Mitchell River

Angusvale - Final Fling

Verified! Intermediate Summer Autumn Winter Spring CLASS III


Gippsland. Approx 250km east of Melbourne

Contributed by Julien Atherstone


Class: III (IV)

Season: Only really not paddlable in late summer and early autumn depending on the season

Time: 1 - 2 days

Level: 0.6m upwards, 2m and above are high

Gauge: Glenaladale Gauge

Shuttle: 27km on sealed road and 16km on 2WD dirt road.

Character: Big, broad river with long pools and challenging rapids

Suits: All style of whitewater craft depending on level

With Victoria having very few reliable paddling venues the Mitchell is the one dependable river.

With a huge catchment in the Victorian high country there are only a few months toward late summer and early autumn that the river is really too low to paddle, but for a good big water experience spring run off is definitely the time to go.

Not really having a huge gradient the Mitchell breaks it's rapid with some quite long pools, some so long they have been named "the pool of doom".

When the rapids do arrive they are generally quite challenging and in the case of the 3 big ones very challenging; Slalom Rapid (III-III+) is within 2km of the start and as the name suggests was formerly the site of various slalom competitions.

Amphitheater (III+ - IV) is the biggest rapid on the river and is made up of three distinct stages. This rapid is always a rapid to respect and has brought many a good boater unstuck. At high levels there is a sneak line on river left around the far side of the island. Final Fling (III - IV) is as the name suggests the last major rapid and is in fact after the take out, although you can walk back up after running it.

This river is a fantastic trip in beautiful surroundings with lots of history. Places like the Old Dam Wall, the Den of Nargen, and the Amphitheater turn an interesting paddle into an excellent trip.

There are many campsites down the river on beaches and old flood terraces.

Dan Kozaris June 10, 2012 - Paddled this at 6.02M on June 6, 2012. If you are up for an exciting quick trip then well worth the mission at this level. If you are after stomping big volume it would seem that flows between 4 and 5 metres would produce bigger rapids through the main ones listed above. A good roll is mandatory as a swim would see you travel potentially kilometres in the 18-20km/h flows we experienced before picking up the pieces and the water is flowing through the trees making access to the banks very tricky.

WARNING: The following video contains coarse language!

Mitchell River Gippsland Floods June 6 2012. © Dan Kozaris 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Putting In: From Melbourne follow the Princess highway east for about 252km until the Fernbank road is reached, follow this North through Fernbank to the 'Fingerboards', turn left toward Dargo and follow this road for about 20km to a dirt road on the right is signposted Angusvale. Follow this dirt road for 16km to the river flat is reached, this is the put in and offers superb camping.

Taking Out: From Angusvale retrace you steps back to the Fingerboards intersection, turn left toward Iguana Creekand continue past Iguana Creek to just before the Glenaladale Bridge is reached. On the left before the bridge is Alexanders Road and after the final 2km you will come to a gate. Through this gate is private property and the take out, the farmer kindly allows its use so look after it.

Map: Cobbannah - Tabberabbera 1:50000

Camping: Angusvale offers fantastic camping on a large bend in the river, drop toilets are provided. On the river many opurtunities exist for camping on beaches and established camp site.

Entry Date: April 26 2001

Verified Date: June 10 2012

Verified by: Dan Kozaris


Do YOU know MORE or BETTER than this?
Want to offer your own experiences / opinions on this paddle?