The Secret Passage

posted Jun 21, 2015, 3:21 AM by Posts Editor   [ updated Jun 21, 2015, 4:23 PM ]
Jane Johnson writes:

'At the Living Boat Trust in Franklin there is a great map that details the depth of water in the Huon River, particularly around North and South Egg Island. Rowing groups in the St Ayles Skiff “Imagine” frequently enjoy completing the 45-minute circuit that traverses tidal Egg Island Canal through to Cradoc and then homeward-bound via the Eldercare Channel.

Last Sunday a new adventure unfolded with an aim to find the secret passage through South Egg Island in “Imagine”. This circuit takes about 90mins, goes via the Egg Island Canal, south to Wattle Grove and then through the curly, shallow passage that winds its way into the heart of the island, exiting just north of Heriot’s Point.

There are a few warnings attached to this adventure ...
  • The trip can only be completed successfully at high tide only as the passage is extremely shallow;
  • There is only one navigable channel in the passage – taking other options leads to grounding in the sandy, muddy river that is difficult to get out of;
  • Go with someone who has already completed the voyage to determine the correct route.
Leave enough light hours in case there are circumstances where help is needed.  The secret passage is easily completed by kayak, and a kayaker may be a useful accompaniment as a guide to the water depth. The journey goes through Egg Island Canal, towards Wattle Grove until an obvious opening – wide, delightfully deep and heading straight into the island, in between Jacksons Road and Braeside. Seemingly easy from there, it then becomes difficult. The passage winds north until a bird-hide is visible. As far as we know, this is the only navigable way through, keeping to the south bank and inside tufts of grass that look almost too shallow to accommodate a boat. Shallow water then deepens, the channel narrows and keeping to the eastern bank, the secret passage can be navigated. And there are plenty of great photos along the way.'