Paddle Tas

West Coast

Franklin River

Lyell Highway to Collingwood Confluence

Distance: 11 km.
Average Grade: 6 m/km.
Peak Grade: 8 m/km.
Difficulty: Grade 3.
Paddling Time: 2-4hrs.
Entry Point: Lyell Highway Bridge if sufficient water or 500m down Frenchmans cap track for a 4km shorter trip.
Exit Point: The Collingwood River confluence, then portage back over Donaghys Hill track to the Lyell Highway.
Water Level: There is a river level gauge at the Collingwood Bridge. Below 0.7m. will be a scratchy, low level descent. Recommended height is 0.9m – 1.2m on the Collingwood gauge.
Tasmap: 1:100 000 Nive, 1:25 000 Loddon sheet preferred.
Shuttle: Very short and easy downhill ride on a bike
General Description: A seldom paddled but beautiful section of the Franklin, having a difficult exit if paddled on its own, with the Collingwood being a better start if the main section of the Franklin is to be paddled. Mostly easy grade 1-2 paddling. However, there are two very significant locations that form nasty log jams with problematic pull outs which makes this trip not suitable for beginners. The first is 2km from the Lyell Highway Bridge, immediately after a 10m high sediment cliff on river right. The river flows into a razor sharp and craggy limestone band which is nearly always chocked with logs. Easy pull out on right to portage. Beware the enticing blind channel on the left as it leads to more strainers with a very difficult pull out. The second log jam is at the head of Indaba Passage just prior to the confluence, heralded by a large truck sized boulder. Pull out with care on river left (the eddy may be ill-defined) for a 15 minute portage. The exit track commences at the rear of the campsite and vears right across the drainage line to climb directly up. Kayaks will need to be hauled up on ropes for the first 50m. Packrafters will appreciate a backpack.