Platypus Flat To The Junction
posted by NSW Canoe Guide on Fri, 2012-07-27 13:00
Main Entry Point:
Main Exit Point:
This is the most scenically spectacular section of the Nymboida. It flows through a beautiful, steep-sided valley, covered in dense vegetation, with pockets of rainforest and stands of huge hoop pines and brush box appearing occasionally. Granite rock formations are a feature of the river and form high cliffs in places, particularly in the Nymboida Gorge as such. The rapids are frequent and varied and separated by pools. The first stretch between Platypus Flat and the Cod Hole campsite takes about 2-4 hours paddle and includes three large rapids which may require portaging. The first of these, known as "Lucifer's Leap Falls" (Map Ref. 649617 Dundurrabin), is about 2km after the start. A long pool separates it from a series of grade 3-4 chutes and grade 2-3 rapids encountered from Platypus Flat. It is a dangerous fall of about 6m which can be portaged on the left. Immediately after this fall there is a steep drop of 2 112-3m into a turbulent pool with danger from an undercut cliff face. Known as the "Rock Baf" it is graded as 4+. A short but difficult portage is available on the right but the portage on the left is easier though longer. The river then sweeps to the right and Turnback Creek comes in on the right in the next stretch. Grade 2-3 rapids follow before "Devil's Cauldron Falls" (Map Ref. 7076g8 Dundurrabin) is reached soon after. This is a double stage waterfall with a grade 4-5 rapid immediately below. Above the falls, the river is divided by a long, low island (distinctive in high water) on the left side of the river. The river then turns left and goes over the falls. It is advisable to start portaging on the left side of the island, not far from the top in high water. In higher water there is often a line down the far left, and at some levels the main line is runnable. At low to medium levels the right side has an underwater cave that is best avoided. Take extreme care is choosing to run this rapid. Before the Cod Hole is reached, 3km later, there are two longish grade 3 rapids, with chutes and rock ledge drops, followed by two easier grade 2 rapids. The river makes an abrupt turn to the right and the Cod Hole campsite is seen on the right. Downstream and around the bend from the campsite is the Cod Hole rapid, a grade 3-4 double stage drop with an overhanging ledge on the left side. Immediately beyond the pool below is "The Waterfall" (Map Ref ' 718665 Dundurrabin), a 2 112-3m drop into a deep pool with a rock wall at the bottom on the right of centre. This is best shot left of centre with some quick manoeuvring to the left at the bottom. The fall is quite dangerous in high water and should then be portaged. Inspect before shooting at all water levels and portage on the left if necessary. Between "The Waterfall" and the next large, good campsite on a distinct right-hand bend (Map Ref. 733697 Cloud's Creek) are some grade 2 rapids and three grade 3-4 rapids, which include the "S-Bend" (Map Ref. 726692 Cloud's Creek). This begins as a bend to the right after which the river turns very sharply left in a small, narrow, turbulent chasm with strong crosscurrents. The next stretch down to "The Chute" is the most difficult part of the river and does not have any reasonable campsites. This stretch begins just below the campsite with a bouncy chute angling across from the left side of the river at right angles to the riverbank. A flood channel on the right is paddleable at higher water levels' A long, rocky grade 3 rapid follows before a twisting grade 3-4 rapid running between high granite cliffs at "Kelly's Corner" (Map Ref. 739693 Cloud's Creek). After some grade 2 rapids there are two more grade 3-4 rapids in a wide and steep gorge. On a sweeping left bend in this gorge is "The Liftover" (Map Ret.744703 Cloud's Creek), marked by a house-sized boulder on the right-hand side of the river. This is a very bouldery stretch (grade 4-5) with difficult drops on the left which are paddleable only in high water. At lower levels the water seems to disappear beneath the boulders and a tiring portage (a liftover) is needed on the right over a ledge next to the big boulder. The rock ledges and slopes under the cliffs on the right-hand side of the river can be used as a rough emergency campsite. From this point "The Chute" campsite can be seen way downstream on the left at the end of a bouldery stretch" This stretch is known as "The Mushroom" rapid (grade 4-5) where the river weaves through a number of boulders before flowing up, or "mushrooming" over a boulder left of centre and then over some rocky cascading drops on the right. This is a dangerous rapid which can be portaged on the rock ledges on the right. Beyond a pool downstream is "The Chute" (Map Ref 740708 Cloud's Creek), a grade 3-4 rapid just below a good, high, sandy campsite on the left bank. On a sharp left bend the river tears down a long ramp beside an enormous boulder into diagonal stoppers at the bottom, with an undercut ledge on the right hand side. In high water the stoppers are powerful and interspersed with turbulent boils. This rapid is easily portaged on the left. At the end of the next pool is a bumpy grade 3 rock garden distinguished by reed beds. Kelly's Creek comes in here and there is a good campsite opposite. Another grade 3-4 and one grade 3 rapid, some flatwater and several grade 2 rapids follow before the tranquil Nymboida Gorge (Map Ref.745720 Cloud's Creek) is reached. The towering, pink granite cliffs are quite a spectacle. From here there are only another two difficult rapids before the Little Nymboida Junction. The second of these, known as "Off the Wall" (Map Ret.745731 Cloud's Creek) is a long bouldery grade 3-4 running along the cliffs on the left-hand side of the river.
Can be done in one long day but generally done in 2 or even
The car shuttle distance, via Moonpar Forest, is approximately 120km return and takes about 3 hours.
Great river running section! Some classic rapids.
Take the time to do it in 2 days. Great camp sites are plentiful.
Above 0.45 at Platypus Flat, which corresponds to approx 1.00m on the BOM Nymboida gauge.
Extra Gauge Info:
Platypus Flat or BOM: http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDN60140.html#Mann_and_Nymboida_Rivers
POINT (152.71469274505 -30.108074827418)