Big River

Enoch Point to Chaffeys Creek

Verified! Intermediate Winter Spring CLASS II CLASS III


NE Victoria. 170 km NE of Melbourne

Contributed by Michael Lyons


Class: II - III

Season: August to November depending on the season and local rain

Time: 2 hours

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: 17 km (Dirt roads, last km requires a 4WD)

Character: A narrow river with drop pool rapids and overhanging tea trees.

Suits: River running Kayaks

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 River.

This is a very narrow section with small drops, pools and gravel races. The road runs along on the right hand side of the river for most of its length but it is still a steep bush bash to the road.

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

Daniel S November 03, 2010 - Fantastic beginner's / intermediate playwave at the start of this run, just after the put in, 1 foot high wave with good eddie access either side and the wave comes directly into a pool so easy rescue for those that need it.

Hugh de Gille June 20, 2013 - Paddled this section 16/06/2013 at a level of 0.68 at Eildon Jamieson Road Bridge, a little low but OK. Totally clear with the exception of the fallen tree immediately upstream of Railway Creek that appears to be a permanent fixture, this was easily avoidable on the right at this level not requiring portage, at higher levels there is an easy portage on the left bank. Narrow, beautiful, not particularly exciting with grade 2 rapids.

Putting In: From Melbourne follow the Maroondah Highway north east 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 Road 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 Enoch Point track is reached, from here it is 4WD or a 750 m walk down to the river.

Taking Out: The take out is reached by going back down the Big River Road until Chaffeys campsite. (Chaffeys Creek)

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

Verified Date: 03 November 2010

Verified by: Daniel S


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