Albert River

Waterford - Tamborine Road to Chardon Bridge Road

Verified! Intermediate Summer Autumn Winter Spring CLASS I CLASS II CLASS III


South East Queensland. 5km Tamborine

Contributed by Acacia Canoe Sales and Hire


Class: II - III (p)

Length: 11.1km

Level: At least 0.39m on the Bromfleet gauge is required to complete this run. Do not go over about 0.47m on your first attempt as some tree strainers can be more dangerous to negotiate at higher flows. Unfortunately the rapids in the latter part of this trip can be quite 'bony' at levels below about 0.45m.

Gauge: Bromfleet

Character: Flat water stretches, occasional gravel races, lots of fallen trees, two sections with larger rapids of up to Grade 3+

Suits: Manoeuvrable white water kayaks

It is 11.1km down to Chardon Bridge and the river is characterized by flat water stretches (some quite long) with occasional gravel race type rapids, lots of fallen trees and overhanging vegetation and two sections with larger rapids of up to grade 3+ standard.

Other occasional obstacles to be avoided include an underwater pipe that creates a whirlpool on river right just above a very small man-made weir that is a short distance downstream from the start.

Manoeuvrable white water kayaks are probably best suited to this trip, although those who donít want a hard 'slog' on the flat pools should not have too many problems using touring kayaks (under about 3.8m in length) provided they donít mind an extra portage or two. Donít be put off by the frequency of tree strainers and block-ups in some parts Ė by ducking under, weaving around and powering over fallen logs and tree limbs, it is surprising how few actual portages are really necessary.

The first section of more serious rapids is encountered about 3.5km from the start and consists of a straightforward grade 2 drop followed by a two-stage grade 3+ rapid that requires careful inspection and consideration.

Not far downstream the river widens noticeably and the flat pools seem to get even longer. The second series of rapids starts about 1.8km above the finishing point and runs for nearly a kilometer. It consists mainly of relatively straightforward grade 1 to 3 rock garden type rapids and races that can be easily inspected and portaged if necessary. Unfortunately these rapids can be a bit on the bony side at levels under about 0.45m Ė especially the final one, an uneven ledge drop of just over a metre.

There is a further 800m of flat water before Chardon Bridge is reached. Due to the steep banks along much of this section, scenery is limited mainly to the riparian strip of vegetation that includes dry eucalypt country and patches of lush rainforest.

For those who are not averse to the occasional portage, this is a very pleasant trip indeed.

Putting In: Just under 600m south east of the bridge crossing on the Waterford-Tamborine Road turn left into Sonny Kibble Place. A short way along a track leads off to the left (through an unlocked gate) down to the river. If your vehicle is not 4WD capable then you should carefully assess track conditions past the gate. The easiest river access is about 20m upstream of the bridge and may involve a minor seal launch.

Taking Out: An easy exit point is located on river right just downstream (north east) of the Chardon Bridge Road crossing.

Entry Date: March 30 2011

Verified Date: March 30 2011

Verified by: Acacia Canoe Sales and Hire


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