Tony Pritchard on the Darling gift pack

Tony Pritchard

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There are love stories, and then there are love stories. Tony Pritchard's love for Australia's Darling River cannot be underestimated. If Drifting Down the Darling is a little too much for one landlubber to contemplate, then these less intimidating volumes of Tony's adventures on the Darling will surely help you find out what's so special about one of our iconic rivers and why it's so important that we all understand that importance.

Take a couple of trips down the Darling with Tony in this great little gift pack, perfect for naturalists, canoeists and kayakers, adventurers and lovers of life in general:

1. Paddling Down the Darling

If you go back to a place laden with its fond memories it can be disastrous or it can be marvellous. In the 1970s Tony Pritchard had drifted down the Darling River in western New South Wales. An eighteen month trip in a ten-foot boat with no motor. He had adventure, found love, and experienced a personal awakening (sometimes referred to as a breakdown). Then in 2010 he returned to the Darling. He paddled a fifteen foot canoe from Menindee to Wentworth and just in case he missed something, did the same trip in 2012 and in 2013. All three trips went beyond marvellous.

In 2010 the river was low and he relived memories, created new ones and made a life-changing decision. In 2011, South-east Australia was pretty much under water and he rode the flood down the Darling. He couldn't stay away and in 2012 paddled the same section of the river again. Even though the canoe could find its own way along the Darling, each bend brought a new experience. It was a trip of characters, birds and of water-rats. And it was also a trip of letting go and accepting life as it unfolded. This brought Tony the feeling of the 1970s Darling, (albeit then a quieter slower paced era), into today's fast-paced world, into today's digital and ever-shrinking world, because spirituality and meaning, although personal, can be found anywhere.


Trim size: 5 x 8 inches

Page count: 206

Internal pages: B&W


2. Canoeing Down the Darling

Canoeing down the Darling is based on the true story of eight more trips down the Darling River between 2013 and 2017 (one is on the Macintyre, which is the upper Darling, and one is on the Paroo, which does flow into the Darling every now and again).

The story of these canoe trips is reasonably linear in a downstream fashion, but there are times when the thought patterns are not remotely linear.

There are the usual discussions with wildlife (birds, turtles), the characters (hairy motor-bike riders, fellow river travellers and even some ghosts), and of course stimulating discourse on a vast range of topics, including why the Darling’s water levels get low and a detailed explanation as to why Tony is way tougher than the Voyageurs ever were.

If you are a real kayaker, one who paddles eight thousand miles a day on a single breath, Pritchard’s slow-coach approach to river travel may not excite you. But if you want peace and harmony on an old river then this book is for you.


Trim size: 5 x 8 inches

Page count: 216

Internal pages: B&W


Tony Pritchard on IndieMosh