Honeymoon Pool Kayak Trail. Wellington NP
About the Trail
Begin this trip at Honeymoon Pool, adjacent to the camping area located 18km west of Collie in Wellington National Park. In summer the Park is a hive of activity with the Collie River and dam offering lots of spots to swim, canoe and fish. In winter, visitors can enjoy the cool crisp days, with the evenings a perfect time to sit around a welcoming campfire.
Paddle downstream, the current is minor and the route easy to follow. A couple of shallow rapids should present no difficulty although you will need to walk back up them later. Don't go down anything you don't want to walk up!
About 500m downstream you will get to Gelcoat Rapid that must be walked around. You will know it by a sloping rock face and a sharp right bend in the river. As you paddle towards this bend you will see the rock slope in front of you and the well used landing place directly in front of you. Do not paddle beyond this point. Gelcoat rapid is around the corner and not a rapid for the inexperienced.
Carry over the hill and relaunch at the bottom of the rapid. Continue downstream for a couple more kilometres of calm river. You will approach another rock bar and the river again veers to the right, and the horizon beyond indicates a waterfall. Stay left and land on the rock bar. Do not attempt to paddle the rapid and do not continue further downstream.
There is a camping site, accessible by 4WD only, on the river left immediately before you get to the rock bar. But how much better is it to arrive by kayak?
The waterfall is the second of the two drops, a 1.5m vertical drop. Do not attempt to paddle over it, there are shallow rock ledges immediately below. Also, do not swim or paddle in the pool between the two drops.
The pool below the second drop is a great place to swim, up under the waterfall. You can walk on the shallow ledges behind. Put your head behind the waterfall and scream.
Further downstream there are several obstacles including grade three rapids, a weir, irrigations canals, and finally, the river disappears into a tunnel underground. Do not continue further downstream.
Instead, paddle back upstream. The rapids are shallow and you will be able to walk or line your kayak up them. Take a short rope with you for this part. At Gelcoat, carry around as before.
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