Paddling in the Tully River

Kayaking Tully River 16 by David Cooling on

Kayaking Tully River 16
David Cooling

Kayaking Tully River 8 by David Cooling on

Kayaking Tully River 8
David Cooling

The Tully region has the highest rainfall in Australia, so it makes sense that this would be an awesome place to go paddling. The dam at the Tully River is opened daily to increase water flow for the kayakers, rafters and other paddlers who regularly make their way down the rapids.
Over the Australia Day long weekend, we drove up to Tully and camped with some church friends, we had the majority of the Tully Gorge National Park camping area to ourselves. If you’re staying here bring insect repellent for the march flies and wet weather gear because it will rain. Among our friends, Tim and Ben are quite experienced outdoor guides (experience gathered from previous jobs and further general interest) and they shared this experience with us to make an excellent weekend and a safe one.

paddling, white water rafting, queensland, australia

A quick break halfway down the river

We had to share the river with other rafters and some small groups of paddlers but there was plenty of room for a group of beginners with a couple of experienced guys to look out for us. The water level was a bit low, even though Tully has the highest average rainfall in Australia, it is the end of a very dry wet season. Still it was enough for a great experience that I’d recommend for anyone travelling to Cairns or Townsville in Far North Queensland Australia.

dragonfly, tully, queensland, australia,

Blue Dragonfly Tully

Tully, like a lot of tropical Queensland has some amazing wildlife. Apparently there’s little call for worry about crocs up the Tully Gorge, but there were dragonflies like these on every second rock along the river, there were Cairns Birdwing butterflies and Ulysses butterflies the size of your hand and of course there was the obligatory brown snake swimming in the river and we saw (killed) quite a few cane toads.

If you’re travelling here and you’re keen to try white water rafting, there were quite a few Raging Thunder rafts making their way down the river as we were, and they do this daily. They’re based out of Cairns. Alternatively, get in touch with me and I’ll try to put you in contact with some locals who were happy to paddle with us and are generally happy with any excuse to go down the river.

Signing out with a gratuitous selfie of my wife and I relaxing after some rapids.

The selfie

The selfie


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