Cleddau / The Chasm to Milford Lodge

Info

Class: 
IV-V+
Portage?: 
No
Level: 
Running high
Gauge: 

Visual

Gradient: 
40.0m/km
Length: 
7.5km
Time: 
2-5 hours
Put in: 
The Chasm carpark
Take out: 
Milford Lodge
Shuttle: 
8km
Maps: 
D40
Character: 
Steep, tight, technical
Hot tip: 
Take sturdy shoes
Tags: 
Rain
Wait for rain, preferably a lot of it. It starts steep and the rapids are reminiscent of the Marian Creek run on the Hollyford. Not long after starting is one very steep, as yet unrun rapid, best portaged along the road. Back on the river the gradient remains steep all the way to the Donne confluence. Everything else has been paddled, in the right water.

At the Donne the gradient eases (12m/km) and class IV water lasts for a kilometre or so, then it's into class II and III before Milford Lodge.

To get to the put-in: go through the Homer Tunnel, drive down the Cleddau valley to The Chasm carpark, pose for pictures among the hundreds of tourists. Scramble out the end of the carpark down to the river. If you're getting in at the Donne River, either bash down the Donne River itself for 150m, or drive 500m further towards Milford from the Donne River bridge to where the river runs close to the road.

To get to the take-out: drive down the valley and turn off at signs to Milford Lodge. The Lodge is a backpacker hostel with camping sites, a shop, showers and washing facilities if you need these. (There aren't any others in the area).

History: 
Credits: 
Graham Charles
NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 
p281

Comments

tom_b's picture

From Slip Creek (bridge 300m below the chasm carpark) this is an awesome continuous IV-V run with currently no portages--one of the best runs around. Starts as a creek but gains much more water on the way down. About 60 cumecs at the Donne confluence is a good flow.