The Franklin River in Tasmania, Australia, is one of the last truly wild rivers in the world. The river runs through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, beginning on the southeast coast of Tasmania, and flowing through to the west coast of the state. It’s a World Heritage Site, filled with unique Australian wildlife and the Aboriginal caves dating back more than 10,000 years. It’s also one of the top white water rafting rivers in the world. If you’re an adventure seeker, plan your next vacation to raft the Franklin River in Tasmania.
The Franklin was nearly destroyed 30 years ago when attempts were made to dam the perennial river. But after a tough political fight, the river and surrounding wilderness became a protected site. The river is home to the Irenabyss, a fantastic rocky gorge; the Great Ravine, full of tumultuous rapids surrounded by beautiful hills; and Rock Island Bend, a beautiful island in the middle of the river – the image that ended up saving it from destruction in the 70s and 80s. Some trips include a hike of Frenchman’s Cap, a mountain alongside the river.
Rafting the Franklin River isn’t a one day expedition. Shorter trips are offered for part of the river, but it takes 8-14 days to see it in its entirety. Most tours begin in Hobart, in the southeast. Experienced professional guides will take you the whole length of the river, navigating the waters with ease and keeping you safe.
Groups usually run with four to eight people, and no previous rafting experience is required to get involved – everyone works together to paddle the raft. Camp under the stars, with guides preparing fresh, delicious, local food every night.
Expeditions tend to be all-inclusive, from the first night in a hotel through to the last night at the other end. Food and most of the gear is included, though some require you to bring your own sleeping bag, so it is best to bring one along if you can.
Rafting trips are offered from October to March during the Australian summer. The river is unpredictable, with both lows and highs possible in the same day. Expect the unexpected on this trip, but know that it’s the adventure of a lifetime. If you have time, travel around the rest of Tasmania, which remains an isolated paradise undiscovered by mass tourism, with some of the best wilderness you can find anywhere.