My dream was to raft the Franklin before I turned 50, but instead I managed to go with my wife a three adult children . We completed the 7 day full Franklin river tour under the expert guidance of Brett and Klaudia. They got us safely down the river and served up amazing food. We were helped by a nice rain event the night before departure to raise the water levels for the initial upper Franklin and then reached Newlands for a rest day which coincided with a huge dump that raised the river 3 meters and flushed us along the lower Franklin for the last two days. The gear we were provided with was excellent (wetsuits, spray jacket, helmet, lilo and dry bag) and it was good to have only a few items for camping. The rafts were amazing - they withstood the sharp rocks without puncturing and despite a capsize, no gear was lost or got wet. One of my daughters freaked out when the raft capsized and she came up underneath the raft, but she grabbed a breath from the air bubble underneath the raft and managed to swim safely out. The guides were extremely knowledgeable about the river despite its changing levels and hazards and took great care which rapids could be safely paddled over. We had to walk around a few and this involved some rock scrambling and climbing, so you need good soles for grip on your wet shoes. The campsites varied depending on the river level and we slept in the open apart from Newlands where the rock overhang sheltered us from the rain. If you needed a tarp or tent, it would need to squeeze in between trees as there were few large open flat areas. We stopped to explore wonderful secrets like waterfalls, caves and canyons along the way. Brett has a dry sense of humour which suits river guiding!
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