Davidson High School Silver Qualifying Pack & Paddle

Davidson High School Silver Qualifying Pack & Paddle
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  • Davidson Silver Qualifying Pack & Paddle 22-24 October 2020
    October 22, 2020 - October 24, 2020
    7:00 am - 5:45 pm


Please find important information below about your Silver Qualifying AJ. 

All participants who undertake the Award MUST also take part in comprehensive Preliminary Training as stipulated in the Award Handbook (further information below in regards to the Preliminary Training).

NOTE – Programs are for Davidson High School students ONLY. 


YouthAdvance pride ourselves on developing challenging and rewarding adventurous journeys for all participants. Our qualified and highly experienced Program Coordinators and Guides will work with you through the required preparation and training prior to your first Adventurous Journey, then teach you skills like navigation and camp craft on your practice expedition, and finally assess your skills on your qualifying expedition.

Our staff do not lead from the front, they mentor and instruct from the back of the group to ensure that you and your group have the opportunity to work as a team and make sound judgements based on your training and our staff’s leadership. You’ll be required to take responsibility and make decisions for yourself while under supervision from experienced and qualified outdoor professionals.


YouthAdvance create physically and mentally challenging expeditions for our participants. Each day, participants will hike or paddle up to 12 km carrying their pack and all their equipment. Students are encouraged to start training and develop their fitness in preparation for these physical requirements, including weekly walks carrying their pack and wearing their hiking boots/shoes.

All of our programs satisfy the time requirements of the Adventurous Journey stipulated in The Award Handbook by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. In addition, we strive to make our AJ’s lots of fun as well as imparting knowledge on the Australian bush to help our participants make lasting memories as well as new friends and new experiences.


YouthAdvance’s partner company Remote Safety Solutions is a leading remote area risk and emergency management specialist. Safety is paramount for all of our Adventurous Journey’s. All of our risk management procedures, emergency planning and the routes will be provided to the school prior to the program.

Emergency communication and first aid equipment along with satellite tracking will be carried by each YouthAdvance staff member while on the program.


  • Transport to and from the venue;
  • All camping and national Park/State Forest fees;
  • Instruction and supervision from our experienced and qualified Outdoor Educators;
  • Group communication devices i.e. InReach, EPIRBs and satellite phones;
  • Group remote area first aid kit;
  • Preliminary Training;
  • On trip pre and post briefing;
  • Participant maps, map cases and compasses (1 per participant);
  • Canoe/Kayak, paddle and lifejacket.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW – Mooney Mooney to Marramarra

This Silver Pack and Paddle Adventurous Journey will run out of Marramarra National Park, just north of Berowra NSW. Marramarra covers rugged bushland, with dramatic sandstone cliffs and a variety of natural habitats. Marramarra is a fantastic hiking spot to get in touch with the elements and out in the Aussie bush navigating several ridgelines, creeks and other terrain features.

With the program starting at the entrance to Mooney Mooney, the first leg is on the water. Participants will make their way upstream around Milson Island and the Historic HMAS Parramatta that has come to rest on the northern shoreline of this part of the river. The towering Sydney sandstone cliffs above will provide a break from the breeze allowing participants to break while still rafting up. From there it’s down into Marramarra Creek, a gentle paddle which is rated as one of Sydney’s most scenic creek line paddles.

Day 2 will take the participants up onto the untracked ridgelines above Marramurra Creek. With some challenging navigation and sections that will require teamwork, participants will be rewarded with stunning views across the leg for Day 3. The route will then go through the “Jurassic Park” region, so-called due to the old-growth sub-tropic flora and then up and around several Indigenous sites.

Day 3 will see participants paddling downstream on the Marramarra Creek into the stunning sandstone cliff-lined valleys of Berowra Creek. A lunch stop on Bar Island will take participants back in time to the first fleet years, while they explore the old sites the island hides. From there its back on the water, cutting behind Milson Island back to Mooney Mooney.


The below program rundown may alter slightly, however, the rundown, particularly drop off and pick up times, will be confirmed prior to each program.

