Savages Crossing to Burton's Bridge


This is one of the prettiest sections of the Brisbane River. Access to the start is from the bridge at Savages Crossing on Banks Creek Road from Fernvale. Fernvale is on the Brisbane Valley Highway from Ipswich to Esk. This section finishes at Burton's Bridge on E. Summerville Road, off Pine Mountain Road. The section upriver from this is Twin Bridges to Savages Crossing, the section downriver is Burton's Bridge to Kholo.

It is a 12.5 kilometre paddle, with minimal signs of human habitation, and has a few rapids. It is always good to let the occasional rapid do the work, while you do the steering. This is a grade one section with a few high grade one rapids. That higher grading comes from a change in the river.

Grade One is defined as a ....Slow moving river, with an obvious and easy to find path.....

Grade One High ..... Manoeuvering required to follow an obvious path....

In these instances the cause for the cautionary note, and the higher grading is that there are places where tree branches lean out across the river, at a place where the river narrows to 20 metres across, and there is a speeding up of the current. Combine this with a corner, where the current sweeps you hard against the bank, and you have a potentially dangerous situation. The water will strain through the tree branches but if you are washed in against the tree you may end up pinned there by the current. Its how people drown. If you cannot manoeuver and control your boat, walk it along the inside of the corner, or carry it past the rapid. At the very least, stop and have a look before running through.

The first corner one kilometre down from Savages Bridge is a good example of a strainer, and the above cautionary note. A little care will keep you out of the trees (see photo second from left below). Remember that at times of increased water flow, places like this can become very dangerous.

The last rapid before Burton's Bridge is a pebble race (see photo second from right below). The water is very shallow, and if you are carrying camping gear, or have a fibreglass boat, you will want to walk this. If you are wearing good sunglasses, you will see the fantastic long waving streams of river grass beneath the water. Note also in the last 500 metres the magnificent gum trees growing on the left bank. It looks like the left bank riparian zone is protected from cattle. What a difference to the right bank.

Pull out left or right bank at Burton's Bridge. It is eight kilometres by road back to Fernvale, and three more down to Savages Crossing.


Click on thumbnails below photos to see larger images.
looking back upstream to Savages Crossing strainer one kilometres down from Savages Crossing last shallow rapid before Burtons looking downstream to Burton's Bridge
upstream to Savages
first corner 0ne km down
half a k above Burtons