The Maroochy River Paddle is a marathon paddling race on the Maroochy River starting upstream at the Dunethin Rock Scout Camp and travelling downstream with the out-going tide to finish 17 Km later in Eudlo Creek at the Sunshine Coast Paddlesports Club. The inaugural event was held in 2012 The MRP is held annually to celebrate all paddle sports on the Sunshine Coast and the beauty of the Maroochy River. The full range of paddle sports is represented: Racing Kayaks, Sea Kayaks and Fishing Kayaks; Dragon Boats and Outrigger Canoes; Surf Spec SKIs and Ocean Racing SKIs; Stand-Up Paddle Boards; Canadian canoe; Plastic sit-on-top and anything else you might wish to paddle. The race is the joint effort of the Sunshine Coast Paddlesports Club and the Marcoola SLSC.
The name “Maroochy”comes from a local Aboriginal legend. It tells how Ninderry, a rival from another clan, stole a beautiful young woman called Maroochy from Coolum, the man whom she was to marry. When Coolum rescued his bride by stealth, Ninderry chased them. He caught up with them, and, throwing a boomerang, succeeded in knocking off Coolum’s head, which rolled into the sea and is represented today by Mudjimba Island. His body is represented by Mount Coolum. For his treacherous attack, Ninderry was turned into stone by the wrathful gods. Maroochy fled inland, where she wept so copiously that her tears flowed down the mountain to form the Maroochy River. The first inhabitants of the Maroochy district were the Aboriginal people of the Gubbi Gubbi language group.
The paddle starts in Lake Dunethin . Paddlers head out of the lake into the Maroochy River and turn right to head east and downstream. There will be a buoy in the mouth of the Lake. Paddlers should keep the buoy on their right. This will separate paddlers leaving the Lake from those entering it e.g. Dragon Boats and Outriggers entering the lake from the river for their starts.
Hazards are soon encountered
Submerged rock 200m from the start, where a picnic shelter can be seen on the right bank, there is a large submerged rock. It is 8m wide and marked on either side by yellow markers. Keep to either side.
Two Km from the start paddlers will pass under the unique Lift Bridge which was used from 1897 to 2003 to carry cane trains, then a further 5.5 Km eastward through abandoned cane fields before the river widens with Coolum Ck on the left and turns right and southward to meander through mangrove covered terrain with tall trees. A further 2 K south paddlers reach 2 mangrove islands & 2 Km beyond that will pass the pontoon of the Bli Bli Wildlife Sanctuary on the right. The river meanders right and left until passing under the David Low Way Bridge at Bli Bli. At this point, the finish is 3.8 Km away. The next landmark will be the mouth of Petrie Creek on the right, then 300m further paddlers will pass two red channel markers which must be kept to their right. The turn into Eudlo Creek and the final 1K of the race will be marked by a large buoy. Paddlers must keep that buoy on their right as they enter the creek. Paddlers will pass under the Bradman Ave Bridge and the end will be in sight 300m on the left. The finish will be marked by a buoy in the water & a Marcoola SLSC banner on the beach .