Tully River

Upper section from Koombooloomba Dam to Tully Falls Weir

Intermediate Play Boating Dam Release Summer Autumn Winter Spring CLASS II CLASS III


North Queensland. Ravenshoe

Contributed by Jayd Wieland


Class: Grade 2 (1st rapid is grade 3/3+ depending on level)

Season: Any - Hydro Power Station Release

Gradient: 1:200 for first 6 km then relatively flat for last 4 km

Time: 3 hours

Length: 10km

Level: 36MW is minimum but river is wide and can handle more water without too dramatic a change in character

Gauge: Contact power station or locals in the know for release times (water is released approximately 4 hours before the timing for Kareeya Hydro release on main Tully: eg. 10am - 1pm release on main section may equate to 6am - 9am release for this section)

Shuttle: 15 minutes on dirt road between put in and take out

Character: Drop pool wide river with dense jungle on banks and no crocodiles

Suits: Beginner - Intermediate kayakers

Lovely easy section of river which flows consistently most of the year.  

Don't be put off by the first rapid (Double Espresso) as this strong wake up is easily portaged around.

Tully River Upper section from Koombooloomba Dam to Tully Falls Weir. Copyright Jayd Wieland 2018. All rights reserved.


It is a nice clean run but at 88MW there are some sticky holes to avoid before the main drop (which is pumping) and at 36MW it cracked the helmet of a paddler in our group who missed a roll before the main drop!  Rest assured there is nothing as big as this downstream; however, there are some very nice rapids at the grade which can mostly be scouted from the boat.

A significant rock bar juts in from river left a few km into the run which requires maneuvering from river left to right above it and then back to river left once passed.  We didn't see the main section at 88MW but this rapid possibly could have some decent holes at that level.  

After 6km most of the rapids are done so be prepared for long pools to finish (which could actually be helpful if you have missed your timing and run out of water by this stage).  

Only a relatively short section, but could be a great over night expedition for groups wanting to practice paddling with loaded boats.

In an emergency you could walk out from around half way up Nitchaga creek southwards to Tull Falls road (approx. 1.5km).

Putting In: Below Koombooloomba Dam

Taking Out: Just before Tully Falls weir

Map: Q Topo 8062-34 Tully Falls

Camping: Koombooloomba Conservation Park camping area or other options in the park. See: https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/koombooloomba/camping.html#koombooloomba_conservation_park_camping_area

Entry Date: 29 November 2018


Do YOU know MORE or BETTER than this?
Want to offer your own experiences / opinions on this paddle?