Slate / Above Snow to Devil's Boots


15 - 20 cumecs

visual (lotto)

6.5 hours
Put in: 
Where ever you want
Take out: 
Devil’s Boots
Helicopter section 6
M25 and M26
Deep gorge, pool/drop
Hot tip: 
It’s a big ask to fill the Devil’s Boots!

The Slate is a tributary of the Aorere. Normal flow is three cumecs so it needs a good rain. 15 - 20 cumecs is optimal but there is no easy way of knowing. But it’s worth taking a gamble!

The Slate is a beautiful bedrock gorge with many 3m falls which are straightforward. The creek gets bigger as the Snow and then the Rocky double the flow. After the Rocky the river opens out, twisting and turning into the entrance of the final limestone gorge. The horizontal tree trunk across the gorge 6metres up is unmistakeable. Expect two portages to avoid a log and sieve. This is a deep gorge with only one way out, but there are good pools between each drop. Once at the Aorere, paddle a further two kilometres to the limestone outcrops at the Devil’s Boots.

To get to the put in: from Collingwood head south on SH60 for 3km. Turn right onto Plain Rd. Follow this for about 5.7km and turn left onto Aorere Goldfields Road. Drive to the end of the road and park in the grassy clearing. Allow room for the helicopter. The take out is at the Devil’s Boots about 1km back down the road. Go down to the river and mark the take out because it is not easily identifiable as you come down the river.

Rob Bryant
NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 


riverplay's picture

I agree about the upper Slate but the lower gorge run is an easy walk on the 4WD track and its all over in under an hour, I would'nt take my ute up that track, but there is some talk that it will get done up. I hope so that would make it 20min walk or less. matt7, any time you want to get up there and are looking for a team let me know, its all good...


matt7's picture

Can be run from as high as a clearing marked 476m, this gives you 13km allow atleast 4.5hrs to snow confluence and 9hrs to the take out, relatively low number of portages depending on wood. great day out. if walking into bottom you need a good 4wd to get to the start of the walking track otherwise its more than 2hrs walk over a hill...
there is a track back to goldfeild road at bottom, look for a faint track river right round bend from big bedrock chunks. go past a old miners shack, then turn left when you get to 4wd track.

riverplay's picture

This is one of the crowning jewels of GB boating. Either heli in as far as you can talk the pilot too for a long day of many intermediate drops and chutes at low-med flows. BUT you can walk in via the goldfields track in 50min for the bottom gorge, like 6-7 drops, depending on flows something will be a compulsry walk. A good afternoon out after a day of rain. Only go after rain not during! you will not be able to climb out of the canyon.