Short, horizontal sandstone canyon
This canyon is fully described in the Canyoning in NZ guidebook.
Visited on 13 March 2017. Quite impressed with the canyon.
A note on getting into the stream:
You enter Blackball and continue through on the main road – once past the toilets/community centre quirky building continue out of the town down a small hill and go past a sign and signs old mining area on right, up a small hill, then park on the left next to the start of a 4×4 track which heads back down to the creek.
Walk down the 4×4 track which leads to a line of power poles, turn right at the junction and follow this track 5 minutes (small gaps in the gorse and blackberrys on the left of the track are not a good idea) until a very obvious wide short muddy 2m drop into the stream is reached – its very obvious and easy to find just follow the 4×4 track. (marked yellow on WAMS so should be ok) From here its less than 150m until the stream walls close in. Note if you turned left at the junction you are already above the canyon walls already . Also note that the swing bridge below the canyon does not appear to exist any more – correct me if you find it.
It’s important to consider where the legal public access is if you are taking any routes other than the one described on the topo.
Check out the Walking Access Management System website for accurate representation of public walking access.
Five of us visited 09-Feb 2014. We avoided the gorse and blackberry scrambling by parking in the pull out on the left about 400m before the bridge and walking down the path and turning right at the junction. At the end of the path you can enter the stream. We found a plastic hand line and an old man panning for gold. Most won’t need a hand line. We wandered upstream casually for an hour or so and then back down and through the narrows. We exited at the same place we entered. There were heaps of curious eels and the stream was full of rubbish (relics, maybe).
Trip report by Nic Barth.
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