Whitewater rafting on the Derwent River

The upper sections of the Derwent River had long been on my radar as exciting propositions but I hadn't been around on the rare occasions that they are flowing. Miraculously things lined up this time and despite having to work in the evening I decided to squeeze in a quick trip.

Access to the put in point involves a 500 metre walk with the big rafts. Instead I decided to do some interesting shenanigans with the motorcycle to avoid that which worked surprisingly well!

The river starts fast and furies with one of the 2 big rapids barely 50 metres down from the put in point. My raft was first through and despite hitting it pretty dead on the power of the water still managed to hold and slightly turn my raft throwing one on the crew out. Luckily he held on and I managed to grab him back in immediately.

That recirculation definitely has some power to it!

The two other rafts on the trip didn’t fare as well and managed to flip. After some messing around recovering people and paddles we pushed on.

Not many eddies on this section of river, very high flow!

In no time we had made it to the second big feature of the river, a group of very sizeable recirculations and standing waves. I tried to keep the raft straight but didn’t manage it and got pushed in to a stopper sideways. Preemptively calling an over left and getting my paddle on the downstream side resulted in the raft flushing out. I then managed to straighten it up to get through the second half of the rapid.

The crew all remained down low in the raft clinging on for dear life!

Finaly we ended with an easy paddle accross Lake Catagunya to get back to our vehicles. Overall an epic trip, I hope to get back on this section of river in the future!

I made a short 3 minute video of the trip for those who are interested…