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Young River (New Zealand) facts for kids

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Young River
Young River, New Zealand 12.jpg
Country New Zealand
Region Otago
District Queenstown-Lakes District
Physical characteristics
Main source Mount Doris
Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana
River mouth Makarora River
305 metres (1,000 ft)
Length 21 kilometres (13 mi)
Basin features
Progression Young River North Branch → Young RiverMakarora River → Clutha River / Mata-Au
River system Clutha River / Mata-Au
  • Right:
    Young River South Branch

Young River is in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It lies within the Mount Aspiring National Park and feeds into the Makarora River 3 kilometres (2 mi) upriver from Makarora.


The ultimate source of the Young River is at the head of Young River North Branch on the eastern slopes of Mount Doris on the main divide of the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana. The river flow eastwards from it source. There is a landslide dam and 2.5 kilometres (2 mi) long lake 9 kilometres (6 mi) downstream, that formed in 2007. At the lake the river bends to the right and flows southwards for 6 kilometres (4 mi). The Gillespie Pass Circuit tramping track crosses the river using the Young Fork Bridge.

At Young Fork approximately 14 kilometres (9 mi) downstream from the source of the north branch the Young River South Branch merges from the right. The river continues in flowing eastwards for 7 kilometres (4 mi) until it ultimately merges with the Makarora River 3.5 kilometres (2 mi) north of the village of Makarora

2007 Landslide

At 4:40 a.m. on August 29 2007, a debris avalanche occurred blocking the Young River North Branch. Approximately 11 million cubic metres (390×10^6 cu ft) of material fell in to the river valley from above forming a 70-metre (230 ft) high landslide dam. A new lake began to forming behind the dam. The lake eventually overtopped the dam on 5 October 2007. When fill the lake is 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) long and 500 metres (1,600 ft) wide and has a volume of 23 million cubic metres (812×10^6 cu ft).

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