Terry’s Achievements

Terry Bolland.

Terry has been kayaking for 48 years in all parts of Australia and select parts of the world and has paddled over 100,000 kilometres. Owner of Canoeing Down Under in Western Australia.

His latest achievement (2021/22) was paddling 14,000 kilometres in his 70th birthday year. Not only that, he paddled every day, 365 days and so far raised over $18,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
He recently received: Paddle Australia – ‘Presidents Award’ 2022

Also check out his ‘Paddle for Prostate Cancer’ Page.

  • Terry has been a member of Paddle WA for over 45 years at the Ascot Kayak Club.
  • He was the Ascot Kayak Club President for many years as well as taking up other club positions along the way.
  • He is a Life Member of Ascot Kayak Club and a Life Member of Paddle WA.
  • He is an Avon Descent Legend.
  • He is a select member of the ‘Paddle WA Hall of Fame’.
  • He has been an Australian Kayak/Canoe Instructor since 1979, a competitor, an organiser, a volunteer and an author of 6 paddling books.
  • Terry was the first paddler in Western Australia to take up expedition sea kayaking.
  • He has completed 29 Avon Descents, completed many long expeditions (see below) and takes part in most local kayak races.
  • He is still an active paddler. In 2017 he paddled 6500kms (includes a 2800km paddle across Canada) and won 2 gold medals at the State Marathon Championships and 2 gold medals at the Australian Marathon Championships in the 65 + K1 & K2 category and was selected to go to the World Championships in Portugal.
  • He won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Masters Canoe Marathon Championships in China in K1 and Gold in K2.
  • Terry puts out a weekly email newsletter. (enrol here: https://canoeingdownunder.wordpress.com/)


  • Winner of the ‘OLEGAS TRUCHANAS’ Canoeing Award, Paddle Australia, 1983
  • Australian Geographic, ‘SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE AWARD’, 1992
  • Canoeing of West Australia, ‘PRESIDENTS AWARD’, awarded three times 1993-94 & 97.
  • Perth’s Lord Mayors of Perth’s ‘ENDURANCE AWARD’, 1991
  • Paddle West Australia, ‘RECREATION AWARD’, 1991
  • Ascot Kayak Club, ‘LIFE MEMBER’, 1989
  • Paddle West Australia ‘LIFE MEMBER’, 2005
  • Winner of the ‘OLEGAS TRUCHANAS’ Canoeing Award, Paddle Australia, 2012
  • ‘Avon Descent Legend’, 2016
  • Paddle West Australia – ‘Hall of Fame’ 2018
  • Paddle Australia – ‘Master Paddler of the Year’ 2019
  • Paddle Australia – ‘Presidents Award’ 2022

Other Achievements:

  • Terry held a World Record for paddling 220kms in 24 hours in 1979.
  • He has taken part in 29 Avon Descents. (He has been awarded the ‘Avon Descent Legend’ for service relating to the Avon Descent.)
  • He has paddled thousands and thousands of kilometres in all parts of Australia on many expeditions. (See section below).
  • He has paddled over 22,000kms in North America. (See section below).
  • He took part in the 1991 Commonwealth Slalom Championships, in Scotland
  • He has been to National Championships in Slalom, Whitewater & Marathon.

Multisport Expeditions:

Terry has:

  • Paddled, cycled and ran 3500kms around the Kimberley Region in 1988.
  • Paddled, cycled and walked 24,000kms around Australia taking a year in 1990-91.
  • Paddled & Backpacked 610kms (410km ocean, 200km walk along the Zuytdorp Cliffs) from Geraldton to Carnarvon in 1996.
  • Paddled, cycled and walked 16,000kms self-supported around the USA in 1998.

River Expeditions:

Terry has:

  • Paddled 4000kms, the entire length of the Mississippi River (USA) in 1998.
  • Paddled 3300kms, the entire length of the Yukon River (Canada/Alaska) in 2004.
  • Paddled 4000kms, the entire length of the Missouri River (USA) in 2006.
  • Paddled 4000kms, the entire length of the Athabasca, the Slave and the Mackenzie Rivers, (Canada) in 2008.
  • Paddled 3700kms across Canada in 2011.
  • Paddled 2800kms across Canada & USA in 2018.
  • Paddled 2500kms, the entire Murray River (in the east) in 1991.
  • Paddled 450kms, the entire Blackwood River in 2005.
  • Paddled the Drysdale River in 1985.

