Thomson River

Coopers Creek to Bruntons Bridge

Verified! Easy Touring Intermediate Dam Release Summer Autumn Spring CLASS II


Gippsland Victoria. 7km from Rawson

Contributed by Hugh de Gille


Class: II

Season: Spring through to early Autumn if the dam is releasing.

Gradient: 2m per km

Time: 3 to 4 hours

Length: 9km

Level: minimum 0.4 - best level 0.8 - high 1.7 flood - 2.7

Gauge: Coopers Creek

Shuttle: 20km+ of dirt and sealed roads, suitable for 2wds. 30 min+ each way.

Character: Medium width with gravel races and drop pool rapids of grade 2 standard

Suits: Kayaks & canoes. We completed it in an Australis Bushranger C2

A very beautiful, pleasant and straight forward trip with plenty of grade 2 white water, and a few great campsites.

This is the most straightforward section to paddle on the Thomson in every respect, it would make a great first trip for Melbourne paddlers experienced on the white water offerings of Warrandyte and Wonga Park.

It would also make a good beginners white water trip. The rapids are straight forward and the section wasn't snagged at all.

The next rapid is never really that far away but there are still plenty of flat sections. Easy day trip!

Leah Dixon May 17, 2013 - Perfect weather, great company, fun paddle, love the rock formations and the lyre birds.

Ro Privett  November 17, 2013 - Note: Just a quick note folks. After many years of casual guiding on the Thomson, there are some points worth noting - more so in regard to guiding groups / beginners.  After a recent trip of high water, I certainly caution - The noted high water level of 1.7m (noted on many sites) is over estimated in my opinion. Our trip was 'quite busy & pushy' at just 1.0m......& so by 1.7 - its in a fair flood I reckon - especially with the way that the high water on the Thomo tends to bring the many riverside tree's & bushes into play. By 2.4 or so (also noted on many sites as flood) - it would definitely be in a majorish flood. Maybe these levels would correlate more accurately for experienced paddlers but certainly over estimated for beginners / school groups. e.g. The indicator rapid just above the tunnel was washed over at ~0.8  there wasn't a rapid there at all. We have paddled the Thomo as low as 0.2 or so & its just OK. For school groups....I know of companies that won't paddle above 0.6 of which I wouldn't go much above that myself with groups. Just a thought :-)

Andrew Farrance February 8, 2016 - I took a beginner group down at 0.20m. While boney, it was quiet paddlable and everyone had a fun time. 2.5 hrs.

Robert Billing April 11, 2016 - On 10/4/2016, four of us did this section. The gauge level was 0.17m which sounds very low, but it was fine. In some spots you need to find the deeper water and spend some time scraping along the bottom, but it wasn't a big problem. We had a great trip with lots of fun rapids. Last time I did this section was about 2 months prior, and the Coopers Creek gauge was 0.23m which was also fine. Most of this section is deeper than the gauge location. The shuttle for this section is the main problem as it is a long drive on narrow windy dirt tracks. Note there are two different shuttle roads available on either side of the river. The fastest option is the northern road if you drive across the river at Coopers Creek with a capable 4WD.

Putting In: Where a 4wd track crosses the river at Coopers Creek signed 'Thomson Canoe Trail' Coopers Creek Track, Coopers Creek Road, Coopers Creek, Rawson.

Taking Out: Just below Bruntons Bridge, on the river right, where a 4wd track crosses the river, Bruntons Bridge Road.

Map: Whitehorse Canoe Club Thomson River; Thomson Reservoir to Walhalla Road Bridge and on to Bruntons Bridge

Camping: Free camping available at the put in and take out.

Entry Date: May 16, 2013

Verified Date: May 17, 2013

Verified by: Leah Dixon


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