Darling River System
Australia's longest continuous river system.
The Condamine River is the most diverse section of the entire waterway. From a gentle stream in highland farmland surrounded by rainforests, it is channeled into a forested gorge before entering the wide farming plains of the Darling Downs.
Detour up SEQ highest peak that shadows the source.
A steep and hard Grade 4 walk up the ridgeline to the viewless summit that would get very slippy if wet. Some navigation required, especially if you head to the second cairn. Interesting detour to the Lincoln Wreckage or the lookout at Lizard Point and The Steamers.
Cambanoora Gorge runs between the source of the Condamine River and Killarney, QLD. It is also known as the Condamine Gorge. Put in at or just above the first 4wd crossing of the river. I started near the gate as you leave the farmland for forest about 4.5 km upstream of the first crossing.
Levels under 2.1 m are likely to become difficult to paddle the bouldery sections of the gorge. You should expect about a dozen or more fences across the creek. Most farmers used barbed wire so be careful!
1.9 m at the Head represents almost zero flow and levels drop quickly after heavy rain. On an average year, there are 55 days at or above the recommended flow at Killarney (Brosnans Barn), but only 4.5 days at or above 1 Cumecs at the Head.
From here to Warwick will determine the feasibility of this trip.
Falling river height from 0.98 m to 0.64 m was still enjoyable but the decreased flow was definitely slower. It was easy enough to control the kayak around the million log jams from the recent floods.
From what would best be described as a narrow deep drainage ditch below Killarney, the river started to open up around Murrays Bridge (~halfway to Warwick).
River felt like it had dropped to a more "normal" level with a healthy rainfall at 0.91 m, as opposed to no rain for years. Crossings and weirs made for mostly flatwater paddling and minimal assistance from the flow around Warwick.
You really need to be ready to go quickly after heavy rains to use the current. A flow higher than 1.5 m above normal should allow you to paddle over many of the fences across the river.
Last major supply pickup before Chinchilla, which is 426 km downstream. I am expecting some supplies at Cecil Plains with maybe a side trip to Dalby if required.
Benz Auto Dismantlers in Warwick may be able to offer long term car storage.
Tiny general store and a pub in the town.
Other possible towns on the way to Cecil Plains seem very limited and off the track:
19 km E along Clifton Leyburn Rd
13.2 km SW along Gore Hwy from the bridge
Condamine River (North Branch)
The main river is best with the North Branch rarely running except for flood events. At 86.4 ML/day, the inlet was dry, the confluence near Tipton Weir is shown above,
The north branch does not go past Cecil Plains.
Dalby is 10 km north east of the bridge.
6.5 km north of the bridge along Warra Kogan Rd
3.75 km north of the bridge along Banana Bridge Rd.
7 km from town.
I was warned from multiple sources that there were high crime levels in 2020, particularly opportunistic car theft.
Maybe a small general store.
Balonne River starts where the Condamine and Dogwood rivers join.