Barron River

Power Station Bridge to Lake Placid

Verified! Intermediate Play Boating Dam Release CLASS III


North Queensland. 15km Cairns

Contributed by Dave Kneen


Class: III

Time: 1hr

Length: 3km

Level: 20 - 60 MW

Shuttle: Road along side river

Character: Boulder Garden through jungle

Suits: All river running boats

This is a nice play run at normal flows (and apparently a stonking thumpfest when the dam is spilling; although I cannot vouch for that!)

Raging Thunder (a local rafting company) arrange water releases roughly from 9:30 till 12:30 every day, so that is the time to be one it, at around 60 MW.

There are a few nice boulder gardens and a couple of small but sweet holes to play in.

Debra Hamilton September 15, 2010 - Nice fun roadside drop pool run mostly grade 2 with 2 grade three rapids that are easily portaged around for beginner paddlers.

In the dry season the water flow is low to medium and controlled by the hydro power station and goes from a very bony 15 mw to a nice level 60 mw. The water is released usually after 2pm and unless you are in the wet season or the tail end of the wet season don't bother turning up before 2pm.

In the wet season the water level is anything from a nice pushy level with some decent play holes / waves to a seriously big water grade 5 paddler only level.

Don't bother bringing your drysuits or wetsuits for most of the year we paddle in rashies to stop ourselves burning.

If you want to go for a paddle on the Barron and don't have a crew contact the Cairns Kayaking Club website to get in touch with a few paddlers, there is usually a crew going out every afternoon.

Putting In: From Cairns drive north 15km, following signs to Lake Placid / the power station / Barron Gorge. Walk your boats down from the top car park at the end of this road to put in just below the bridge.

Taking Out: About 3km back down the Barron Gorge Road you will see the last rapid on the river. Immediately below this a foot track winds its way up to the road, It is pretty obvious.

Camping: Hotels in Cairns!!

Entry Date: April 23 2004

Verified Date: May 25 2006

Verified by: Shaun Mc Manamny


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