North Esk

Canoe Tas Inc

North Esk

North Esk River

Blessington Road to White Hills
Distance: 17 km.
Average Grade: 8 m/km.
Peak Grade: 50m/km around the big bend.
Difficulty: Grade 3-4.
Paddling Time: 4 hours.
Entry Point: A point where the Blessington Road (C401) meets the river (Grid ref. 324 060).
Exit Point: White Hills. There is a short road down to the North Esk from the Blessington Road (C401) (Grid ref: 213 053).
Water Level: A level of 1.3m is ideal. 1.1m is about the minimum level. The gauge can be found by taking a track down to the water from the southern side of the Corra Linn Bridge (Grid ref. 192 069) or online. Note the levels given here are the actual river gauge levels, the levels on the website are 1m higher.
Tasmap: 1:100 000 South Esk, St. Patricks.
Shuttle:  14km

General Description:   The river rises and falls very quickly after continuous rain. The entry point down to Watery Plains is good grade 2-3 water for 3 km. When the weir is reached, portage on the left or right.  Immediately after the weir is a tricky grade 3 rapid with large hidden rocks in the centre. These can be avoided by keeping to the extreme left or starting right centre and edging quickly to the right bank. Or it can be portaged at the same time as the weir on the right hand side. The river continues at grade 2 to the "Big Bend" where it turns abruptly to the right (Grid ref. 293 070). 

The "Big Bend" is continuous grade 3-4. This can be portaged across the hill on the left (from the start of the "Big Bend", about half an hour walk).  From the intersection of St Patricks down is fairly straight forward with large waves and holes to the Stromboli rapid which is about 2.5 km down from the St. Patricks, around a slight left hand corner. A difficult inspection can be carried out on the right. It is usual to start on the left and move to the right of the haystack in the centre. The section below the Stromboli rapid is continuous grade 3. In high water it is continuous large waves with easy to miss stoppers. The final few hundred metres are flat and willow bound.