Canoe Tas Inc

Lower Derwent

Derwent River

Big Bend to Plenty Railway Bridge
Distance: 12.0 km.
Average Grade: 1 m/km
Peak Grade: 
Difficulty: Grade 1- 2.
Paddling Time: 3 hours.
Entry Point: The "Big Bend" on the Derwent River below Bushy Park, called Rayners Corner on the Glenora Road (B62) on the western side of the river (Grid ref. DN 913 692).
Exit Point: The railway bridge 1 Km. south of the Salmon Ponds (Grid ef. DN 988 662). Exit below the rapid on the right. Do not climb over the fence, use the stile provided.
Water Level: Any level.
Tasmap: 1:100 000 Tyenna.
General Description: There is a number of grade 1- 2 rapids throughout his section. Three to note are as follows:
1. Mitchells Rapid, at the end of a long straight separated by an island (Grid ref. DN 950 700). Take the right hand channel as the left ends in a 1.5m. ledge which is rarely paddleable. The right channel offers a series of waves leading up to a small drop. The best route is on the right. 2.Broken Bridge Rapid 1 Km. further down. An old road bridge that was washed away in a flood in the 1940's (Grid ref. DN 960 685). There are three shutes through the old pylons of the bridge. The rapid is now used as the Derwent Canoe Club's slalom course. Beware of slalom gates in the channels and under no circumstances grab the gates when paddling or swimming after a capsize. Only the left is paddleable at low water levels. The middle shute is a bit rocky and has a metal spike towards the left, but is paddleable at very high levels. Beware of the old section of bridge about 200m. downstream – keep well to the right hand side. Extreme caution must be taken with the next rapid as the water sweeps under the willows. The right hand side of the current must be taken. 3. Plenty Railway Bridge. This rapid is visible from quite a distance. The main current is right of centre and makes an "S" down under the bridge. If unsure of the route check from the right hand bank.

Kate Mollison – Broken Bridge