Level: 0.5m minimum; 0.55 - 0.75m good level; above1.1m the overall river grading starts rising dramatically
Gauge: Gardners Falls gauge
Character: Continuous and steeply dropping white water
Suits: Short River Running Kayaks
The first 3km of this 18.5km trip is on fast flowing Grade 1 water providing a handy tune-up for the fun ahead. The final 3km is across the Baroon Pocket Dam catchment to the get out point. This leaves 12.5km of continuous and often steeply dropping white water (with a gradient of about 44m/km at its steepest) that provides one of the most enjoyable trips in South East Queensland for experienced paddlers. The mostly clean rapids start with several fast bouncy rock-slides that progress to steep boulder races and drops until Gardners Falls (a 4.1m drop) is reached.
Gardners Falls spills into a deep-water pool (a popular local swimming hole) and is often run by kayakers. Downstream there are consistent drops, chutes, gutters, at least one retentive river-width stopper (requiring an aggressive approach) and numerous steep boulder races – some hundreds of metres long.
There are a number of fun rapids along the way where those with more playful kayaks can hone their moves. The lush and often dense semi-tropical vegetation along the banks is somewhat reminiscent of Far North Queensland rivers while the occasional interesting geological formation, including a small but spectacular columnar basalt outcrop, further adds to the visual appeal. Unfortunately the concentration demanded by the continuous rapids, particularly in some of the steeper sections, can make it difficult to fully appreciate the true beauty of the surrounding scenery that sometimes seems to pass in a blur.
This is one of the classic runs for highly experienced white water paddlers and (accompanied) Grade 3 standard paddlers with solid skills looking to step up to the next level.
Warnings: (1) If you find the 4.7km down to Gardners Falls too challenging then don't proceed any further as the rapids past this point only become even more committing. You can always get out here and walk the 2.5km back to Maleny. (2) As a steep and fast flowing creek, paddlers should exercise the usual cautions with regard to overhanging vegetation, tree strainers and other obstructions that can appear quite quickly after even relatively minor floods. Also, be aware that landholders have been known to erect barb wire fences across this creek in some of the faster sections. Paddlers who have not run this section for a while should preferably paddle it with someone who is familiar with the latest river conditions.
Hamish Clarke March 8, 2010 - Obi Obi Creek was awesome fun! Gardners falls is pretty good above 0.6m. Several water fall drops after it, watch the trees and the vines at any level.
The paddle across Baroon Pocket Dam to the take out point is slow and boring! Plenty of interesting things to see and depending on the waterfall level the rock gardens can be a little harder to navigate. Just do a scout at each section!
Putting In: The park on the upstream side of the bridge in the main street of Maleny (Bunya Street)
Taking Out: Follow North Maleny Road (becomes Baroon Pocket Road) north from Maleny until you reach a picnic area and boat ramp beside the lake. Take note of the time that the gate is locked of an evening
Entry Date: May 09 2009
Verified Date: April 11 2012
Verified by: Acacia Canoe Sales and Hire
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