Mackay – Gateway to North Queensland’s White Water

by Rod

in White Water Paddling

Mackay could be the gateway

Where is the rest of my boat?

Dan said "What can happen?"

to North Queensland’s White Water. We have some great white water rivers and creeks around Mackay. Unfortunately they are very seasonal. Last year’s white water season went from the beginning of November 2010 through to end of April 2011. This wet season has been a very stop start afair. We didn’t have any white water until mid January for a couple of weeks and then it dried up and now the end of Febuary just last weekend we have had some good rain and a great weekend. Then for those who still work for a living, the water can come up and go back down before the weekend. That is why we have to make the best of it while we can. It is still a great place to live.

Rod in Darryl's Nemisiss

We managed to fit 3 trips into the two days, thanks to some great paddling mates. Saturday Morning saw us meeting at Garget with an initial idea of paddling Owens Creek. One our favourite little runs. Once we arrived there we found the water was too low, so we travelled on to Finch Hatton Gorge and found we could run the gorge Creek. It is a beautiful creek with some great little rapids and drops and then it runs into Cattle creek just above the gorge Bridge. Thanks to Dan, David, Jenner, Steve, Darryl and Eric for a great paddle Saturday Morning.

After a short drive a quick snack on a pie from the Finch Hatton shop Eric Darryl and I met up with Mick to do a run down another Creek we call Sininies. It runs down of the side of the Clarke Ranges and according to the map is called Cattle Creek. The other tributary which runs down the range from the Chelat and through Netherdale is called Cattle Creek (Sth. Br) For our afternoon trip we only paddled the top section of about 2kms, but it is a great little creek with some  interesting rapids when the creek has the right amount

Darryl Says Give me a go Dan.

of flow in it.

Sunday saw us again up around Finch Hatton, this time tackling our most popular trip especially for beginners. We paddle from Kowari Road bridge down to Uruba rail bridge. A distance of just under 6kms which took us 3 hours to paddle. This is because we stop and play in every single stopper eddie and hole we can find and by the time we all have a go, it makes for a very enjoyable and exhausting day.

Thanks to Steve for the contribution of these photos. This stopper is 500meters below the Finch Hatton Gorge Bridge.


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