Crossing – Davey River

Canoe Tas Inc

South West 

Crossing and Davey River

Crossing and Davey River



Distance: 20km portage to Crossing River, then ~50km paddling to Settlement Pt and another 45km if paddling to Melaleuca.
Average Grade: 6 m/km
Peak Grade: 20m/Km.
Difficulty: Grade 1-2 in summer.
Paddling Time: 4-5 days. about 1 day to  walk in, 1day one the river and 1 day across the harbour to Melaluca- all longs days of course!

Entry Point: Take the Gordon River and Scotts Peak (C607) Roads to the Scotts Peak dam campground and head down the  the MacKays Track for 7 Km until Junction Creek is reached (Grid ref. DN 412 275), then veer right (south) onto the old-Port Davey track, and skirt around the Western Arthur Range for another 10 Km until the track meets the Crossing River (Grid ref. DN 324 271), a good campsite. It is worth walking a further 5km past the river to Grid ref. DN 280 247 before getting on, this avoids a log chocked section of river. A fairly open spur provides good access to the river from the track at this point.  Kayakers carrying or dragging boats should allow a full day and a half for this stage of the journey.

Exit Point: The most logical destination for paddlers completing this trip is the old mining settlement of Melaleuca (DM 322 922) which provides an airstrip and access to the south coast walking track. An alternative for those using inflatable boats, or those not wanting to cross the harbour, is to camp at Settlement Point and get picked up by prearranged boat. The other alternative is to join the old-Port Davey track to Melaleuca or back to Scotts Peak.
Water Level: Summer seems like the obvious time to do this trip, however a few days rain in the previous week would be handy.
There is a remote guage on the Davey river currently (Jan 2010) maintained by DPIWE

Tasmap: 1:100 000 Old River, Port Davey.
Shuttle: A pickup by fishing boat or aircraft would be the ideal way to get home with your boat.

General Description: The Crossing River, arising from the Western Arthur Range, is the local route to enter the Davey River, flowing into Port Davey. Scenically, and for wilderness value, these two rivers and the Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour Basins, constitute an excellent trip particularly considering the broad variety of country covered. The Crossing Gorge being particularly spectacular.

Crossing River above the Gorge:  Paddlers may commence paddling from the Crossing River campsite for half a kilometre of clear river then 1.5 km of extremely heavy log jams, tangled overhanging tree limbs and complex meanders. Four to five hours are required for negotiation. However, it is possible that this section be portaged to the south and the river rejoined where it becomes accessible. The Crossing opens out considerably after its confluence with the Dodd River and there is a relatively uneventful run of pools and shingle rapids before the upper end of the Crossing Gorge (with very good campsites) is reached (Grid ref. DN 265 238).

Crossing Gorge (3-8 hours): The first section of the Crossing gorge starts abrubtly and contains two short portages over piles of massive boulders. the first portage is encountered just after the first rapid of the gorge. Both portages could be extremely difficult in high water. The countryside then opens out slightly prior to entering the second section of the gorge. Campsites between the two sections of gorge are relatively few and far between, although there is some flat ground in the trees on river left just prior to the start of the second gorge. About halfway through the second gorge the river makes a right hand bend at the base of an intensely stratified 250m cliff rising sheer out of the riverbed.   A short portage over huge boulders choking the river bed at the base of this cliff takes some time.  The forest downstream of the gorge is extremely dense for several kilometres and campsites are scarce. One campsite can be found at DN 220 215. 

Below the gorge the river is again characterised by alternating shingle rapids and pools and the surrounding countryside flattens out considerably over the 15 km to the confluence with the Davey. There are several beautiful campsites on the lower sections. Once on the Davey the river opens out even more.
There is a flying fox across the river about a kilometer above the Davey gorge and a walking track on river left which leads to an old hydro hut. The last rapid is just above the Davey gorge and the river becomes estuarine soon after the gorge.


Crossing Gorge – Andy Townsend