Ocean Expeditions:

Terry has:

  • Paddled 1100kms along the west coast of Canada from Vancouver to Prince Rupert.
  • Paddled 1600kms along the Kimberley coast from Broome to Mitchell Plateau on a 100 day solo kayak expedition in 1982.
  • Paddled 700 kms along the Kimberley Coast from Wyndham to Mitchell Plateau on a 54 day solo kayak expedition in 1983.
  • Paddled 1150 kms along the Kimberley Coast from Derby to Prince Regent River and return to Broome on a 60 day kayak and backpacking expedition  – with Ken Cornish in 1987.
  • Paddled 750 kms along the Kimberley Coast from Cape Leveque to Mitchell Plateau on a kayak expedition with Ewen McGregor in 1988.
  • Paddled 810 kms from Augusta to Geraldton solo in 1990.
  • Paddled 800kms from Cooktown to Cape York solo in 1990.
  • Paddle from Perth to Shark Bay (600kms) (including a 30 hour, 180km paddle along the Zuytdorp Cliffs in 30 knot winds and 3 metre swells). With John Dinucci, Tel Williams and Les Allen in 2002.
  • Paddled 300 kms from Cape Leveque across the King sound to Cockatoo Island in the Kimberley and return with Pam Riordan, John Dinnuci, Tel Williams, Gary Nixon and Don in 2002.
  • Paddled around the Peron Peninsular. Francois Peron National Park, from Denham to Monkey Mia.
  • Paddled to and along Dirt Hartog Island 3 times.
  • Paddled 200kms of the Esperance coastline.
  • Paddled along the Ningaloo Reef coastline.
  • Paddled along the Dampier coastline.
  • Paddled several sections of the east coast.
  • Paddled several white water rivers.
  • Paddled the south-west coastline on day and week trips.


  • Terry became an Australian Canoe/Kayak Instructor in 1979.
  • He then became a Senior Instructor in Flat, White Water, Sea and Rescue.
  • He ran many of the Skills Courses and Instructor Courses for Canoe WA for about 20 years.
  • He was a member and the Chairperson of the Board of Canoe Education when it was part of Canoe WA for several years.
  • He was also a BCE delegate for WA at a national level.
  • He has instructed hundreds of paddlers – Basic to Advanced Paddling
  • He has trained hundreds of paddlers to compete in the Avon Descent.
  • He ran a Saturday morning flatwater training session at Sandy Beach, Bassendean for 20 years mainly for newcomers and it is still one of the strongest training sessions in WA today and many paddlers join a club because of these sessions. Many of the committee members at Ascot Kayak Club came through this program.


  • Terry has written 6 books:
  • A text book on Canoeing & Kayaking (called Canoeing Down Under) which has been a great help to WA paddlers.
  • He has written an ‘Avon River Guide’ which has helped hundreds of paddlers to understand the river and dangers and be better prepared for the Avon Descent.
  • He has also written 4 other Adventure/Expeditions Books of his extended trips. The Long Way Home – A Race Along the Way – Kimberley Challenge and Three Rivers to Tuktoyaktuk.
  • He has been the magazine editor of the Ascot Kayak Club newsletter, the WA Wild Water newsletter and the ACAWA (Paddle WA) newsletter.
  • Terry still puts out a weekly/fortnightly newsletter relating to paddling that goes out to nearly 1000 paddlers. So far he has put out 775 newsletters.

Other Related Items:

  • When the Harvey White Water Course was running Terry was one of the Slalom and Wild Water main organisers.
  • In 1991 he was commissioned by the Northern Territory Canoe Association to train, and examine their senior instructors.
  • In 1995 he was commissioned by the WA Ministry of Sport and the Asian Sporting Relations Council to train the Malaysian Rescue and Technical Teams in River Rescue Skills.
  • He was also an AKC delegate on the ACAWA Board for many years.

Still Active:

  • Terry is still paddling strong and competing in most of the local races.
  • He won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Masters Canoe Marathon Championships in China in K1 and Gold in K2.
  • He won the 2018 WA and Australian Marathon 65-69 Championships and was selected to go to the World Championships in Portugal.
  • In 2017 at the age of 66 years old he paddled 2800kms across Canada & USA with John Breed.
  • In 2017 he also paddled a total of 6500kms. He paddled 6000km in my 60th birthday year in 2012
  • He also helps out at races and attends AKC club meetings.
  • He puts out a weekly/fortnightly newsletter relating to paddling that goes out to nearly 1000 paddlers. He has posted out over 596 editions so far.
  • He still coaches/instructs and runs a Down River Program on Flat Water every January and February.
  • He still paddles nearly every type of canoe/kayak.
  • Terry continues to inspire paddlers to get into paddling through his enthusiasm, his programs, his trips and his involvement in the sport.

Sponsorship given to paddling:

  • Terry (Canoeing Down Under) has sponsored many kayaking/ski events several times, over the last 20 odd years. He was the major sponsor of Ascot Kayak club for 20 years. He sponsored; the John Sims Race, Paddle Challenge, the City Lights Race, the Enduro Race, the Nanga Challenge, the Bevan Dashwood Race, the Paddle WA Marathon Series, the Moore River Race, the Caple Descent, the Epic Downwinder, the IOP Downwinder and several other races and activities including the Avon Descent.
  • He has given a Double Guppy K2 and several other kayaks to 4 clubs.
  • He has sponsored several junior athletes, Josh Kippin, Luke Dooley, Coran Longwood, Anthony Carbone, Monique Carbone, Liam Quick, Ben Pope and Hunter Florison. He has assisted many other junior paddlers.

Terry has travelled to 40 countries.