Cairns Kayaking
Cairns Kayaking
Cairns Kayaking
Crystal Cascades
Quick Guide

Class: Grade II, III & IV

Level: The water needs to be just under the pipes to a bit over at the bridge on the way up Intake Road.

Gauge: BOM river gauge
Above 2.1m. 2.4 to 3.0 is best

Length: 1.1km grade 3 to 4, 1.1km grade 3 and a further 3.2km grade 2

Time: 1 to 2 hours depending on play time.

Put in:
1. Grade 2 to 3 put in is 350m from car park
2. Grade 3 to 4 is a further 750 up concrete path to "No Fear" rock.
3.Grade 2 only is back at the old wooden bridge

Take out:
1. Car park [1.1km]
2. The old wooden bridge [2.2km]
3. The bridge on Mary Potter Drive at Redlynch Valley Estate [5.4km]

Character: Upper and middle sections are creeking with the grade 2 lower section tree lined creek with very few large features.

1. There is a great café at the take out that serves hot food and drinks.
2. The further you walk up to the put in the, the creek gets steeper and narrower.
Freshwater Creek is dependant on wet season rain . After the first rains, it runs dirty for a day or two, after which it clears up to crystal clear again. If it is running dirty after that, then it usually means it's pretty big.

A good visual gauge is the pipes upstream from the wooden bridge that crosses Freshwater Creek prior to the put in car park. If the water is just touching the underside of the pipes, it's on. It may be a bit boney but OK. If it is pushing up the pipes or running over, it is perfect. When you can't see the pipes and there is a huge wave instead, it's probably better to go home.

From No Fear, the 1st 1.1km is top notch, grade III+ creeking with a couple of grade IV sections. This run generally has only 1 or 2 lines and straying off them could mean pinning or some vigorous hole action.

After that, the run down to the bridge settles down a little, where the drops get smaller and the lines are more plentiful. Some paddlers will get out at the bridge and walk back to the car park.

Otherwise continue the next 3.2km's for a leisurely grade II paddle down to the 2nd take out Bridge on Mary Potter Drive.

Take out:
Is at Redlynch Valley Estate. Use the Western Arterial Road and follow the "Crystal Cascades" signs along Intake Road approx 6.3km and turn left into Redlynch Valley Estate. Leave a car at the bridge before the round about on Mary Potter Drive. You can park cars on the grass prior to the bridge.

Put in:
Back track to Intake Road, turn left and continue 1.7km where you will cross a single lane wooden bridge. Here is a good spot to visually check the water height. If the water is just touching the underside of the pipes up stream, it's all good. Continue along this road for another 1km where you will come to the Crystal Cascades car park.

Note: Be sure to lock cars and hide valuables away from site.

Walk up the concrete path with the creek on your right. About 200m up, there will be some steps leading down to the creek.
Basically, the further you walk, the higher the grade. To experience a few drops and then some easy creeking, enter at the 3rd set of stairs. For the advanced paddlers, keep on walking! If you get to large fenced off gate, you've gone too far!

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