Canoe Tas Inc

Central Tasmania

Nive River

Lyell Highway to Tungatinah Power Station


Distance: 20 km.
Average Grade: 6 m/km.
Peak Grade: 
Difficulty: Grade 3-4 (can be grade 5 above 70 cumecs).
Paddling Time: 2.5 to 5 hours.
Entry Point: Lyell Highway (A10) Bridge 2 km west of the Marlborough Highway (B11) (Grid ref. 559 324).
Exit Point: Just after the Tungatinah Power Station on the left bank near the picnic ground (Grid ref. 551 168).
Water Level:  Pine Tier Lagoon needs to be spilling for this section to flow, 0.5m over the dam, or approx. 55cumecs measured at Nive Above Tarraleah Power Station, is a good level. It has been done between 0.2 and 0.9 over the spillway but 0.9 is seriously big water. River flow and dam spill data available on the Hydro website.
Tasmap: 1:100 000 Nive.
Shuttle:  22km, 20min drive on Lyell Hwy.
General Description: The Nive is basically big, cold and tiring. Walkouts should be on the right bank to the Fourteen Mile Road, and there have been many! On the lower section the left bank up to the Lyell Highway may be  preferred.

From the Lyell Highway to the Clarence Rivulet the rapids range from grade 3 and are quite open. At the Clarence Rivulet the first major rapid, “Mountains Mistake” consists of a large grade 3-4 fall. While the rapid is reasonably safe, it should be inspected first. About 2 km downstream is a long boulder rapid which begins on a right hand bend. The bottom cannot be seen from above but it can be paddled blind. Stay in the middle to right hand side as there have been logs jammed in stoppers on the left. Good grade 3-4 water follows. One large rapid has a nasty looking rock in the middle but is safe to shoot on the left or right. The last major fall (“Sausage Falls”) is a grade 4 double stage rapid and has a large powerful stopper in it. It is about 2-3 km to the finish.

Updated 6 Oct 2020

Mountain’s Mistake –  Nive River 8/8/2009
Sausage Falls – Nive River 8/8/2009
Nive River 8/8/2009