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Franklin River Rafting Tours

Imagine first light,
as morning mists lift silently past jagged quartzite peaks.
As craggy fingers of pine stretch skyward,
the pure sparkling water cuts a rushing path through the verdant banks.

Breathe some of the cleanest air in the world.

Rock Island Bend – Photo W. Glowacki

Trip Notes

Click to see trip notes of the 5, 7 and 10 Day Franklin River Rafting Tours.


When you go out there you don’t get away from it all, you get back to it all. You come home to what’s important. You come home to yourself.

– Peter Dombrovskis, Tasmanian Wilderness Photographer

From its headwaters in the alpine lakes of the Cheyne Range until its confluence with the Gordon River some 130 km later, the Franklin River flows through a wilderness national park. On Franklin River Rafting tours you will see no dams, buildings or cars; in fact there is no permanent human habitation in its catchment. The banks are lined by temperate rainforest punctuated by rock formations and small beaches while the air is some of the cleanest in the world.

Newland's Cascades provides exciting white water rafting and a magical camp. Water by Nature Tasmania. Photo Dr. T. Ruff

Newland’s Cascades provides exciting white water rafting and a magical camp, Lower Franklin River. Photo Dr. T. Ruff


Eco Water by Nature Tasmania, Franklin River Rafting Tours“Take nothing but pictures , leave nothing but footprints” … Our environmental policy

We are fortunate that the Franklin River runs with pure drinkable water and we do our utmost to ensure this continues.

Tasmanian produce is purchased fresh where possible and in bulk to reduce packaging and “food kilometres”. Recyclable material is separated prior to and during the trip and processed in Hobart. Liquid fuel stoves are used for our cooking needs and a group of up to 10 people consume less than 1 litre of fuel a day whilst on the river. On our Franklin River Rafting ™ expeditions we do not light campfires as they can consume rare driftwood, scar the ground, crack rocks, may start bush fires (including igniting peat) are inefficient and can produce a large amount of smoke. We use minimal amounts of soaps, detergents and toothpaste. We have a clean and efficient toilet system to ensure we leave very little behind.

If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail please CONTACT or call us on 1800-1111-42 anytime.

Moss lined Limestone Canyon, the 'lost world' on the Lower Franklin River. Photo W. Glowacki, Water by Nature Tasmania, Franklin River White Water Rafting

Limestone canyon, the ‘Lost World’ on the Lower Franklin River. Photo W. Glowacki

Green Guardians

Green Guardians Program
We are working collaboratively with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, and associated scientists, on a Green Guardians project and invite you to join. The Green Guardians program provides volunteering experiences on conservation projects for guests during commercially run guided trips in Tasmania’s national parks and reserves. The various projects on offer are all developed to meet the conservation needs of the national park or reserve as well as sustaining the natural and cultural values inherent within them.

Our specific project has been chosen by Parks staff and scientists to make a tangible difference to the conservation work carried out in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. This important work will provide you with a deeper understanding into these internationally unique values and an opportunity to contribute during your tour with us. This work will include monitoring and recording Tasmania’s sensational wildlife and supporting a carnivore dietary study. This project will encompass only a small component of your overall tour, does not require any specialist skills and is purely voluntary.

Our  Green Guardians Fauna Survey project offers a chance to experience Tasmania’s unique wildlife while giving something back to the environment. With the help of your guides, you will identify a range of species while rafting down the Franklin River, including those on Tasmania’s Threatened Species List such as the azure kingfisher and the spotted-tail quoll. The vital information collected will be uploaded into the Natural Values Atlas where it will assist in improving conservation outcomes for all levels of government, industry and general public planning and decision making. We have been conducting Green Guardian Fauna Surveys down the river since 2011. Last season, a large variety of fauna were surveyed including green rosellas, pink robins, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, platypus, tiger snakes, azure kingfishers, wedge-tailed eagles, white-bellied sea eagles and a Tasmanian devil.

We will provide you with detailed information about participating at the pre-trip meeting. If you have any questions about the Green Guardians program, call 1800-1111-42 BRETT.

