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.