Distance: 11 kilometres return
Duration: 3 hours return
Best time to launch: 1.5 hours before high tide at Richmond River – Broadwater .
Start/finish: Broadwater boat ramp, Broadwater Road, Broadwater – GPS: 29°00’49.0″S 153°25’41.4″E.
Parking: Sealed parking area at ramp.
Toilets: Dungarubba boat ramp, Broadwater Road, Broadwater
There are three points of access to this part of the Richmond River; Broadwater boat ramp on Broadwater Road in Broadwater, Dungarubba boat ramp on Broadwater Road in Broadwater, and Rileys Hill Dry Dock Boat Ramp on Rileys Hill Dry Dock Road in Rileys Hill. You can start and/or end an on-water adventure at any of these places. Assuming you start from Broadwater boat ramp, head to the right after launching to go upstream on the Richmond River. The appropriately named Pelican Island soon splits the river in two. At high tide, you can go either side but the deeper water is on the left. Dungarubba boat ramp is on the right around 4 kilometres from the start. There are toilets here if you need them. Rileys Hill Dry Dock boat ramp is on the left another 1.5 kilometres further on. Along the way, you are treated to a view of the Rileys Dry Dock from the water. Rileys Dry Dock opened in 1900 and was used to maintain and repair the boats that worked the Richmond River until the 1990s when one of the last boats to be serviced was the SS South Steyne, now moored in Darling Harbour in Sydney. The site is also home to a quarry from which rock was extracted for use in construction of the Richmond River breakwater at Ballina between 1896 and 1905. Another highlight of this place is the former Byron Bay Jetty passenger shed. It was damaged by storms in the 1940s and 1950s and moved here in the 1970s for use as the manager’s office. For more information about this intriguing place, you’ll just have to see it for yourself. It can be reached on foot from Rileys Hill Dry Dock boat ramp where there is also plenty of room for a picnic.