Brisbane River

Wivenhoe Dam to Lowood Bend

Verified! Flatwater Paddling Easy Touring Dam Release Summer Autumn Winter Spring CLASS I


South East Queensland. 10km Frenvale

Contributed by Acacia Canoe Sales and Hire


Class: I+ (p)

Season: All year round

Length: 10km

Level: Normal dam releases usually provide enough water, although at levels below about 1.30m on the Savages Crossing gauge this run may start getting a bit bony.

Gauge: Savages Crossing gauge

Character: Pools and runs through bush and cattle country

Suits: Touring boats

This trip is about 8.9kms by river. A short pool at the get-in spills into faster water that flows for nearly a kilometre before entering a significantly longer pool. After a further 1.3kms, Lockyer Creek enters from the right and choosing to explore this creek to its upper limit of navigation (several hundred metres before O’Reillys Weir) will add another 4kms to your trip.

This long pool eventually spills off to the right into the Log Jam, where koalas and sea eagles may occasionally be spotted on a good day. The Log Jam is one of the prettiest parts of the river although, as its name suggests, it can be prone to partial or even total blockages as a consequence of upstream flood events. Inexperienced canoeists or those who are not confident manoeuvring their craft in tight lines around fallen trees and faster water should consider portaging via a short flood channel that runs off to the right from the very end of the pool above the Log Jam to an easy entry point just below it. More experienced paddlers should find the Log Jam relatively straightforward to negotiate, although those with longer craft may require extra effort or skill to get through. ALL paddlers should exercise caution in the Log Jam at higher river levels and after significant upstream flooding

Below the Log Jam another long pool leads down to several small rapids adjacent to the get-out point where there may be a few more fallen trees to keep paddlers alert. The once pleasant riparian vegetation along the river banks is showing obvious signs of the devastating 2011 floods and may take many years to recover fully.

A longer trip you can continue on to Twin Bridges, although this adds a further 5.8kms of flat water with very little discernible assistance from any current.

Putting In: Turn left from the Brisbane Valley Highway to the Spillway Common. Take note of the sign showing when the entrance gate is locked of an evening. After a few hundred metres this road sweeps to the right up a small rise. Just over that rise turn left and continue on to a small parking area overlooking the river. An unsealed track leads down past a locked gate towards the river and a trail off to the right leads to a small pool below the measuring weir and rapid.

Taking Out: Lowood Bend Reserve just outside Lowood on the Forest Hill Fernvale Road a rough dirt track leads down to several access points along the river (note: be careful here as traffic visibility at this turn-off is limited).

Entry Date: April 29 2009

Verified Date: January 15 2015

Verified by: Acacia Canoe Sales and Hire


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