Lee Stream / Lee Stream

Info

Class: 
IV-IV+
Portage?: 
No
Level: 
Needs rain
Gauge: 

Visual - 8cm below to 3cm above the small ledge on the upstream side true right bridge footing. For an indication call the Otago Regional Council flow phone, 03 479 6493. If Deep Stream is flowing around 30 cumecs, Lee Stream should be about right.

Gradient: 
30.0m/km
Length: 
9.5km
Time: 
4 - 7 hours.
Put in: 
Bridge
Take out: 
Outram Glen
Shuttle: 
10 km
Maps: 
Character: 
Small, steep and technical
Hot tip: 
Wear good shoes and elbow pads!
Tags: 
Rain
Urban Country Crossover best describes Lee Stream. Only 40 minutes drive from Dunedin to the put-in, Lee Stream offers a complete adventure close to town. Horizon lines, steep rapids, hard portages, all in a tight gorge with fantastic native bush around. At the upper end of the flow it gets very pushy and powerful.

Lee Stream was first paddled in the early 1990's by Dunedin locals Keith Riley et al, and then went untouched for several years before being rediscovered in 2006 by Craig Adams et al.

From the put-in the river looks fairly innocuous, but soon picks up. The first portage is just a few hundred metres downstream; portage on the left around a tree-choked rapid. The gradient increases through 'Head High Tackle', a sump which is unpaddleable at lower flows. Scout on the left, and if necessary portage high on the left. The gradient maintains its steepness throughout, climaxing in Pencil Sharpener and Pencil Dick Falls, a tricky lead in to a 4m waterfall.

The last rapid is Slide Into Depravity. At low flows the first slide can be run, but avoid it at higher flows as the rest of the rapid is in the Make My Day class. Portage around the Depravity on the right. From there it's a short paddle to the Taieri confluence and down to Outram Glen.

To get to the take-out, drive North through Mosgiel on Gordon Rd. Continue towards Outram for about 9km to the bridge over the Taieri River. Immediately after the bridge turn right onto a gravel road at Outram Glen. Turn left onto a smaller gravel road and drive for about 10km to the trestle bridge over Lee Stream. Put in here.

To get to the take out, drive back to the carpark at Outram Glen.

History: 
Credits: 
Glenn Murdoch, Craig Adams
NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 
p0