Why hold world-class white water rafting championships at Tully?
Watching all the adrenalin pumping action on the first day of the 2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship on 11 May was certainly a highlight of my five-week house-sitting stint in Tully.
Before visiting Tully, I knew the town of 2390 people and located 140 kilometres south of Cairns in North Queensland was reputed to be the wettest town in Australia.
It has an average annual rainfall of more than 4000 millimetres. The highest ever annual rainfall in a populated area of Australia, 7900 millimetres, was recorded in Tully in 1950.
The Golden Gumboot monument stands as a testament to these records.
At 7.9 metres tall, the boot represents the town’s record 1950 rainfall. An inside spiral staircase takes you to the top for a view of the town. Tully also holds an annual Golden Gumboot Festival.
Australia’s best white water rafting river?
What I didn’t know was the nearby Tully River is arguably the best rafting river in Australia.
It’s no wonder Tully was chosen to host this year’s national rafting championship in May, which was a build-up event to the International Rafting Federation’s (IRF) 2019 World Rafting Championship (WRC).
On 11 May I was lucky enough to find a terrific spectator viewing spot to watch the first day of action when some of the world’s best rafters competed in the sprint and head-to-head disciplines.
In just a few hours I learnt a lot about the sport and watched in awe as rafters navigated their way through the Tully River’s rapids, fringed by world heritage tropical rainforest.
However, you don’t have to be the best in the world to experience the thrill of white water rafting on the Tully River throughout the year.
Below are some photos from the first day of the 2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship at Tully.