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Black river, Upper ***

View Black river, Upper in a larger map.
  • Grade: 4
  • Level: Spring flows only; needs at least 12 cumecs, 20 is better
  • Gauge: Online
  • Length: 12.9 km
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Put In: Lingham Lake road
  • Take Out: On the right in Queensborough
  • Shuttle: 14.4 km
  • Character: Creek run that has a good rapid to flats ratio
  • References: MACKfest

One of the more popular runs in the area, and deservedly so. The river has continuous interest and a few harder drops that are a lot of fun. Shortly after the put in, there are a couple of sections of narrow canyon. At the time of writing, the second of these had some wood in the top right chute, easily avoidable either side but hard to see.

A house on the right and a horizon line heralds a drop called 3B falls. Scout either side, or portage on the right - please keep to the trail. Most people run down this on the left as there is a sticky hole in the centre. All the rest of the rapids can be boat scouted until the next big drop. The Particle Accelerator is a 30 degree slide, usually run right of centre. Easiest inspection and portage is on the right. There is a big rock (target station) in the run out that forms a great boof in higher flows.

Particle Accelerator rapid
Andy Hill running Particle Accelerator

More fun rapids follow, easing off towards the takeout in Queensborough. Either take out on the right above the dam, or this can be run on the right side. Take a good look, as there are rocks in the pool below. Paddlers have earned themselves a welcome in Queensborough, and there is usually a bake sale at the takeout on the weekend of MACKfest, manned by the local ladies. A great finish to a fine river.

To get to the take out; From highway 7, turn north onto Queensborough road about 1 km East of the bridge over the Black. Follow this into Queensborough, the take out is in the centre of town.

To get to the put in; Continue out of Queensborough going North on Barry road. This ends after 7 km at Cooper road; turn right. After a further 1.5 km turn right onto Lingham Lake road and follow this for 6 km to the bridge over the Black.