NZ, Beans Burn (Mt Aspiring NP)

The Beans Burn drains into the Dart river, near Glenorchy. There is now a good marked track all the way up the valley to the top flat.

This was a bit of a surprise, I was walking out the valley and had expected the river to be too small for rafting. But about 45 mins walk upstream of the first flat (not the higher top flat) there was a short runnable section back down to the flat, which begins when the track drops down by the river. Above here it looked too confined + steep. I was able to raft down to the flat with only a few easy portages, only one of which was probably actually necessary.

At the south end of the flat the river again looked too steep and confined, so I walked down to the bridge. From here it looked like the gradient eased up a bit, and I put in just below the bridge. The run out to the Dart confluence was a bit trickier than the short upper section I did, and very stop start. Portaging was harder with some bashing through bush. I’m sure someone with more experience (and not solo) would spend less time walking and be able to run most of the river, although there are still a few bits where logs + big boulders block progress.

It was a fine day and the water was impossibly blue and clear - the first flip I put me deep into a pool (pictured), being underwater was like being suspended in a big azure crystal, just amazing …not that I really appreciated it till after I’d gotten back on the raft.

I’d guess this was a PR3, maybe PR4 for the bits I skipped - it’s a small non-threatening river though. It’s also short - the amount of river I covered equated to about 80 mins brisk walk.

These photos look amazing. I’ll have to make it down to try this river out sometime! Erik