Bradys Slalom Course

Grade: 3–4
Distance: 0.2 km
Time: 15 minutes
Get in: Bronte Lagoon
Get out: Bradys Lake
Water level: 12–50 cumecs (Hydro release)

The history of Bradys is pretty simple. The Hydro had two lakes (Bronte Lagoon and Bradys Lake) and wanted to be able to move water from one to the other. They could have done the normal thing and just built a slipway – but where’s the fun in that? No, some bright spark decided to build a kayaking slalom course for international competition instead. With lots of water to move over a high gradient, and water throughout the year it was perfect for the job. But I think the young design engineer got a bit too carried away, with the international kayaking community deeming the course too difficult and dangerous for competition shortly after construction.

For all of the same reasons, however, Bradys is the perfect rafting course. Big stoppers, a waterfall and very fast water makes the course extremely fun and wonderfully scary. If you don’t come back injured in some way you are in the minority, but I guarantee you will have not had nearly as much fun as your injured counterparts!

The river is a G4, with lots of access, two bridges, only 200m long and next to a main road which pushes its grading down to a solid G3. The rafting club considers it our big water ‘training’ course, it has some nice big rapids and there is a high possibility of falling out of the boat or flipping, with consequent possibility of nasty swims or foot entrapments.

Recommended water levels are 12 to 50 cumecs (m³/s), and contrary to what you might think the river actually gets easier at higher levels – except of course the first hole (Jibers, which can be dodged at high levels) and breaking out of the eddy at the bottom of the Cruncher. With more water, swims will not hurt your bum so much, (especially if swimming the Cruncher) but getting to the bank will be harder.

Anyone is invited to come on or organise Bradys trips. All you need is to have done and intro trip, be reasonably confident you can handle real white water, and have enough experienced guides. Water bookings are made though Hydro. A trailer or ute is also a good idea to shuffle boats back to the top of the course.

Trip reports

Bradys under blue skies – 22 May 2021.

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