Mitta Mitta River

Bundarra Bridge to Hinnomunjie Bridge

Verified! Intermediate Advanced Winter Spring CLASS III

 

NE Victoria. Approx 120km Nth of Bairnsdale

Contributed by Julien Atherstone

 

Class: III - IV

Season: Snow fed river, running form August through to January depending on the season

Gradient: 6m/km

Time: 6 – 8 hrs

Length: 16km

Level: Minimum 0.75m, above 2.0m it becomes continuous and flooded

Gauge: Hinnomunjie Bridge

Shuttle: Three- quarters of a hour each way and good roads

Character: Fast drop pool river in steep sided valley.

Suits: River running kayaks, canoes and rafts.

Flowing from its source among the highest mountains in Victoria the Mitta is a classic snow fed river. Rising quickly with the onset of spring the river’s flow depends largely on that seasons snow pack. While best flow re around September October any warm spring rain can really get the river pumping.

This section of the river has for a long time been one of the best sections of whitewater in the state not only for the kayakers but also for many a raft company. The rapids start straight away after leaving Bundarra Bridge and classics like ‘Bump and Grind’ , ‘Graveyard’ (can be class IV) and ‘Dislocation’ have been the scene of many a adventure.

After this first 5km of rapid is Black Duck Hole one of the few egress points on this section. While few people choose to walk their boats out of the very steep track to the Omeo Highway, it is common for this spot to be used to break up what can be a long day trip.

After leaving the Black Duck hole the river narrows considerably and the descent into the ‘gorge’ starts. While not the ‘sheer sided rock wall’ type of gorge, this section of whitewater is famous for its continuous clean rapids that make raft relatively straightforward and play spots plentiful. Ending with a bang in ‘The Waterfall’ and ‘the Gobbler’ this is a nice section of whitewater.

But like all good classics this section is not a lame duck, it still is a section that requires good skills, many people have come unstuck over the years think they can just bump down the river. As levels approach and exceed 2.0m this section does become fast and continuous with some quite big rapids.

A definite for the tick list if you are in the area.

WARNING AND TAKE CARE - the recent heavy thunderstorms of the first week of December 2003 have created flash flooding in the Gorge that has changed things. Main channels are blocked, huge deposits of sand and gravel are lying at the exits of the creeks and there are lots of new logs. While the changes do not appear to be dangerous it is worth being careful as the the waterfall definitely looks shallower and there is a new rapid just below Gobbler which has made Gobbler half the size. It is a pretty amazing sight.

Warning Alert.

Putting In: From Melbourne follow the Princess Highway east for 277km to Bairnsdale and then Nth on the Omeo Highway, through Omeo for 150 km. About 30km out of Omeo you’ll come to a place called Anglers Rest, 2km after this Bundarra Bridge, just after the bridge on the right you will find a turn of to a picnic area and the Put in.

Taking Out: Follow the Omeo Highway back toward Omeo, just over 10km before Omeo the Bingo Connection Rd appears on the left. Follow this down to the Omeo Valley Road turn left and follow this to Hinnomunjie Bridge. The take out is on river left just down stream just downstream of the bridge.

Map: Shannonvale 1:25000, Benambra - Leinster 1:50000

Camping: Anglers Rest offers fantastic camping while in the area and close access to the local water hole, ‘The Blue Duck’. There is also excellent camping at the take out.

Entry Date: 06 May 2001

Verified by: Colin Kneebone

 

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