Backyard Australia – Sevens Creek

Backyard Run // Sevens Creek, Victoria

Sevens Creek flows through the Strathbogie Ranges in Central Victoria about two hours north of Melbourne. In its descent from the put in at Polly McQuinns reservoir to the take out at Gooram Falls, Sevens cuts through a band of granite in a series of slides and drops that would be at home in Norway or California. ‘Sevens’ requires very heavy local rainfall to reach a runnable level. Unfortunately due to the location and ongoing drought Sevens has only run for three days in the last two years; some years it doesn’t run at all. But all the waiting and watching the weather on the net is definitely worth it.

Once you’re at the put-in the slide under the bridge will give you a taste of what’s to come. After this the river is mostly flat for the first couple of kilometres; interrupted by a couple of short slides. Just when you’re starting to wonder if it’s all worth it the river disappears over a horizon line, this is the gorge. The gorge goes for about 500 meters and consists of a series of long slides and drops with short pools in between with the entry and exit rapids being the highlights. The river sieves out in a couple of places in the gorge but they are easy to portage at river level.

After you leave the gorge the river consists of class III/IV boulder gardens, small drops and slides interspersed with several spectacular class IV/V slides and drops. All bar one have been run to date. There are a couple of short portages around log jams and since when Sevens is running it’s in flood sometimes there are trees growing mid stream. All the larger drops, including the entire gorge, are easily portaged meaning you don’t have to be a class V boater to have a great day out.

In brief:

Class: IV – V
Level: .85 – 1.1(highest level run to date, could be run higher if it ever rains enough)
Gauge: Polly McQuinns (available on the Australian Bureau of Met web site)
Distance: 9km
Time: 4 – 6 hours
By Shaun McManamny
More information on Sevens is available in the Paddle Australia Online Guide –