King River

Lake William Hovell Dam Wall – Picnic Ground

Verified! Intermediate Play Boating Dam Release Summer Winter Spring CLASS II CLASS III


North East Victoria. 60 km south of Wangaratta; 300km NE Melbourne

Contributed by Jenny Corser


Class: III - III+

Season: Winter Spring

Gradient: 10m/km

Time: 2 – 3 hours

Length: 5 km

Level: 0.9 m – 2 m

Gauge: Lake William Hovell

Shuttle: 5km on sealed road

Character: Continuous bouncy whitewater

Suits: Kayaks, canoes, rafts

This is the best section of the King. 5km of consistent class II - III whitewater, this section is a great bouncy run with many play spots for boaters who are that way inclined. The short shuttle means the section can be run a couple of times in one day.

The river is dam controlled, but frequently flows over the spillway – an awesome sight at the put in. The spillway should not be run. The river is clear and cold, can rise very quickly with rain or dam release, and is mostly paddled in wintery conditions.

At 2 metres, the section is almost one continuous rapid, at 0.7 it is an easy, but bony run for beginners.

About 500 metres from the put in is a river wide weir which should be checked out before running as it can be munchy at some levels.

Tom Woolven January 01 2010 - Hi there, went to the King River today which was at 0.7 , this level is way to low to paddle, probably the min would be 0.9 at least.

Alison Boyes Whitehorse Canoe Club February 12 2011 - Six of us paddled the King River. Beautiful day and a very pleasant paddle. There have been some changes though with all the floods. There is definitely more rocks in the river making some nice rapids. The gauge at the weir appears to have been damaged. At Cappuccino there is now a very big nasty hole in the middle of the drop. This stopped play boats and looped them. To avoid it you need to go far right or far left.

At the rapid where you normally do a big left hand to get to the left hand stream and not run out of water on the right - don't go left. There is a large log angled across this line. There are only a couple of small eddies to get into to avoid getting washed on to the wrong side of the log. We ended up with three people stuck together half on the log.

Re the log - its not far below the remodelled Cappuccino. There is now an island just below cappuccino and the log is not far below the bottom of the island. The obvious line on river left leads you to the wrong side of the log (which is very hard to spot until its too late). At todays level (~1.05) it was possible to get over the log at one spot with some well timed paddle strokes but any lower and I wouldn't like to be trying it. Potential for real danger.

Reuben Mcloughlin September 24 2013 - Gauge height 1.3 ; at around one third of the way down, after a left hand bend, a large tree has fallen straight across pretty much the width of the river. We ducked under the main trunk on river right. Though this may not be possible if at 1.5m or higher.

Warning Alert.

Putting In: From the takeout continue on about 4km towards Lake William Hovell turn left towards the observation site. Do not drive down to the weir, but park in the carpark and follow the walking track to the put in just below the spillway. There are no toilets at the take out or put in, but there are toilets and picnic facilities at the Lake William Hovell reserve about 1km up the road.

Taking Out: From Whitfield drive through Cheshunt towards Lake William Hovell. About 13km past Cheshunt, just before the forest begins is a ‘River Access’ sign, this is the take out.

Camping: Limited, basic camping at the take out. Caravan park and Pub at Whitfield.

Entry Date: 02 May 2001

Verified Date: 01 January 2010

Verified by: Tom Woolven


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