Lower Genoa River report

Lower Genoa River – Wangarabell to Genoa June 2016

Gauge: Genoa Gorge 0.95 to 0.90m

Thought I’d post a quick report on a trip Matt and I did on the lower Genoa river in Gippsland a few weeks back given there isn’t much info out there that I could find on this one.

Access: the put in is at Wangarabell , about 20km north of Genoa. We actually put in at Matt’s mates farm but I think you can access publically a bit further up the road. The take out is near the bridge at Genoa township, there is small camping area on river left which is a convenient take out. The road in is dirt but in very good condition. Probably worthwhile checking Vic roads for closures before any trip because it was closed a few days before we went when the big rains came. It’s quite a haul from any of the big cities but about 5 hours from Canberra and less than 2 from Matts home town of Bega !

Time: given it was winter we decided on an overnight trip, both paddle days we around 4 hours. It is a lovely trip and was nice to camp but we are thinking of heading back in summer when the water is right and doing it as a long day trip … feasible but more so if you know the river. Anyway for a first timer I’d recommend an overnighter to fully appreciate the area

River: From where we started the first couple of kms was pretty manky through shrubbery and flattish water, thankfully enough water though. Soon enough you get to the top of a long series of boulder gardens. At the height we had it the most continuous line was river right and we scouted our way down with only a portage of the initial short drop which was too rocky, otherwise a series of grade 2 rapids and drops which runs for a few hundred metres. Then the river steepens into a shallow gorge for about 300-400m or so. This section was pretty tricky and we ran in three short sections of decent grade 3 paddling. I took of my bag for this bit as it was technical so took us a bit of time. Immediately below was another nice long grade 2 rapid before some easier bits which were a bit scratchy. We set up camp about 4pm as we were already losing the sun and it was bloody cold. Next day provided a bunch of short sharp rapids of around grade 2 or 2+ and lots of nice runs and races which could have done with the 5cm we lost overnight! There were some stunning granite shelves and not a lot of flat barring the last couple of kms into Genoa which passed pretty quickly anyway, we finished early afternoon. As always use your own judgement as it’s pretty remote and quite technical in parts, everything could be portaged at the heights we were on

Gauge height: this is probably where the value of this post is at as I couldn’t find any references to decent heights, I’d made a guesstimate that 1m on the Genoa gauge would be about right and I wasn’t far off. As it was we had it just under and it was a bit scrappy in the easier bits but about right through the gorge. 1.1m would probably be the ideal height for this trip, higher OK but the short intense gorge bit would be pretty hard I think, maybe grade 4?. It does drop pretty quick … we’d watch it fall all week from very high to perfect on the Friday to a bit under Saturday. Maybe I’m getting spoilt but I reckon not under 0.9 if you want to really enjoy the paddle and not just the scenery

Overall, quite a nice trip, ‘one of the best wilderness trips’ … hmm, maybe a bit of a long bow there but certainly the granite country is pretty nice . Thanks Matt for the company and boldly pushing the majority of the lines so I felt compelled to follow!

Anyway, as always some pics and vids at the link below feel free to PM me if you want anything further:


PS … meant to add that the Genoa is in East Gippsland Victoria if you didn’t know. And the quote at the end is from the McLaughlin canoe guide for Victoria

Another good one Mick! Hope you guys had drysuits :slight_smile:

I was wishing I had one ! … luckily no swims

Damn - now I need to toughen up and get out in winter :open_mouth:
Was hoping you had drysuits…