Cairns Kayaking
Cairns Kayaking
Cairns Kayaking
Josephine Falls
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Quick Guide


Class: Grade IV - V [in bigger flows]

Level: You need to check under the bridge when you cross Josephine creek [1.7km from highway turn off] on the way up in your car. Look over teh left side of the road at the pilons of the rail bridge. The water should be just over the bottom horizontal brace timber.

Gauge: Visual

Length: 1.8km

Time: 1/2 hour with a good team at moderate levels
1 hourat higher levels like pictures show

Put in: Walk in along QPWS track to the Falls

Take out: Adjacent to an old farm shed on the right on the way in [about 5.7km from the highway turn off]

Character: Narrow, steep boulder creek

Notes: This creek can rise by a meter in minutes during heavy rain, but can also fall quickly after rain. You need to be there and wait some times. Usually overnight rain is enough and get there early in the morning.
Josephine Falls is an absolute gem. Josephine is one of the best short creek runs south of Cairns. A little difficult to get it at a perfect flow but when it is at a good level it is sweet. At higher levels it can be a handful with some of the drops getting pretty pushy. There are a few sticky holes in places and at higher levels scouting is advisable. If you get to Josephine in the morning at a good level its worth a couple of runs then onto Pugh Creek on the way home.

The river is accessed via the public walkway to the look out. From here it is a continual white water rollercoaster for around 1hr. The river has a very consistent drop, and a majority of the rapids are long, and not boat scoutable due to their length and windy nature.

At lower levels, pools form between rapids, making it a fun grade 3 to 4 creek that will still challenge any experienced paddler.

At higher levels the rapids link up and the river becomes extremely pushy. This is for expert creekers only as most of rapids are linked up, solid class V. Eddies become limited, and usually are under rainforest vines and fallen trees. The rapids become big, and pushy, which require expert skills to navigate, and read and run. The river is plagued with pins and massive stoppers at high levels and rescues can become near impossible (some very experienced paddlers have come unstuck on this river at high levels). Use caution and common sense if you are contemplating running this river in flood levels. The walk out between the put in and get out is extremely thick rainforest, clogged up with wait a while vines and can be a very unpleasant experience to walk through.
Note: this river will flash flood and rise in a matter of minutes during heavy rainfall. It is not uncommon for it to rise a meter, then fall, and the rise again within the space of half an hour.
We were in there but a job to get out. Stru thought he would just do a spot of bird watching!!! This was huge. Bigger than the day before and rising!!! With the water too high it was off to Pugh Cr

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