Franklin River 5 day
Pax Min: 4
Pax Max: 8
Cost: $ 1750 pp
Deposit: $ 100
On this rafting expedition, you will experience a memorable blend of wilderness and adventure. We meet in Hobart for the gear check & then then travel by bus to Queenstown, where we stay the night. The next morning we travel by 4WD for the spectacular access to the river. The climb down to the river is quite strenuous, but the following paddle through the spectacular Propsting Gorge with waterfalls, rainforest and rapids, rewards the effort.
The confinement of the gorges, with their deep pools of dark water, surrounded by luxuriant rainforest and the spectacular overhanging cliffs at the Newlands Cascades campsite are a contrast to the meandering lower reaches of the river, with its majestic forests, limestone cliffs and pebble beaches.
We stop and visit Kuti Kini Cave, which is one of the southernmost known habitat of man during the last ice age. Finally, we join with the Gordon river and paddle the final few km to Sir John’s Falls. Early in the morning, we board the 60ft yacht “Stormbreaker” and cruise down the mirror calm river. When we reach Macquarie Harbour, the sails can be rigged for the Passage across to Strahan. Our bus returns us to Hobart early in the evening.
What is Supplied
Transport to and from the river from Hobart and back.
All meals from lunch Day One to lunch on final day
All rafting equipment, including the best in buoyancy aids, helmets and spray jackets
Dry bag to store personal gear whilst on the river
Wetsuit – long legs and no arms (for avoid chaffing)
All camping equipment including inflatable mattress (except sleeping bags)
National park entry fees
Jan 2nd, 15th & 29th
Feb 12th & 26th
Mar 12th & 26th
To ensure you and/or your friends place on the trip, book here.
Following our lunch and gear check in Hobart, we travelling by bus along the Lyell Highway, passing through the villages, hopfields and orchards of the Derwent Valley, and up into the Central Highlands. We pass by a number of lakes and then descent into the Surprise Valley. The rainforest is a lush contrast to the stark high plains country we have been travelling past. We arrive at our resting spot for the night, the mining town of Queenstown.
Our second day requires an early start where we and transfer to the 4WD for the rugged drive to the top of Mt McCall. Along the way, we have impressive views of both Macquarie Harbour and the many mountains that make up the Franklin & Lower Gordon World Heritage Area.
We unload all the gear and then carry it down the steep track, which drops 320 meters, to the river. It may be necessary to make two trips, depending on the size of the group. We start paddling downstream as soon as we have loaded the rafts.
The run down to Newlands Cascades is one of the best days paddling available on the Franklin River, with many enjoyable rapids. The river has carved a route through the rock to create a memorable gorge, waterfalls plummeting into the river and some memorable rapids, interspersed with magnificent rainforest. There is a short portage at Three Tiers, followed by the exciting rapids through the Glen Calder. The Pig Trough is the last major portage on the Franklin River, whilst out of the raft, it is worth a short detour to view the waterfall, framed by the Huon Pine and Myrtle rainforest. The short paddle past the Rock Island Bend and then the descent of the Newlands Cascades finishes a magnificent day.
This evening’s camp is under the overhanging cliffs, which provide a roomy campsite with no need for artificial shelters.
We leave the gorges behind and enjoy a change in both pace and scenery. Outcrops of jagged limestone, breaking out of the verdant rainforest have replaced the quartzite cliffs. This forest has never been burnt, since it evolved from open Button Grass plains at the end of the last Ice Age. The Franklin River is joined by the Jane River, increasing in volume as it sweeps past the Cromleich Cliffs on the Elliot Range. There is the occasional rapid just to keep us from becoming too complacent.
Our camp this evening will be amongst the giant Tasmanian Beech trees, which have shed a gentle carpet of fine leaves amongst the other rainforest trees and bushes.
This mornings paddle is relatively easy, meandering around the many bends in the river, till we arrive at Kutakina Cave, where we stop briefly. The river picks up pace for the next 6 km with both Double and Big Falls, which is a quick portage. Shortly after we come to Penghana Cave, again worth a detour. The rest of the afternoon is spent paddling the remaining few kilometers on the Franklin River, and then having joined with the Gordon River we paddle down to Sir John Falls for the last camp on the river.
During the night, the 60ft yacht “Stormbreaker” has quietly come upriver. We load in the morning and are then served a hot breakfast, before gently motoring downstream. When we reach the mouth of the Gordon River, we hoist the sails and let the winds take us across Macquarie Harbour and into Strahan.
The bus is awaiting our return and soon we start the journey back to Hobart. Usually arriving about 8.00pm.
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