The Shoalhaven River is a perennial river that starts below ‘Euranbene Mountain’ in southeast NSW at an elevation of 864m. The upper reaches of the river flow northward through an upland pastoral district near Braidwood and works its way down into a remote canyon east of Goulburn. It then emerges into the coastal lowlands of Nowra. The river drops in elevation over its 327km length until it reaches the coast at Shoalhaven Heads.
Just south of Shoalhaven Heads there is an entrance to Berrys Canal which was constructed in 1822 by convicts overseen by Hamilton Hume under the direction of Alexander Berry. The Canal was built to allow transport via ship to the European settlements in the region at the time. The Shoalhaven river then joins with the Crookhaven River, via Berrys Canal, where it flows past Greenwell Point and Orient Point and into the Shoalhaven Bight within the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean.
There are 34 tributaries that join the Shoalhaven River along its course including the Kangaroo, Mongarlowe, Corang and Endrick Rivers as well as Jinden, Boro, Durran Durra and Stony Creeks. With an average depth of only 2.9m, the Shoalhaven River is a tidal river with a diverse environment along its banks.
Shoalhaven River Cruise departs from Nowra Public Wharf and travels upriver as far as Longreach and downriver to Shoalhaven Heads and Greenwell Point. The scenery when travelling upriver or downriver is completely different. During Upriver Cruise options, passengers will see a narrower river with sandstone rocky outcrops along the banks. When enjoying a Downriver Cruise option, passengers will see a wider river with flat pastoral land in the foreground and mountain ranges in the background as well as a change to the water color and clarity.