Day 2
Day 3
7.00 am – Participants arrive at School 6.30 am – Participants prepare breakfast, break camp 6.30 am – Participants prepare breakfast, break camp
7.15 am – Bus departs school for Program Location 7.30 am – Participants morning brief (P) 7.30 am – Participants morning brief (P)
9.00 am – Bus arrives at Program Location 8.00 am – Participants start Leg 2 hike planned route (P) 8.00 am – Participants start Leg 3 Paddle – planned route (P)
9.00 am – Participants morning brief (P) Route Planning Session / Equipment Issued 4.30 pm – Participants arrive at camp 3.30 pm – Participants arrive at the designated finish point
9.30 am – Participants start Leg 1 Paddle – planned route (P) 4.30 pm – Group debrief session (P) 3.30 pm – Group debrief session (P)
4.30 pm – Participants arrive at camp 5.00 pm – Participants setup camp, prepare dinner and Night Session on risk management
4.30 pm – Group debrief session (P) / recap of  paddling and safety procedures session (P) 8.30 pm – Participants in tents 4.00 pm – Bus departs program location
5.00 pm – Participants set up camp, prepare dinner and Night Session on risk management 5.30 pm – Participants arrive at School
8.30 pm – Participants in tents

Average Purposeful Activity (P) = 8.5 hours

YouthAdvance will collect all participants from school and return them to school. As such, please meet at Davidson High School.

DROP OFF: 7.00 am, Day 1, at school.

PICK UP: 5.00 pm, Day 3, at school.

If you are going to be late, please let us know on +61 487 003 440 so we don’t depart without you. Please ensure you monitor traffic conditions and that arrangements are made for a prompt pickup of participants.

NOTE: The expedition WILL NOT be postponed because of forecast “unsettled” weather. However,  in the event of unseasonably very bad weather, or if a weather warning is issued in the program venue, the expedition may be postponed to ensure the safety of our participants. You will be notified of this via email. 


Your child using appropriate gear is instrumental in ensuring that they have an enjoyable and comfortable experience – we CANNOT stress this enough! If you are unsure whether your child’s equipment is suitable, please contact us for clarification.

Please refer to the following page for additional information on Equipment for Adventurous Journeys (Equipment Resources). If you are hiring equipment, your order MUST be completed 3 days in advance of your programs.

**PLEASE NOTE that at the moment with COVID-19, in order to mitigate the potential for spread of the virus, YouthAdvance will be providing single tents only and packs for hire per program and will maintain vigorous cleaning procedures between programs. Tents and packs are available on the hire equipment page so please either book in to hire one of ours or source your own. Further, unless participants reside in the same household or special provisions are given by parents and/or the school, there will be NO tent SHARING between participants. 


Each participant will be responsible for planning, supplying and preparing their own meals for the duration of the hike. At least one day’s emergency rations should be carried by participants.

Additional information on meals including sample menus and meal planning is available here: (Meal Planning Resources). Pre-packaged meals are available for purchase here: (Meal Purchases)

**Please be aware that there will be no stoves or pots available due to COVID-19. Students may choose to bring their own cooking equipment OR they can plan a non-cooking meal instead. 

All participants should start with at least three full 1 Litre water bottles (this will be in your kayak). In dry weather periods, water can be difficult to source so this is a minimum amount. You are required to bring water purification tablets for this program.


In order to partake in this Adventurous Journey (AJ), you are required to seek approval from your Award Leader on the Online Record Book (ORB) BEFORE you get on the bus. 

Please us the following details as your AJ ORB entry:

Assessor: YouthAdvance Assessor

Supervisor: YouthAdvance Supervisor

Phone: 02 8957 5428

Email: [email protected]

Assessor sign-off will be completed in the ORB following your hike once your request assessor approval.

Award Leader sign-off WILL NOT be completed until your AJ report has been submitted and uploaded into the Documents section of the ORB. Please ensure that you use the appropriate template.


Following registration for this hike, you will be sent a link to CareMonkey to setup a profile. If we do not have a profile that is up to date (within 2 months), your child will not be permitted to board the bus.

We use CareMonkey to collect medical information about each participant. Please take the time to fill in this form accurately and honestly in each of the data fields. Accurate medical data is important in the event of an unseen medical emergency occurring while on the program. 


Please select the “Register” button next to your preferred dates and follow the prompts. 


If you have any questions, please contact our team at [email protected]


Venue Website:

45 Bloodwood Road, Fiddletown, New South Wales, 2159, Australia


Marramarra National Park is a one of the Hawkesbury’s best-kept secrets. It’s great for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, cycling, camping, bushwalking, picnicking and birdwatching.