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“Franklin River Rafting with Brett: No one better and safer” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Franklin River Nature Trail

Franklin River Nature Trail
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Franklin River Rafting with Brett: No one better and safer”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

Just returned from my third Franklin River rafting trip with Brett/Water by Nature. An adventure of a lifetime and great food to boot! Brett ('the chef") has rafted the river more than 200 times and probably more than any human being ever. Brett is super human in his knowledge of the river and its moods. It is a dangerous and beautiful river but with Brett I always feel I am in safe hands (I would be wary of other operators with less experience of the river).

So do the trip (either upper half or lower half - I have done both, or the full trip) and you will never regret it. It is equal to my trips around the remote Kimberley and amongst the wildlife in the Okavango Delta in Africa.

Visited December 2012
4 Thank Auseurofoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“"Franklin River Rafting" - The Authentic Adventure!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2012

My wife and I travelled from Melbourne to raft the Franklin River in October and it was a breathtaking experience! This is an absolute must for anyone who is curious to discover real nature and real adventure – not the sort you see on Getaway! The Tasmanian southwest wilderness is one of the largest, oldest and most remote temperate rainforests in the world and the scenery on the river was sublime. There are ancient gnarled trees, sheer and overhung cliffs, aboriginal caves, picturesque waterfalls, roaring grade six rapids, massive tranquil pools, unexplored ravines, beautiful campsites, towering mountains, cheeky spotted quolls (and perhaps a Tasmanian Tiger…), artistic limestone formations, and multi-coloured pebble beaches, to name just a few of the fascinations along the river. When you aren’t pumped with adrenalin for the impending grade three or four (or sometimes even five!) drop or cascade, you’re gazing in awe at the spectacular natural amphitheatre that surrounds you. The major rapids along the river have appropriately ominous names like Thunder Rush, Pig Trough, The Churn and The Cauldron, but once you’ve surmounted the dangerous obstacle that they present, you come to appreciate their wondrous beauty. This truly is one of the top natural wonders of the world.

Apart from the unspeakable beauty of the river, the Franklin trip is an unforgettable social and historical experience. It’s rare that you’re able to spend so much time with a small group of people in a remote environment. The physical and mental challenges of the trip mean that you form strong bonds with your fellow rafters and there’s a great sense of community and accomplishment as you sail out on the Stormbreaker yacht with a cold beer in hand at the end! As we made our way down the Franklin River, we found ourselves reflecting on all the people who have come before us – the first maniacal adventurers who attempted the river in wooden canoes, the convicts who escaped Sarah Island and resorted to each other’s flesh for sustenance, the hardened loggers who sought the precious Huon Pine trees that line the banks, the ancient aboriginal tribes who made the river their home, and the famous political activists who saved it from ruin and changed the course of Australian politics. There is a powerful sense of history and mystery that pervades the river – you feel you are part of something far more special and great than your particular moment in time, and ordinary life becomes a distant murmur.

Finally, I should mention our brilliant guides! There are a number of companies that raft the Franklin River, but there is only one locally owned Tasmanian company that exclusively specialises in rafting the river – “Franklin River Rafting”. Elias Eichler and Franziska Reutz, owners of Franklin River Rafting, guide the river themselves, which means they take great pride and care in their work. We thought this would provide the most authentic and adventurous experience of the river and we were not wrong! We can’t speak highly enough of Elias and Franzi. We felt completely safe throughout the trip and you could see their expertise come to the fore when portaging the grade six rapids, where they seamlessly lined the boats through rapids that have claimed both rafts and lives. Even under this intense pressure, they remained relaxed and treated all of the crew members with respect. They were also excellent campsite guides and took their hospitality as seriously as their rafting, cooking outstanding gourmet meals (Mexican night was, quote, “pretty much the best moment of my life”), telling hilarious stories (Elias’s series of awful jokes on the lower Franklin despite inclement weather was particularly memorable!), and reassuring members of the crew who were struggling with the challenges of the trip. They are fantastically genuine and charismatic people who want you to enjoy the river as much as they do. This couldn’t have been any clearer than when Franzi said that their whole motivation for starting the company was to be on the river they love. Elias and Franzi have done wilderness rafting and kayaking on rivers all over the world for the past decade, and their return to Tasmania and the Franklin River says it all.

Visited October 2012
4 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shepparton, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Franklin River with Franklin River Rafting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2012

This trip is amazing. We went down the river in October with new operators Franklin River Rafting. The owner/guides Elias and Franzi have been working on the river for years but have recently setup their own company, I got the impression they have done this because they like things being done just right. They were fantastic guides. Their knowledge of, and love for the river is infectious. Every aspect of the trip was mind blowing; incredible scenery, exciting rapids, stunningly beautiful campsites, unbelievably good food (pizza, rib eye steaks, cheese cake) and a intriguing history. Undoubtedly one of the worlds greatest adventures. Do it.

Visited October 2012
5 Thank Thegooddoctor333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Franklin River rafting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2012

My son joined me for the 10 day 'er with WxN, March 2012. Absolutely Awesome journey! For some the the 'thrills and spills' of whitewater rafting may be the primary motivator for completing this trip - and there's plenty to get the adrenalin flowing! For me it was akin to a 'spiritual' journey -an opportunity to reflect and enjoy this mighty river, wrestled from those who would have chosen to destroy it some thirty years previous. Huge thanks to Brett, and our guides Elias and Francie for providing that opportunity - their knowledge, skills and experience are priceless. As for the camp tucker - gourmet! Can't wait to take the grandsons! But then, might just have to experience it all again by then. How blessed are we that the Franklin flows free?!!

Visited March 2012
2 Thank Martin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“raft the franklin river with confidence”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2012

Over Easter, I was deciding whether to learn how to mountaineer in New Zealand, rock climb in Thailand or raft the Franklin River in Tasmania.

What won it for me in the end was the idea of experiencing the impetus for Australia’s first environmental movement on a 7-day guided rafting expedition.

Be forewarned, like any other outdoor adventure you are at the mercy of weather and I’ve been told you can have sunny days on the river but on my recent trip (April 6-12, 2012), it rained a lot! And I don’t remember having seen the sun but on the first day and at the end of the trip.

All this rain meant that the river flooded and became too dangerous to raft. We were stuck at camp for two days and would have been stranded for an extra day if it was not for our Water by Nature guides Brett and Robin who used their years of experience to guide us through safely in the difficult conditions. Another group from a different rafting company was stranded at the same campsite for an extra day because they were unable to navigate the river at high flow.

The trip can be as demanding as you want it to be. Don’t forget you’re on the river to travel the 112km in a week. The portaging (moving the boats over rocks and the gear through rainforest trails) and paddling can be hard work but that’s what makes the experience.

The hard days are rewarded with a gourmet feast and if you appreciate food, you will not be disappointed. I was amazed at how our guides were able to fashion a pizza, tiramisu and blueberry cheesecake on a one-stover burner. Make sure you request for the guacamole!

My advice to you if you do this trip is have an awesome time but be prepared to be wet out of the water as well, so pack appropriately. Just a word of note, the rapids run up to level IVs which starts to get a bit hectic and flips or overboards can happen, oh and the remoteness can get quite full-on for some.

But don’t let that turn put you off. The people you meet on the trip make it and I was fortunate to meet a wonderful bunch of other Australians and international visitors who like me wanted to experience the beauty of our very own Franklin River.

Would do it again in a heart, most definitely.

Visited April 2012
3 Thank cacarluen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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