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“Go extreme”

Raging Thunder Adventures
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Small-Group Canyoning Experience from Cairns or...
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Owner description: Raging Thunder has been taking thrill seekers White Water Rafting in North Queensland since 1984, and we offer 3 different levels of excitement .... 1) BARRON rafting is a afternoon trip perfect for those who have never rafted before, or want a fun afternoon close to Cairns .... 2) TULLY rafting is a full day adventure on the Tully River, regarded as the best rafting location across both Australia and New Zealand, no prior experience is necessary .... 3) XTREME rafting pumps up the adrenaline running a custom raft adventure for small groups of confident swimmers on the Tully River, rafting with our most experienced senior guides you will encounter extra challenges such as rock jumping, rapid swimming and raft surfing.
Reviewed July 25, 2014

Had a great day white water rafting. Delighted we chose the extreme option even though the safety talk beforehand frightened the lift out of me. Its a long day 6am to 6pm so a good nights sleep the night before is needed. It is so much fun and we loved the extra bits included in the extreme version, rick jumping, swimming through rapids, riding down shoots. Guides were great fun, out guide Rod/Ron? made us feel really comfortable and safe and was a great guy to spend the day with. Food was also surprisingly good. Overall we had a fantastic time and I would highly recommend it.

Thank rosieIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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665 - 669 of 971 reviews

Reviewed July 24, 2014

I literally reviewed hundreds of attractions prior to my trip to Australia, and kept being drawn back to Raging Thunder. I was not disappointed with my choice. I elected to go with the standard tour (instead of extreme) because I didn't want my average swimming ability to sllow down anyone in that group. In retrospect, I would have been fine on the extreme trip, but I thoroughly enjoyed the entire day on the standard tour. The process is identical to what is outlined on their website and in the brochures available in the tour shops; there were no surprises.

I was driven by bus (on time!) to their Cairns office where everyone is checked for proper footwear and offered the opportunity to rent GoPro cameras (limited supply) and wetsuits. If spots are available for the extreme tour at this point, you may be asked if you want to upgrade. From that point, we loaded onto buses and were off on the 2+ hour drive to the Tully River. There is an intermediate stop where you can buy breakfast and use the restroom prior to getting to the river. One of the river guides explained what to expect during the day, including a thorough explanation of the safety equipment and rules.

We were split into teams of up to 6 people, based primarily on perceived fitness ability and language (English speakers together, etc.). Each team is in one raft, but all rafts travel down the river as a group for safety. When we arrived at the river, we were given time to change into swimming clothes and then donned our gear, met our personal guide and headed to the river. Our guide asked us where we lived, and how well we could swim, and then gave some basic instructions on how to sit, paddle, move inside the raft and what to do if you fall out. Then we were off!

On this day, the standard tour had 11 rafts, so we had about 50-60 people headed downstream. The first couple of minutes are in fairly calm water (but clearly moving downstream), and we were given plenty of time to get ready as we approached and descended throught the first rapid. If you've never done this before, that first rush of water over the bow is a bit intimidating, but once you realize you're still in the boat AND in one piece, the fun really begins! Our guide Shawn, was a long-time Tully veteran and kept us informed of what we were seeing both in the river as well as along the banks as we made our way down. He explained how significant the river level changes between wet and dry season, and how their entry and exit points have to change based upon those conditions. Being on the standard tour means that the rafts sort of leap frog each other downstream so that there is always a guide available to rescue someone who might fall out. At particularly difficult or more dangerous rapids, several guides would tie up their rafts in an eddy and head downstream with rescue ropes to make the journey even more safe.

After about 2 hours on the river, we stopped at a riverside spot where grilled hamburgers, sausages, salads and non-alcoholic beverages were waiting. Everyone gets something, then if there are leftovers, they make an announcement to go back through the line. There are outhouse restrooms here for those who need them. The food goes quickly, was very tasty, and then it was back on the water! I don't think anyone had to be told to head down; we were all eager to continue.

The second half of my trip had some more challenging rapids, including several areas of multiple rapids. We were all "dumped" into the river at one point by our guide. We thought he was helping us with a particular rapid, but obviously found out otherwise when we got back in the boat and were told that rapid is called "guides revenge." I had mixed emotions when we reached the exit point. It had been a full day, and I knew we had a long ride home ahead of us, but I certainly wouldn't have been upset if we had been given more time on the river.

After getting out of the water, we all helped store gear and get the rafts up to the transport trucks, were instructed to change into dry clothes (no wet clothes on the bus!!), and then were off to the same intermediate stop from the trip down. At this stop, we had the option to buy a USB stick with photos taken of our trip; it's a bit pricey if you end up buying solo, but if you can get your raftmates to split the cost, it's very reasonable. The photos are excellent quality (I've posted two with this review), and I highly recommend buying them. You have some time at this stop to order food and get a drink from the bar (NOW you can have an adult beverage!), and then it's back to the main office where you're transferred onto buses for the trip back to your hotel.

A couple of tips for people who have never rafted before. First and foremost, if you're not a confident swimmer, this may not be the activity for you. Non-swimmers take this tour all the time (per the guides), but I can see where a non-swimmer might panic if they fell out. With that said, this is a relatively safe activity, and if you enjoy the water, you will LOVE this tour. Second, be honest with the guides about your swimming ability AND your ability to speak English. The more information you give them prior to getting on the river, the better they can pair you with people of similar skills, and the better time you'll have on the water.

I knew I would enjoy this tour, but I can say without question it was by far the highlight of my two weeks in Australia, even topping snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef!

4  Thank Tracy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2014 via mobile

I went on the extreme rafting. It was amazing and I would recommend it to everyone going to cairns! The day begun by a complementary transfer from my hostel to the rapids. It was my first time rafting and the instructors were very thorough on safety, but also a bunch of fun. We got to do cliff jumps and rapid swimming and the rafting trip was a combination of adrenalin pumping stage 4 rapids and periods of relaxing paddling through the beautiful Tully river.

Thank Brooke T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2014

We went on the Extreme rafting tour down the Tully. It was great fun, if a very long tiring day. If you're a decent swimmer, do it.

1  Thank BenH886
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 16, 2014

RT picked us on time from our soggy campsite at Mission beach, from then on the day got better and better. Third time rafters, and with 3 elderly teenagers there was no option but to go extreme. The whole day and set up was hugely enjoyable, careful but not fussy, the gear particularly the long sleeve fleeces. The mighty Tully might not of been filled to the brim but she roared and gave us one hell of a ride. Hats off to Johnny, our guide for being mischievous as, chatty, brilliant at hooking Dad (me) out as well as being PDF at navigating. If Johnny is to be believed with us on board he landed us on top of a whopper of a boulder, which he's done before, but this time with the help of some bumps from other rafts nudging us, we manage to go over the top, yeehaa. Great grub. The rock jumps were fab and extreme, I decided to slide down the face of one, attention seeking again,

Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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