Wonderful wedding anniversary: first a pioneering canoe trip on the Tanjil River followed by a lovely meal at Morwell’sGaztronomy Restaurant. Many happy returns Della Jones.
The Tanjil IS canoeable from Rowley’s Ridge Rd (bridge/gauging station) to Blue Rock Dam (Steve’s Track/Casuarina Track – off Rowley’s Ridge Rd via Hill End) just as I suspected. There are almost no trees across it, and I had to get out of the boat only once or twice. That is an Alpaca Fiord Explorer packraft you see in the pictures which Della purchased for me so I could become the first person to canoe the mighty Seaforth River in Fiordland NZ in 2009; http://www.theultralighthiker.com/dusky-track-canoeing-the-seaforth/
It is a great boat for this type of river. Many of the rapids/pebble races could use some time spent clearing rocks out of them to make a clear passage, which we will do. There is one Grade 3+(?) rapid about two-thirds of the way down which I cleared a portage around on the right bank. It is a long bumpy chute in a gorge section and has a rock in the middle which might turn one out with disastrous consequences. I will examine it more carefully on a future expedition. It would make an exhilarating rapid if it can be made safer.
Surprisingly the trip took 4 ¾ hours. I also accidentally left my lifejacket in the car, so Della was doubly worried when I had predicted approx two hours! There are some excellent camps along the way on each bank, most with car access. There is an intermediate access about half way down off Rowleys Ridge Rd which would allow the trip to be broken in two (must investigate this).
The put in and take out points would be accessible to a Subaru (or similar) though snow chains might be a good idea in Casuarina Track if it is at all wet as there is a steepish section at the end. The Tanjil River at Tanjil Junction Gauge (http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDV60154.html) read .45 visually and on the website so I would suggest this be used as a guide to the canoeable height. Car shuttle takes about a quarter of an hour (each way).
The bridge/river height gauge is approx one hour from Churchill. It is a BEAUTIFUL little river traveling through a majestic serene forest replete with birdlife. There are innumerable trout/spinyback crays, so an overnight trip is recommended.
The river has now been successfully packrafted from Costans Rd adding several hours to the trip – probably an overnight really. There is good camping near the bridge where I put in.