I didn't actually take the guidebook (Chapman) with me, so I wasn't too sure what tracks went where. The track starts about a kilometre beyond the turnoff for the lookout, where there is a small amount of parking, but also a cleared area across the road which might be OK. The track heads downhill, moderately and steeply, and shortly emerges close to the bottom of the gorge at a steel bridge. Beyond this the track climbs and falls with steep drops in places, and tree roots that would be slippery in the wet. It's not too hard, but you would need to watch children closely and assist them in places. The water was quite low when I was there, but I imagine when the flow is high that a slip into the river would be rapidly fatal.
There is a spot in the narrowest part of the gorge where you can clamber steeply down the rocks in the bottom of the gorge, and the cliffs rise steep and close on the far side. With the river in flood, I should think the water level rises rapidly.
Following a steep descent, including on a steel ladder, you emerge on the river bank where the canyon makes a tighter-than-90 degree right-hand turn, below a huge bluff which forms the inside corner. With the water low I was able to sit on a rock in the river and make this panoramic image. It's 16 shots (8x2) and shows more than a 180 degree view. To the right the river flows steeply towards the camera through the narrowest part of the gorge. The bridge you cross is back this way. The river flows around the bluff to the right of centre and down the gorge to its left. The tourist lookout is on the highpoint seen down the gorge in the background. I suspect this spot where I sat is not accessible when the water is high, but there is a viewpoint just above it which would give a good view of the river flowing into here and away down the gorge.
|16-shot panorama, Leven Canyon|