salient details.
Details regarding geology, history and ecology are included to serve as points of interest for the reader. For example: ‘The ecology of Swan Bay is incredibly vital in more ways than one. It is an essential stopover in the annual migration of thousands of birds like red-necked stints, bar-tailed godwits, grey plovers, eastern curlews, and curlew sandpipers that breed in places like Asia, Siberia, and Alaska and always spend their summer holidays in Australia.’
Rawstorne’s enthusiasm for the paddling pastime shines through in his writing and is as present in these pages as it is on his website. In that sense, these books may be aimed specifically at current practitioners, but they could just as easily serve as inspiration for anyone seeking to get involved with a new water-based sport.