Paddle Tas

South East

Picton River

Farm House Creek to Top Bridge(removed)
Distance: 11 km.
Average Grade: 3 m/km.
Peak Grade: Easy 3
Difficulty: Grade 2-3.
Paddling Time: 1-2 hours.
Entry Point: From Geeveston take the Arve Road (C632) following signage towards the Tahune Airwalk.  1.5km before the Airwalk, turn Left onto the Picton then Right on Rivereaux Road (which becomes the West Picton Road) which then crosses the river at the Riveaux Bridge.  Approx 21kms from the Arve Rd turnoff, pull off at a clearing and 4 way intersection which is 250m before the Farmhouse Creek carpark (the end of the road).  A gated logging track on the Left commences at Grid Ref AGD66 730136.
Walk 700m to the end of the track then carry/drag 600m down a rough cut, taped rainforest foot track to the junction of Farmhouse Creek and the Picton River. Note Farmhouse Creek is choked with logs and no longer navigable.There is no longer a BOM gauge in this area.
Exit Point: Vehicle Access – approx 10km from Arve Rd turnoff  take a left hand side road off the Riveaux/West Picton Rd, down to the former Top Bridge.
River exit – Various eddies river left, upstream of the Top Bridge (now removed) on the Picton (Grid ref. DN 759 212).
Water Level: Gauge at Tahune Bridge. Above 1 m.
Tasmap: 1:100 000 Huon.
Shuttle: 15mins drive from exit at former Top Bridge to Put In near Farmhouse Creek, on Riveaux/West Picton Rd.
General Description: The river is an excellent intermediate trip for people graduating to harder grade 2 and easy 3.  It runs through beautiful rainforest with a good selection of large Huon Pines and is mostly paddled for its scenic qualities.  This section was mostly spared by the 2018 bushfires which affected much of the forest downstream.

The Picton flows only when there has been continuous recent rain or snow.  As a consequence the river can be extremely cold in winter but very pleasant after summer easterly rain.

The river is broad with long shingle rapids and small wave trains generally followed by pools or slower water.  There are a number of good grade 2 rapids increasing in intensity towards the end as more boulders and bedrock are encountered.

At water heights above 2m at the Tahune gauge the rapids can link up into continuous wave trains with surf waves and a few significant stoppers in the final kilometre or so, but these can be easily avoided by an astute paddler.

Watch carefully for the remains of the former Top Bridge as the best exit points are eddies above the bridge remains, and paddling back up above the bridge is hard if you accidentally go below it.

Updated: 5 October 2020