Learn more about the region
Looking for Accommodation
Whilst the BRC50/12/20 cannot offer the pristine outback camping experience of the Gregory River Marathon there are many options to choose from if you haven’t already locked in with the paddling community in Mareeba.
Bilwon Farms: At the finish of the 20km Race on the banks of the Barron River. firstname.lastname@example.org Call 0455 117 796
Mareeba Country Caravan Park: Emerald End Road /7 km downstream on the banks of the Barron. 07 40923281 (convenient for that last minute paddle)
Kerribee Park camping grounds (Rodeo Grounds): Dimbulah Road/ 07 40921654 (Quiet, spacious area)
Jackaroo Motel: 340 Byrnes Street, Mareeba/ 07 409222677 (opposite the registration area adjacent to the fire station and relatively close to both BRC12 and BRC50 starts)
Mareeba and Kuranda: www.athertontablelands.com.au (Further info on 3 above and many more)
Cairns Beaches: Trinity Beach Club/ 07 40556776 (ask for paddling deal on the holiday appartments, the northern beaches are a must prior to or after the BRC50)
Cairns: Just google your favorite hotel chain.
“Canoeists and their support crew are encouraged to utilise the facilities at Bilwon Farms – the BRC50 overnight stop on the Saturday night. A nominal fee of $10 per adult per night is payable to the race committee.
Facilities include area for campervans/ caravans and tents and showers/toilets. Communal kitchen facilities are also available. Some bunk beds are available but these must be prebooked through the race committee. (Own linen must be supplied.)
Canoeists and spectators are welcome to arrive before Friday and to stay on Sunday night and beyond at Bilwon Farms – rates of $35 for powered van site/or $20 per head would be arranged on site.
The BRC20 presentations on Saturday and the restart of the BRC50 on Sunday morning take place at Bilwon Farms on Rush Road.”
Matt Blundell’s race report 2012
Matt Blundell is the current Australian Canoeing Open Male – Marathon Paddler of the Year- 2014. Here is his take on the 2012 BRC50. ” Brett, Stu and I meet up with our families at Cairns airport for a week’s holiday before we paddle the Barron River Race the following week. After a week of relaxing and swimming in the hotel pool at Palm Cove we head to Mareeba for the start of the Barron River Race, which is 50km and runs from Mareeba to Kuranda. This is a definite step up from the Gregory River with several major rapids to negotiate. The river is running at 1.73 which is up from the last few days as they were able to get a water release from the dam at the last minute but is still well down on last year’s level of 1.92m. Cruisin’ down the River The river is quite narrow at the start so a staggered start is necessary. Faster craft are last to start so we have to wait for the slower plastic craft to leave before we are able to hit the water. We have no idea what the river holds in store for us as we did not get the opportunity to do a practice run like we did with the Gregory Race. We have to rely on local’s advice about the river and everyone had a different story to tell! After seeing the trophy at registration we were sure there were plenty of rocks, rapids, crocodiles, snakes, turtles, platypus and logs to contend during the race! Swimming was not an option here! The first 12 km of the Barron is narrow winding river with a few small rapids. Nice moving water, very similar to the Gloucester Mountain Man paddle section for those who know it, only following faster. In this section I am able to stay in front of the K2 as all the turns make the K1 a big advantage. The river widens for the next 15km with intermittent rapids. These rapids are grade 1-2 but fairly challenging with the low water level. They take a toll on the kayaks, especially the K2, which takes a hammering. Having put some distance between the K2, I portage my first rapid, the biggie of the day, 200m long with a grade 3 drop at the bottom. I arrive at the 31km check point and have only another 19km to go. Still feeling good and with no sign of the K2 I push on. I come to a small rapid with a metre drop at the bottom…. all goes well until a branch pushes me in….. my 1st and only swim of the day. It only takes about 30seconds and I’m up and going again with 15km remaining to the finish. Faster, Faster This section involves a series of small boney rapids with flat stretches in between. I portage a couple of these as I took the wrong side of the river and ran out of water. I finish in 3hr 57min for a new race record. Brett and Stu came in 15min later in second place with a very beat up kayak. I would strongly recommend both these races and combining the two makes for a great holiday. We found the organiser’s to be very helpful and accommodating. Anyone who is interested just let me know and I can help with any queries or questions. All going well I will be back for both next year. Matt Blundell.”
BRC12 Junior and Open
2017 Saturday 6th May.
The Junior BRC12 has been an important race from our beginning in 2011. Students from 14 to 18 years of age have been enjoying paddling the 12 km section of the Barron river between Mareeba and Biboohra for 7 years. A few slight changes to the format are planned for 2017 as the popularity grows.
The start began from 1:30 pm for competitors in the BRC20 and from the first leg of the BRC50. Presentations for the BRC12 were held at Bilwon at 5pm
This section of the river is classified as Grade 1 Moving Water and all junior competitors are required to be competent at paddling at this level. Students from the local area are welcome to attend training (see training page). Those from further afield may benefit from training sessions run by professionals.
The BRC 12/20 OPEN is sponsored by Adventure Equipment Cairns.
BRC12 Junior and Open BRC20 Open Division
BRC12 Junior and Open BRC20 Open divisions
The BRC12/20 races start at the low bridge accessible off Herberton street/Anzac Avenue.
They serve a dual purpose:
- to entice/encourage juniors and adults to try/improve their paddling skills
- as a sprint race for accomplished paddlers who have not been able to secure a craft for the BRC50 or simply have not had the time to train for the marathon distance
All types of canoes and kayaks are encouraged to enter the BRC12/20
Craft of all types take on BRC12
Just finishing the race means that you will be in the running for a number of random draws thanks to our local Paddling supplier.