Canoe Tas Inc

West Coast

Gordon River

Gordon Gorge


steep

Distance: 16.0 km.

Average Grade: 20 m/km

Peak Grade: 22 m/km

Difficulty: Grade 3-5

Paddling Time: 1 long day.

Entry Point:  Follow the Lake Rhona walking track to the Gordon River (25 mins walk). Check a walking book for details or alternatively I think it goes like this: Turn right approx 2 km past Maydena onto the Florentine Road then left onto Tiger Road then Left onto Range Road then Left onto Terry Walsh Road then follow this onto Go3 spur road to the end of the road and start of the walking track.

Exit Point: At Clear Hill Road (if you obtain the key from Forestry Tasmania), or paddle across Lake Gordon to the Island Road boat ramp. It can be hard to find your car by the side of the lake due to all the standing dead trees in the water. A good exit point, easy to find by both driver and paddlers, is the boat ramp at grid ref: 367767

Water Level: The Gorge can be negotiated at most water levels and requires very little rain to become paddleable due to the large, mainly button grass plain catchment. At higher flows it becomes a serious proposition and should only be attempted by  well equipped and highly experienced parties prepared to run some big whitewater or undertake tricky and slow portages.

Tasmap: 1:100 000 Nive. Wedge . 1:25 000 Tiger.

Shuttle: This is a long day out. The shuttle is about 3 hours one way and therefore should either be done the day before or harness a shuttle bunny who wants a nice day of driving on remote gravel roads and can read a map so you’re not stranded at the take out. It’s a 2hr drive from Hobart to the start of the walking track and a 3hr drive back to Hobart from the exit point on Clear Hill rd.

General Description: The trip starts with an hour or two of flat water and many log jams before suddenly leaving the plains and entering a beautiful 7 km long gorge, which is probably the most spectacular in Tasmania with cliffs rising hundreds of metres on either side. The gorge is grade 3/4 for most of the way with a touch of grade 5 and a section of undergound river towards the end. Parties should expect to be on the water for at least 6 hours. There are a few sites suitable for fly camping along the way should you choose to break the trip into two days. The paddle across the lake to Clear Hill Road will take up to an hour (longer to Island Road boat ramp) depending on the lake level. When low it can be difficult to find the take out through the dead trees still standing in the lake.