West Kiewa

Dungey Track to Diversion Dam

Verified! Steep Creek Advanced Winter Spring CLASS IV


NE Victoria. 110km SE of Wangaratta, 360km NE of Melbourne

Contributed by Jenny Corser


Class: III - IV

Season: Snow Fed, August through to October

Gradient: 33m/km

Time: 3 - 4 hrs

Level: 0.8 min, 0.9 is a really good level and 1.0m it reallt starts to move

Gauge: Guage 150 upstream of diversion dam, take track just before dam for about 300m.

Shuttle: If before October 6km on 2WD dirt and 8km walk, after gates open all can be driven

Character: Steep boulder rapids in open valley

Suits: Short river running kayak and closed C1

This stunning, narrow, steep section of river makes the walk in definitely worthwhile. It features continuous class III-IV drop pool rapids, with fun drops and short pools.

One distinctive bigger drop appears towards the end of the trip. Everything is runable; some of the drops are quite tricky to portage due to steep banks.

Simon Wood & Ro Privett December 27, 2007 - Great run, especially when the gate is open. A rippa semi wilderness alpine creek. There are definitely a lot of logs to watch out for, especially how the rapids are very continuous and logs bob up before you know it.

At 0.91 or so, we found it quite pushy and considering that there is much log potential and the rapids were reaching what we thought to be very meaty grade 4.5's (above grade 4 for us), we would think twice about running it any higher level.

Curiously, we didn’t find it so much 'drop pool' like the description. For us, it was like stern concentration the whole way as we negotiated the ~10km of continuous rocky rapids with minimal time to relax (rivers changed a bit?). The occasional drop did add some nice spice though. The distinctive bigger drop looked too rocky for our liking this time round. Some of the blackberries & steep banks do make the portages tricky.

We spent more like 6 hours getting through at our slow pace this day. The road in is clay like in places & can be slippery

Nigel Ellis July 22, 2010 - An awesome example of high country paddling at its best. Constant flow through creek at grade three level with two grade four rapids added in for spice.

Before you start, beg, borrow or steal a harness to carry your kayak and walk your kayak in from the gate. This will take about two hours on mostly flat wide track, it undulates at time but is not steep.

Once on the river you will be confronted by continuous grade three water until you hit your first problem, a tree across the whole river we called it 'limbo log', at 0.80 level the smaller paddlers did a limbo / support stroke thingy and got underneath, the larger paddlers took the better part of valor and portaged, at a higher level this would still be a easy portage on the left.

The river continues with continuous grade three dispersed with some 2 meter drops over trees across the river, at this level there were many eddies, just no drop pools.

These eddies will become somewhat smaller and disappear at a higher level.

The first grade four comes from out of nowhere but is a big fun rapid ending in a toilet bowl like drop with water coming from three sides.

More grade three until you reach the two portages, at 0.80 it was easy to portage but at a higher level they may be runnable / may be just be a nightmare. They are very close together.

A long grade four comes up distinguished by a drop in the horizon line, a bit messy at 0.80 but can be scouted from left and right, would be a sweet rapid at higher levels After these more grade three until you hit the best clean drop that needs to be boofed (like woof) on river right, can also be run in the centre. Sweet at 0.80 be wild at 0.90 after this you hit the measuring station and the diversion dam.

We were very well led by Matt R who pushed the group hard the whole trip, as we were unaware of how long it would take, our Qld paddler was very worried about camping out.

Over all it took 2hr 30 min to paddle with eight paddlers (with two swims and three pins) and two hours to walk in.

Once at Mount Beauty it is a very short car shuttle. Don't be a tight arse paddler and stay at the Mount Beauty Caravan Park, drying room for your gear, warm showers, a spa and a pub next door.

Putting In: From Melbourne go up the Hume till just after Glenrowan and turn onto the ‘Snow Road’ and follow the signs towards Falls Creek till you get to the town of Mt Beauty. About 1km the Melbourne side of Mt Beauty, Simmonds Creek road turn off to the right. Follow this for about 9km and turn right onto the Pyramid Hill Fire Tk. After 3km on this Dungey Tk enters from the left. Dungey Tk is seasonally closed so if it is closed park your vehicle at the gate and shoulder your boat.

Taking Out: Backtrack to Simmonds Creek Rd and follow it a further 3km to its end at the diversion dam. This is the take out.

Map: Bogong Alpine Area (Outdoor Leisure Map) 1:50000

Camping: You could rough it at the put in but at the time of year you paddle this river it is very cold. Mt Beauty caravan park has some excellent accommodation and a great spa.

Entry Date: 7th May 2001

Verified by: Tim Wallace

Comments: The West Kiewa (above the diversion) has a fair bit of new wood in it - Aug 2005 - so be extra careful if you have not run it lately.


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