Thank you to everyone who participated in Paddy Pallin’s Wild Rivers Photo contest in any capacity – whether you entered, signed the petition, educated yourself or helped spread the word!

For those of you tuning in for the first time, the “Save Our Wild Rivers” campaign is a fight that Paddy Pallin strongly stands behind as the government’s proposed plan threatens our pristine Wild Rivers system that homes a range of plant and animal species. Wild Rivers are found globally and are considered some of the most pristine environments around the world. The Wild Rivers in our own backyard are under serious threat due to the proposed plans by the NSW government to raise the Warragamba Dam walls by 14m – resulting in 4700 hectares of World Heritage National Park and 65km of Wild Rivers being destroyed.

Through this contest we were able to reach a network exceeding 20,000 individuals, welcome roughly 650 entries that showcase what Australia’s wild places mean to you and engage over 6,600 community members as they voted for their favourites. For every entry, Paddy Pallin committed to donating $2 to support the fight to save our Wild Rivers! Due to the fact that it’s right in our backyard, various species are at risk, and it poses threat to destroy an outdoor space that our staff and our community love to explore, this cause means so much to us. With that being said, we’ve rounded up and have committed to donating $3,000 to the Colong Foundation in support of the Wild Rivers campaign.


Campaign Updates 

Recently, there have been a few noteworthy updates passed down from the Wild Rivers Campaign Manager, Harry Burkitt. According to Harry, your votes, entries, and shares of the Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest coupled with the increased petition signatures took the Wild Rivers Campaign to a national level!

In early July, Harry Burkitt had the opportunity to meet with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUNC) in Geneva, following the team’s work at the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain. An outcome of this meeting was that the IUCN will be launching an investigation into the chorus of concerns being raised by environmental, Indigenous and community groups who oppose the dam wall raising. The IUCN advises the World Heritage Committee on threats to World Heritage sites around the globe, and are seriously concerned about the NSW Government’s proposal to flood the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

The Save the Blue Mountains Wild Rivers initiative published a media release on August 1st, 2018 outlining the NSW Labor party’s announcement that it would examine more effective flood mitigation measures to raising Warragamba Dam wall if elected in March 2019. Read the full media release here.

Moreover, Burkitt and his team at the Colong Foundation will be doing film screenings to continue raising awareness about the cause. This will consist of a short documentary on the Blue Mountains Wild Rivers, showcasing the beauty of the area. The film will be presented at Paddy Pallin stores in NSW – stay tuned for more info!

Contest Winners 

Now… drum roll, please! We were overwhelmed with the incredible entries and the wild places they showcased. For us at Paddy Pallin, it was another reminder of why we do what we do – to enable people in our outdoor community explore deeper, travel further, and get outside whenever and wherever they want. We had so many epic shots, we weren’t sure how our judges would possibly narrow it down! After much deliberation, they narrowed it down to the following winners in each of our categories.

History – $500 Prize

Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest Winner - History, Flooded Wollondilly River

“A great place to walk and camp. On this occasion we were unable to cross the river and made our way downstream towards Warragamba Dam. 1969” -Dorothy N.

Location: The Wollondilly River NSW


Landscapes – $500 Prize 

Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest Winner - Landscape Category (Tasmanian Landscape)

“An amazing landscape” -David N.

Location: The Labyrinth, Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park TAS


People in Nature – $500 Prize 

Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest Winner - People In Nature and Grand Prize Winner Canyoning in NSW

“Soaking up the warmth of a ray of sun deep in a cold canyon, where rivers long-past have carved out their mark. Wilderness is heat and cold, the dark, the light, the quiet, the wonder.” -Joel J.

Location: Newnes, NSW


Water – $500 Prize

Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest Winner - Water Category Halls Gap Waterfall in Victoria

“We have to go back. So much more to explore and a hike on the new trail is on the cards.” -Craig P.

Location: Halls Gap, Victoria. VIC


Wild Rivers – $500 Prize 

Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest Winner - Wild Rivers Category, Serene Dark Scene of the Franklin River

“The Franklin River in Tasmania is what I think of when I am asked about Wilderness. As you travel down this wild river it speaks to your soul; like a splash of cold water in the face, and reminds you that there are things more important in life than chasing financial wealth.” -Mark W.

Location: Franklin River TAS


Grand Prize – $3,000 Paddy Pallin Shopping Spree  

Finally, our judges had a tough job on their hands, having to choose between all of the meaningful, stunning photos that were submitted. From the category winners, our judges unanimously settled on this photo that captures a magnificent drive for adventure.

Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest Winner - People In Nature and Grand Prize Winner Canyoning in NSW

“Soaking up the warmth of a ray of sun deep in a cold canyon, where rivers long-past have carved out their mark. Wilderness is heat and cold, the dark, the light, the quiet, the wonder.” -Joel J.

Location: Newnes, NSW

Congratulations to Joel J. whose shining photo has landed them a $3,000 Paddy Pallin shopping spree at their local Paddy Pallin store!

People’s Choice Award – $1,500 Prize  

Now, we know some of you had been following this one closely! We appreciate all those who shared this contest with their friends, families, and communities. Whether the motive behind it was to rack up the votes or to spread the urgent message, all efforts contributed to raising crucial awareness about the situation. With a $1,500 Paddy Pallin gift voucher up for grabs, we let the people do the talkin’ on this one! They spoke with their votes, and 668 of you voted for Simon H’s photo in the “People In Nature” category. Congrats to you, Simon!

Paddy Pallin Wild Rivers Photo Contest - People's Choice Award, 3 adventurers doing a silly pose as they take a break from floating and scrambling through the Wollongambie Dam canyon.

“Floating and scrambling through the Wollangambie Dam canyon is as close to paradise as you can get! Mother Nature at her finest!” -Simon H.

Category: People In Nature

Location: Mount Wilson


Although the above photos took the cake (and the prizes), there are some runners up that deserve an honorable mention:

Purple Haze Landscape on a Peaceful Morning

“This was my go-to place for a beautiful, peaceful morning away from the bustle of life while living in Shepparton” -Claire H.

Sailing along the Franklin Gordon River in Tasmania.

“They say a picture tells a thousand words. I think this one tells a few more….” -Jason G.

Sunset in the Warrumbungles

“I love The Warrumbungles because it’s a place of natural drama: the monolithic rock formations are stunning, the sunsets colourful, and the stars mind blowing” -Hugh P.

Bottlenose dolphins in Port Davey's Bramble Cove at sunset in Tasmania. Two boats with people in vessels pictured.

“One of the most magic sunsets I’ve had, shared with a pod of playful dolphins. Just lovely.” -Mark D.

Snowy landscape at Ben Lomond.

“Being in the wilderness of Tasmania makes me feel alive, away from the distractions of the modern world, and a chance to reconnect with nature.” -James S.

Night starry sky on the beach in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

“The beauty of the sea and stars” -Umair N.

People's Choice Runner Up, surfer on snapper rocks with waves crashing behind.

People’s Choice Runner up: “Snapper rocks is just wild! It reminds me that while nature is powerful, it is also extremely delicate.” -Jared P.

Greenery closing in on two explorers making their way up the Paterson River.

“Exploring the river in the rain whilst the local kingfishers come and say hello. Wilderness is priceless!” -Anja F.

Bird over the surface of the water.

“Many animals have specially adapted to wetland environments. We risk losing these unique species by trying to control water in Australia.” -Andrew S.

Kayak emerging from underneath the sea cave.

“This is a collapsed sea cave we call ‘The cathedral, a wild & rough feature that rarely allows you so close. An awe inspiring place.” -Mark S.

Nature's River in Kalbarri National Park with a river streaming in the background.

“Natures window is a beautiful place to view the river in the gorge below” -Jacinta C.

Rafters taking on the Decension Gorge, The Franklin River, Tasmania.

“The wild places are where we began. When they end, so do we” – David Brower, Photo by Matthew E.

Again, we sincerely thank everyone who participated in our contest and congratulate all of the winners for their outstanding photos.

Keep your eyes peeled by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram to make sure you don’t miss out on more contests by Paddy Pallin in which you could win awesome gear, outdoor event and film tickets, cash prizes and more!

Sign the Petition to Save our Wild Rivers

There’s still time! If you haven’t had a chance to sign the petition, please get on board to make your voice heard and say “no!” to the raising of the dam wall. On the petition, there’s a box you can check to send a message to the Premier and let them know how the community is feeling! Unsure of what you’d like to say? The petition has a foundational message that you can use for inspiration, that you can personalise, or that you can send off straight away if you’re in a pinch for time. Drilling down even further, the petition hosts a quick and easy to way to reach out to your local MP, letting them know what their community stands for. You can make your voice heard and protect the environments you love from anywhere in the world, in a matter of seconds.

Sign the Petition

Spread the word! Don’t forget to share this online petition with your network. Voices heard will translate to governmental action, and with 65km of Wild River Systems at stake, we’ve got a lot to lose and only a little time.

Stay tuned for more Paddy Pallin contests and updates from the Wild Rivers campaign!

#ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin | #PhotoWinners

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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