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“360 Degree Views on the Franklin”

Franklin River Nature Trail
Reviewed 27 February 2012

How can there be 360 degree views whilst rafting on a river lost in a deep canyon?

First, start with the water itself, just underneath your paddle. Clean and pure from a pristine wilderness catchment - protected now - but only because of the protestations by those that came before you. When thirsty, unhook the cup from the raft and dip it in. But first, on top of the water are those amazing swirling patterns caused by the foamy eucalyptus proteins - a subject of famous photographers.

Beneath - the multi-coloured rocky jewels of quartzite or fools gold. Swimming amongst these rocks you might spy a platypus - once thought to be creature of myth. Next - the walls of the river - made of more polished stone - gems as large as houses - or smaller masterpieces chiseled by an ancient sculptor.

Strewn along these walls - the massive weathering carcasses of mighty Tasmanian oaks, improbably washed and then wedged into place by the power of the flooding river that few have seen, but today, fortunately not presenting an impassable logjam. A few more degrees above that, the living bush. 5,000 year old Huon pine; manferns - that as a species date back to the time of the dinosaurs. Above that, soaring great ravines, rising above deceiving gorges.

Even higher, quartzite cliffs, the former perches of those massive boulders that now pass by your raft. Higher still, a passing glimpse of a frenchman's cap? Then, the intense blue antipodean sky - the sun thankfully warming your wetsuit. And is that a wedgetail?

Only 180 degrees of beauty still to see and describe. But that must wait, because, our river guide has just commanded "jump right!", and here we go again, journeying to that peaceful abyss but with our serenity soundly - but only briefly - broken...

Date of experience: February 2012
5  Thank GoCats2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 February 2012

Did a five day white water rafting trip with Rafting Tasmania- a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Physically hard at times, with enough challenges to make this a very exciting adventure. Very well organised and supervised, and therefore relatively safe. The catering was five stars- in the middle of nowhere! Contact: Graham.

Date of experience: January 2012
7  Thank Miguel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2012

I loved rafting the Franklin so much, I've done two trips down the river, both times with Water by Nature. The trip is a wonderful combination of the adrenaline rush of your time in the water and the rapids as well as the time in camp to relax and just enjoy the beauty around you. I live in a big, noisy, polluted city, so I loved being surrounded by green and birdsong in such a pristine part of the world. Falling asleep next to flowing water each night also worked wonders on my psyche. I was thinking as I started my first trip that I would have to give up some creature comforts that I love like coffee every morning, chocolate and a comfortable bed, but I actually had all that on the trip. There were comfy air mattresses to sleep on, and the food was incredible. I can't believe how well I ate. There wasn't only coffee and chocolate but also fresh eggs and produce, lamb, steak, guacamole, pasta, cakes and other desserts. Brett, the owner, is also the most experienced guide on the Franklin. It was great to be with someone so knowledgeable about the river and with medical training to boot. I keep pictures of the river at my desk at work and just keep dreaming about going back again.

Date of experience: October 2011
3  Thank FarmGirlVagabond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2011

I went on the 7 Day Expedition with Water By Nature run by Brett. My two guides, ‘Jim from Scotland’ and Johnno were both very experienced raft guides as well as great cooks. I went in the first week of December which is near the start of the season. I was told that it can be quite cold and wet in Tasmania at this time of the year but in my 7 days on the river we only got a light shower on day 6 and the nights were quite mild. Although this might not always be the case, an advantage of travelling earlier in the season is that the water level is generally higher allowing for less portaging. We were not required to port the raft at all (not guaranteed though as it is really dependent on rainfall in the previous couple of weeks). However, at some rapids which are considered to be too dangerous we were required to exit the rafts and walk around the rapids while the guides used ropes to line the rafts through them.
The Franklin River is an absolutely magnificent place and this was a true wilderness adventure (we encountered no other people, roads or signs of civilisation except for the remains of a helicopter landing pad left behind from the days of the proposed damming). The camping is basic with camp sites containing no facilities but the guides do a great job at making the camping a great experience with cooking ranging from curry and rice, steak and potatoes to bush pizza, all of which tasted great. It might take the ‘not so keen’ camper a day or two to adjust but this for me was an absolutely amazing experience which I will never forget.
The walk to Frenchman’s Cap was also great. The guides generally only recommend attempting the climb on a clear day which can quite often not be the case. We were lucky enough to have a clear day and so set off at 8am for the 10 hr return trip. This is quite a physically demanding trip with a good level of hiking fitness required (We had 3 people sit it out and 5 of us + the 2 guides ascend) but well worth it to reach the highest peak in South-Western Tasmania for a truly amazing view which takes a 5 day return hiking trip to reach from the main road. Having a decent size water bottle for this journey is essential (which was probably not emphasized enough in our initial briefing). Once you leave camp, there are only a few places to fill up on water from little streams coming from the rocks.
One point about the 7 day expedition is the climb out via Mt McCall. This is a challenging climb and is made even more so by the fact you are carrying all your personal gear out. When we reached the top we were met by the 4wd which brings the 5 day triper’s in as well as some additional supplies and takes the 7 day triper’s out but there was no water for us after this challenging trip. I would recommend to anyone doing the 7 day trip that you discuss with Brett in the meeting the day before your trip about organising for there to be some cold water after this challenging climb.
Overall I would highly recommend the 7 day expedition or the 10 day expedition if you are keen to do the extra 3 nights and complete the expedition by yacht to Strahan.

Date of experience: December 2011
5  Thank Tim89130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 March 2011

I did the 7 day trip. Brett and chris were very experienced , knowledgeable and brett's cooking was great. This river is so old and so beautiful and so pristine. It's one of the few remaining truely wilderness expierences left Just do it. I'm not a big camper, it was tough, the water was cold, and you are a very long way from a coffee shop. I would suggest some sort of fitness, some of the climbs out of the river and the portages ar'nt easy. But i'ts one of the best things i've done. Hugh.

Date of experience: March 2011
11  Thank hughtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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