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“Franklin River rafting”

Franklin River Nature Trail
Reviewed 12 June 2012

My son joined me for the 10 day 'er with WxN, March 2012. Absolutely Awesome journey! For some the the 'thrills and spills' of whitewater rafting may be the primary motivator for completing this trip - and there's plenty to get the adrenalin flowing! For me it was akin to a 'spiritual' journey -an opportunity to reflect and enjoy this mighty river, wrestled from those who would have chosen to destroy it some thirty years previous. Huge thanks to Brett, and our guides Elias and Francie for providing that opportunity - their knowledge, skills and experience are priceless. As for the camp tucker - gourmet! Can't wait to take the grandsons! But then, might just have to experience it all again by then. How blessed are we that the Franklin flows free?!!

Date of experience: March 2012
2  Thank Martin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 May 2012

Over Easter, I was deciding whether to learn how to mountaineer in New Zealand, rock climb in Thailand or raft the Franklin River in Tasmania.

What won it for me in the end was the idea of experiencing the impetus for Australia’s first environmental movement on a 7-day guided rafting expedition.

Be forewarned, like any other outdoor adventure you are at the mercy of weather and I’ve been told you can have sunny days on the river but on my recent trip (April 6-12, 2012), it rained a lot! And I don’t remember having seen the sun but on the first day and at the end of the trip.

All this rain meant that the river flooded and became too dangerous to raft. We were stuck at camp for two days and would have been stranded for an extra day if it was not for our Water by Nature guides Brett and Robin who used their years of experience to guide us through safely in the difficult conditions. Another group from a different rafting company was stranded at the same campsite for an extra day because they were unable to navigate the river at high flow.

The trip can be as demanding as you want it to be. Don’t forget you’re on the river to travel the 112km in a week. The portaging (moving the boats over rocks and the gear through rainforest trails) and paddling can be hard work but that’s what makes the experience.

The hard days are rewarded with a gourmet feast and if you appreciate food, you will not be disappointed. I was amazed at how our guides were able to fashion a pizza, tiramisu and blueberry cheesecake on a one-stover burner. Make sure you request for the guacamole!

My advice to you if you do this trip is have an awesome time but be prepared to be wet out of the water as well, so pack appropriately. Just a word of note, the rapids run up to level IVs which starts to get a bit hectic and flips or overboards can happen, oh and the remoteness can get quite full-on for some.

But don’t let that turn put you off. The people you meet on the trip make it and I was fortunate to meet a wonderful bunch of other Australians and international visitors who like me wanted to experience the beauty of our very own Franklin River.

Would do it again in a heart, most definitely.

Date of experience: April 2012
3  Thank cacarluen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

Rafting the Franklin for 7 days in April 2012 exceeded all the expectations of my wife and I. We went with Water By Nature, led by Brett who was great. Absolute wilderness, absolute beauty, wild but not out of control, thanks to some remarkable guides. It was more extreme than we expected in that once you enter the river there is only one time you can get out - and that is at end of Day One with a considerable hike. Otherwise you are going the full 120 kilomteres by water. Everybody has to lift boats over rocks and at times climb around impassable rapids - which means up quite steep gorges with hardly discernible tracks. But all manageable. We are aged 56 and 60 from Sydney. I have some white water experience but my wife had none as did most of the others in the group. She had also done no real outdoors activity and is moderatley fit given an urban lifestyle. So most people can manage. Accommodation was sleeping under rock overhangs, in caves and tents - with supplied Lilo. All comfortable. James, Elias and Jarrah (all aged 30) were exceptional guides, very knowledgable, very safety concious, great cooks and good fun. The rafting was world class (up there with the Zambesi). We had quite a bit of rain - to be expected it seems - so rapids Grade 3/4 and plenty of them. We lost a few over the side a few times and one raft flipped on a rapid in our group as well as the other group. Only one in our party did not get a swim. We had 5 rafts all up but broke in to two groups so our group was 5 clients and 3 guides in two rafts. We were all aged in our 50's and we laughed all the way down the river. There is no room for being precious. The other group was 25 to 40 years with a mix of nationalities. Small waterproof cameras recommended - stunning scenery but little time for setting up shots. We were last trip of year - April - getting cold. Not on their list but neoprene socks are a good investment. Otherwise the list supplied is all you need. You live in the day clothes (wet) and night clothes (dry) so just 2 sets of clothes. Extra thermal set and pair socks a good idea. Summary: my wife says it was an empowering experience, proving what she/we can get out and do in the world. Brett has been doing this trip for 25 years and knows the river backwards. Friendly and competent. Elias and James are world class (they do guide all over the world). We all took 'the boys' out to dinner at the end to thank them for doing such a great job.

Date of experience: April 2012
4  Thank Christopher B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2012

A experience that words can not describe with a great tour company using experienced guides who are also river and rafting enthusiasts and wonderful chefs but perhaps the location that can not be surpassed, inspired them. I wanted to do it again immediately the trip ended but that will have to be some year soon. Thanks Graham, Adrain and crew.

Date of experience: February 2012
1  Thank csandes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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