Styx River (Lower)

Paddle Tas

Lower Derwent

Styx River (Lower)

Styx River Bridge to Glenora


classic

wilderness

 

Distance:  18 km from Styx Road Bridge to Glenora
Average Grade: 10 m/km.
Peak Grade: 20 m/km (Bridge to Volvo falls)
Difficulty: Grade 3. (4+ if in flood)
Paddling Time:  3- 4 hours on water.
Entry Point: From Karanja take the Styx Road 16.6km to the Bridge over the Styx at Grid ref MGA 813637.

(MGA Zone 55:481309E 5263749N)

Exit Point: The road bridges either at Glenora (B61) by the swimming pool (Grid ref. MGA 910725)
Water Level: Check the rock ledge upstream of the Glenora Bridge, if there is a clear channel of water, you can go, if it is running bank to bank you will have a fast trip. There is a BOM guage on Bruces Bridge 21kim upstream of the Styx Bridge: 1m-1.2m is low stress paddling Above 1.5m it become pushy and committing.
Tasmap: 1:100 000 Tyenna.

Shuttle: 23km from Glenora to the Styx River Bridge via Styx Road which is usually unlocked. If it’s locked going via the Maydena end would be at least 3 times longer. A key may be obtainable from Norske Skog at Boyer for a deposit.

 

General Description: From the Bridge the river drops into a steep section which is reasonably continuous rapids for about 2.5km – it is advisable to get out and check as the bottom of some cannot be seen and logs can be trapped and not seen till you are amongst them.
The end of this steep section is marked by Volvo Falls (MGA 830653), a rapid with several large boulders midstream preceded by a haystack against a wall on river right. Volvo Falls can be portaged on river left and should be treated with respect as it often traps large logs and has undercut boulders. If an emergency exit is required a taped route exists (2018) commencing 100m upstream which avoids cutting grass to join up with the end of the Eagle Spur track at MGA 828654. The last significant Grade 3 rapid occurs on a left hand bend at MGA 838660.

The countryside opens out from rainforest into dry, open bush. After the water pipe line (not marked on any map) the grade softens to continuous Grade 2 but includes 3 weirs. The first and third are about metre high and should be inspected or portaged, the middle one is about 3 m high and is simply a long chute with no stopper at the bottom. It is a relatively easy paddle through open farmland and finally hopfields, down to the Glenora Bridge. The trip can be extended to the Bushy Park Bridge or Raynors corner on the Derwent.

An alternative and easier trip is an 800m or 10’ walk in from the end of a logging road (MGA 841678) to the old Cataract Road crossing at (MGA 846679). This misses all the hard Grade 3 rapids. Turn left off the Styx Road 1km after crossing the Cataract Rivulet (12km from Karanja) and drive 500m to where the track has been ripped up. This route is currently scrub free as at 2018 but may be overgrown in a few years. Cataract Road is inaccessible via other access points (Gated and ripped up).

Twin Gums (river left) above Volvo Falls marking taped emergency exit track

Approach above Volvo Falls

Cataract Road foot access

Styx River typical section below Volvo Falls (1m at Bruces Bridge gauge)