Wild ride went down in history
Waterways great for some cool recreation
IF YOU enjoy canoeing or kayaking, the waterways throughout the region are there for all to explore and enjoy, just as people have done for many years.
Once the source of transport for early pioneers, the rivers, creeks and Pumicestone Passage make the area very special.
The choices of amazing scenic journeys and exciting physical challenges provide secluded spots with bushland along many of the foreshores.
Be rewarded with the experience of hidden natural wonders, a sense of personal achievement and the bond of shared adventure with family or friends.
An early story of the region’s history tells a cautionary canoe tale.
In the late summer of 1914, when the creeks and waterways were running swiftly after a wet summer, Conondale’s Jack Flesser and his brother Charlie cut canoes from a large gum tree log using an adze and axe. The canoes were about 2.5m long with a depth and width of about 50cm.
The brothers had decided to take those rough canoes on a perilous journey and each had the equivalent of about $10 for their venture.
In the headwaters of the Mary River, above the junction of Harper’s Creek, they launched the vessels and away they went down the river.
They rode the wild waters of the Mary all the way to Maryborough in 40 hours.
During the journey, the rain poured down and the Flesser boys tied the canoes together for most of the trip.
Such was the flooded current, the brothers remarked that “the snakes tried to make friends”.
The boys camped at Widgee during the trip and rode the rapids, arriving in Maryborough about 3pm after their long journey.
The Flesser brothers camped beside the river and while they rested from their journey, the water crept up and washed their canoes away with the tide.
Perhaps it was because the two canoes were tied together that they were found some time later.
As for the Flesser boys, they took the night steam train known as the Old ’99, arriving in Landsborough some hours later.
Still with money in their pockets, they walked home up the range.
Maryborough Council recovered the canoes which were wrapped around a tree.
They were put on display in the Maryborough Gardens until being eaten out by white ants some years later.
Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.
WAY TO TRAVEL: Canoeing on the Maroochy River canal at the junction of Bradman and Duporth Avenues, Maroochydore, in 1936.