19th June, 2019

Your local Boat Storage Operator’s guide waterskiing and wakeboarding in the Brisbane River.

brisbane city water skiing

Better way to spend a morning in Brisbane? We doubt it!


Unbeknown to most Brisbanites, there is a water-sports mecca snaking (literally) its way through our glorious city. The humble Brisbane River consistently serves up glorious waterskiing, wakeboarding and bare footing conditions. Glassy water and quiet stretches are in abundance, as are an excellent selection of boat-ramp infrastructure stretching the entire traffic able distance of the river.

Where do you ski in the Brisbane River? These are our three recommendations:

OUR TOP PICK: Karana Downs

brisbane river waterskiing and wakeboarding

Afternoon Glass: Well Protected Karana Downs is Our Pick for an Afternoon Ski

Karana Downs or ‘KD’ as its affectionately known, is located as far upstream the Brisbane River as boats are able to safely navigate. The boat ramp and recreational facilities are all reasonably modern, as the previous infrastructure was washed away in the 2011 floods. Situated in Kookaburra Park, the single vehicle capacity boat ramp angles with the flow of the river, allowing for stress-free boat loading/unloading. The sandy beach immediately next to the ramp means you can even set up a quick shade and BBQ on the shore, and ski in and ski out at your own leisure. Riverwise at KD you’ll find several kilometres of near-straight reaches that stretch between Anstead and Karalee – You can literally ski in a relatively straight line from the Kholo Creek junction, past the Bremer River mouth right up to the Moggill Ferry.


Live in Ipswich? No worries! This same great passage of water can be easily accessed via Riverside Park Boat Ramp in Karalee.

Why do we really love Karana Downs? With the river being naturally low-set among rolling hills, the water is well-protected from the wind, meaning more chance of flatter water, particularly in windy Brisbane summer afternoons. We also like the tranquil back drop that only the more rural parts of Brisbane/Ipswich can provide.


The Good:

  • Water well-protected from wind = good skiing conditions

  • Scenic mountainous/farmland back-drop

  • Wide stretch of river to allow safe tubing

  • Excellent Park Amenities (Including Toilets!)

  • Long straight stretch between

  • Low amount of boat traffic

  • Petrol Station situated close-by

The Bad:

  • Circa-45 min drive from Brisbane CBD

  • Single trailer capacity boat ramp

  • No pontoon (although does have sand beach adjoining the ramp)


The Popular Choice: Jindalee


Brisbane river water skiing

No shortage of quiet little reaches accessible from Jindalee Boat Ramp

Being one of the most modern ramps out there, its not surprising that Jindalee is the first choice for most Brisbane River skiing enthusiasts. Featuring a 3-trailer-wide ramp, access pontoon and ample parking, this centrally located ramp is only 20 minutes drive from the CBD. It gives prime access to several different stretches of the river, which deliver a wide choice of angles to run. Head upstream and you’ll find yourself navigating through a few different bends, until you pass Centenary Rowing Club, onto what we nicknamed ‘the Jail-House stretch’ – aptly named due to its close proximity to Wacol Correctional Centre. This stretch provides one of the longest, straightest reaches in the Brisbane River – ideal for longer endurance runs, and typically has better protected water than the other nearby reaches – not to mention the sparse scrubland backdrop!

Brisbane river barefoot skiing

Any early morning barefoot along the ‘Jail House’ Stretch

The Good:

  • Central Location – easy to get to from the CBD

  • Modern large capacity boat ramp

  • Large Pontoon for easy passenger loading/unloading

  • Good amenities in adjoining park

  • Multiple Petrol Stations nearby


The Bad:


  • Boat ramp can get busy with traffic

  • Car parking limited

The Underground One: Long Pocket @ Indooroopilly


Dropping in at Long Pocket gives good access to the Tennyson/Indooroopilly Reach of the River


Nestled right in the back corner of Indooroopilly, Long Pocket boat ramp tends to fly a bit under the radar for the majority of the boating crowd. Situated opposite Indooroopilly Golf Club on Meirers Road, Long Pocket gives direct access to the desirable Tennyson reach of the Brisbane River. We like this particular stretch as its wide, straight and gives you the opportunity to ski under the historic Walter Taylor Bridge at Indooroopilly. Not to mention the opportunity to check out some of the river-front palaces along King Arthur Terrace in Tennyson!


The Good:

  • Quiet Boat Ramp

  • Easy access from Inner-Western Suburbs

  • Good skiing available down the Tennyson Reach


The Bad:

  • Water has a higher level of salinity being further downstream

  • Only one straight stretch to utilise

  • Large amount of rowing-boat traffic from UQ rowing club

  • Rather isolated boat ramp location


Others to Consider West End