Spotted Quoll, Water by Nature Tasmania, Franklin River Rafting

Spotted Quoll, or ‘Native Cat’


Each expedition normally uses two rafts each paddled by a guide and a crew of two to five, with a maximum of ten people per departure. We have a selection of modern self-bailing rafts including the largest, most comfortable and safest boats on the river. You are issued a Watershed dry bag, the only truly dry dry bags see (approx. 70 litre) to store your personal clothing and sleeping bag.

Unpredictable river levels mean your Franklin River Rafting ™ trip will always be an adventure – it is possible to encounter both very low levels and floods within days of each other. Water levels often rise 3 meters and occasionally up to 5 meters in 6 hours, we usually have plenty of warning when this is going to occur. The river level can also drop quickly, we may wait for this to happen, depending on the section we intend to run. Each trip has a spare day built in to cope with possible delays. Whatever the level, rafts offer the best way to explore this unique wilderness.

Much of the Franklin is a drop-pool river, so should you fall in there is normally time to get back into the raft before the next rapid. Some rapids require portaging, however, we have developed safe and efficient methods of negotiating them.

View our trip map.

Whitewater rafting action on Little Fall, Lower Franklin River. Water by Nature Tasmania. Photo W. Glowacki

Whitewater rafting action on Little Fall, Lower Franklin River. Photo W. Glowacki


Our guides are professionals, with a great passion for the Franklin River, chosen for their local knowledge, white water rafting and cooking skills. They look forward to helping you get the most from your holiday. Your safety, comfort and enjoyment are our priorities. We go to great lengths to provide a varied and interesting menu using fresh Tasmanian produce. Please advise us on the online booking form if you have any dietary requirements.

Our senior guide has been guiding whitewater rafting trips on the Franklin River since 1987 for Wildtrek and Peregrine.

Rafters Race, white water rafting, on the Franklin River. Photo J. Davis, Water by Nature Tasmania

Rafters Race, whitewater rafting on the Franklin River. Photo J. Davis


We use spacious flysheets as camp shelters and have found they work very well in this normally serene environment. Most of our camps have secluded satellite options and several are under large dry overhangs with spectacular outlooks. You are welcome to bring your own small tent if you wish. We usually bring tents for extra protection especially on wet trips. We provide comfortable air mattresses with pillows and closed cell foam mats for insulation, you may bring a Thermarest. Insects are not usually a problem. We expect to begin each day’s rafting at around 9.00am, have lunch by the river around midday, and aim to finish at about 4.00pm. This gives us time to take a swim, explore the river environs or to just relax.

A good night's sleep on the Franklin River. Photo A. Simple, Water by Nature Tasmania, Franklin River Rafting ™, Wilderness, white water

A good night’s sleep on the Franklin River. Photo A. Simple


Often warm and sunny, however, rain and cold conditions both on and off the river may be encountered, and nights are usually cool. Much of the Franklin catchment receives in excess of 2500mm precipitation annually. It can snow on the peaks even in summer however, it is generally protected and comfortable in the river valley. For your comfort please follow the gear list provided.

Climate – during the summer months (December to March) the daily maximum temperature ranges between 17°C and 30°C. Climate Chart for Hobart – 10 metres above sea level

Max. – Min. Daily Temp.
Max. – Min. Daily Temp.
23 – 11
11 – 5
23 – 11
12 – 4
21 – 9
14 – 5
17 – 8
17 – 7
13 – 6
18 – 8
11 – 6
21 – 10

For more detailed and current weather information check the Bureau of Meteorology page.

Videos Franklin River Rafting Tours

Experience the Franklin River shows some of our favourite footage from 2015/16 – at Tasmania, Australia. Watch video on youtube

A few snippets of the many good times rafting the Franklin River in the years 2014/15 – at Tasmania, Australia.
View video on youtube: Water by Nature Trailer 2015 Franklin River Rafting-HD (3:33 mins)

Some highlights of our first trip of the season, 7-Day Full Franklin River, Oct 5-11 2014.
View video on youtube: BEST OF FRANKLIN RIVER RAFTING TRIP 2014 Oct 5-11 (3:12 mins)

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10 day Full River || 7 day Full River || 7 day Upper River || 5 day Lower River

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