Big River

Chaffey’s Ck to Big River Bridge

Verified! Easy Touring Intermediate Winter Spring CLASS II CLASS III


NE Victoria. 170km NE of Melbourne

Contributed by Julien Atherstone


Class: II - III

Season: August to November depending on the season and local rainfall.

Time: 2 – 3hrs

Level: Minimum 0.5m, very pushy and continuous at levels approaching 1.6m

Gauge: Big River Bridge (not an automatic gauge although an approximation is to times the level on the Goulburn at Doherty’s by 1.1m) the gauge is located just upstream of the bridge on river right.

Shuttle: Short, easy 2WD dirt road

Character: Small drop pool river bounded by thick tea-tree.

Suits: River running kayaks, canoes and inflatables

Forming in the hills behind Lake Mountain and Mt Torbreck and being relatively close to Melbourne the Big River is a very popular ‘first’ river trip for many Melbourne paddlers after leaving the waters of the Yarra.

This section of the big river has many class II and II+ rapids with one interesting class III rapid known as ‘Slalom Rapid’. A fairly short section, plenty of time can be spent playing.

Bounded by tea-tree along most of its length, when the water is high very little room is left for eddys unless it is amongst the foliage. Care should be taken at these levels.

Popular also for the fact the road is right beside the river at Slalom Rapid it is a great area running session that involve multiple runs of a section.

Putting In: From Melbourne follow the Maroondah Highway NE through Healesville till, after 110km the town of Taggerty is reach, turn right toward Thornton and then at Thornton right again toward Eildon. Approx 2km before Eildon turn onto the Jamieson Rd and follow this until the Big River Bridge is reach. Just after the Bridge on the right the Big River Road follows the river upstream. Follow this until Chaffe Ck is crossed and on the right a camping area marks the put in.

Taking Out: The take out is back down the road at Big River Bridge.

Camping: Excellent camping can be found at the put in and the take out.

Entry Date: 6th May 2001


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