The Gwydir River is located 30 kilometers south west of Inverell in New South Wales, Australia. It begins on the southern part of the New England Plateau, flowing north west from there until eventually joining forces with the Barwon River.
Level of Difficulty: Class IV-V
The Gwydir River is rated Class IV-V. It is a big volume river with long and powerful rapids, and should be undertaken by fit adventurers with at least a small amount of rafting experience. Fans of high volume rafting will love this Australian classic!
The Canyon: Big, High-Volume River Flowing Through Rugged Hills
The Gwydir Canyon is dominated mostly by the river’s currents themselves, which are so large and impressive that it is difficult to pay attention to much else. Copeton Dam, upstream of the 16 kilometer-long rafted section, releases a huge amount of water into the river for irrigation purposes downstream. The day starts with three Class V rapids within one mile: The Troubles and ABC. The currents keep surging downstream from there, delivering one Class IV or V rapid after the other. If one does have the time to look up from all those towering waves, they will notice granite cliffs, rugged hills, and banks dotted with tall eucalyptus tress. In between long stretches of whitewater, the river sometimes settles into beautiful deep pools for a few moments of reprieve. There are two portages on this run, where the Gwydir drops off into thundering cascades that are too big for rafts to successfully navigate. Both are beautiful places, one named Saphire Falls for the massive sapphire-shaped rock high above the rapid on a cliff.
Season: November Through March
Most rafting companies conduct trips on the Gwydir River in the summer months, November through March.