Canoe Tas Inc


Mersey River

Union Bridge to Rogers Bridge (Alum Cliffs Run)


Distance: 24 km.
Average Grade: 5 m/km.
Peak Grade: 10m/km through Alum Cliffs.
Difficulty: Grade 3-4-5.
Paddling Time: 3-5 hours.
Entry Point: The Union Bridge on the Union Bridge Parade (C137) (Grid ref. 444 037).
Exit Point: Rogers Bridge, which is on an unnamed road off Dynans Bridge Road, near Weegena (Grid ref. 560 079).
Water Level: Parangana Dam must be spilling 30 cm. under Rogers Bridge or after heavy rain.
Tasmap: 1:100 000 Mersey, Forth.
General Description: The first 6 km is fairly flat with a few small rapids, mostly grade 1-2, then the river flows between Alum Cliffs. The first gorge is fairly fast with large standing waves and a few stoppers, grade 3. At the end of this first section of rapids, the river makes a sharp turn around an impressive rock column rising 20-30 m. out of the river. Not long after this the main gorge is entered, the only portage on the trip due to a nasty (grade 5) section of water. The next section involves a twisty drop next to the cliffs on the right followed by a quick ferry to the left to avoid a large drop and stopper which nearly spans the whole river. After another kilometre or so of grade 2-3 water the river enters the "chasm" – a still, deep gorge which opens out into a large pool. This gorge is very reminiscent of the Irenabyss on the Franklin River. The river then opens out, interspersed with grade 2-3 rapids, to the finish.

Erika Williams – The Chasm