Franklin River Rafting & Frenchman's Cap 11-day Expedition
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- Travel with the pioneers of rafting on the Franklin River
- Trek to the summit of Frenchman's Cap
- Our trip was named the world's best river journey by Outside Magazine in 2012
- Stay at magical, pristine wilderness campsites
- Enjoy a sailboat journey back to Strahan
- Support the Green Guardians Program
About Franklin River Rafting & Frenchman's Cap 11-day Expedition
There are few great frontiers left in the world - the Franklin is one of them. Free of pasture and any human habitation, it is a veritable feast for the intrepid explorer. Rafting down this superb river is the only way to truly appreciate its wild beauty. It is acknowledged as one of the most spectacular and challenging river trips around, attracting adventurers from all over the world. The opportunity of an expedition-style trip, rather than merely "thrills and spills" makes this the ultimate wilderness experience. At times on the trip, like all great expeditions, there will be times when patience is required. However, you will be one of the privileged few to have experienced this relatively untouched wilderness area - one of Australia's most scenic and prized destinations.
The Franklin is a physically demanding journey and you should be reasonably fit. You must be prepared to help carry equipment and scramble up steep portage tracks.
This is definitely a wilderness experience rather than the kind of rafting you might encounter on a one-day rafting trip. The water levels can vary dramatically, even during a trip. If you have had experience in remote wilderness areas and think you are ready for this adventure, then the challenge is yours. There is no doubt that this is an unforgettable experience, one that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Please note that a compulsory pre-departure briefing is held the day before the trip commences at 2pm, so you need to be in Launceston the day before the trip departs before 2pm.
DAY 1: Transfer to Collingwood Bridge, begin paddling
An early start today, we leave Launceston at 6.00am and drive to our put-in point at Collingwood Bridge. We aim to be there around 12:00 noon and here we will inflate and load our rafts. Before getting on the water the guides will provide a safety briefing and instruction in paddling the raft. Our destination this day is the junction of the Franklin and Collingwood rivers or downstream to the Aesthesia Ravine.
DAY 2: Raft to Irenabyss
Today we will tackle the Log Jam, Nasty Notch, Descension Gorge and float calmly through the Irenabyss and camp just on the side of the river below the gorge.
DAY 3 & 4: Frenchman’s Cap Climb
Weather permitting we climb to Frenchman’s Cap from our base camp at Irenabyss. We will enjoy the spectacular view from the summit, looking out over the whole of South West Tasmania. Depending on the weather conditions, we will attempt to summit and return in one day. The two days allows us some flexibility to make the best of the conditions.
DAY 5: Rafting the Upper Franklin
This is a long day, with some interesting paddling on the way with numerous campsites to be found on this upper stretch of the river.
DAY 6: The Great Ravine
We reach the Great Ravine and the first major portage at the Churn. There are also some difficult sections along the river prior to reaching the Churn. We camp at Coruscades Camp within the Great Ravine.
DAY 7: The Great Ravine to Rafters Basin
Takes us to the Rafters Basin and out of the Great Ravine. We paddle and portage through Coruscades, Livingstone's Cut, Thunderush and the Cauldron to the Mousehole. It is only a 2km paddle now from Mousehole to Rafter's Basin where we camp for the night.
DAY 8: Propsting Gorge to Newlands Cascades
The Black Forest or Newlands Cascades is our destination, depending on weather. If it's raining, Newlands Cave is the place to be, and we camp under an impressive, large rock overhang. Today's we paddle through Propsting Gorge and some of the Franklins best rapids. After lunch, Newlands Cascades, the longest rapid on the river, will have to be negotiated en route to the campsite.
DAY 9: Rafting the Lower Franklin
Straightforward paddling to Blackman's Bend through the deep temperate rainforest of the lower river that was protected by the environmental protests of the early 1980's.
DAY 10: The Lower Gordon River
Our camp tonight is at Sir John Falls on the Gordon River, about 5 km downstream of the junction of the Gordon and Franklin. On the way down we will be passing by Double Falls, Big Fall and spectacular limestone Verandah Cliffs.
DAY 11: Transfer by yacht in the morning to Strahan
In Strahan we are met by our bus, which will transfer us back to Launceston. Arrival in Launceston may vary from late- afternoon to late evening. We usually have a group farewell dinner this evening.
The above itinerary is to be taken as a guide only. Inclement weather, group fitness and a number of other factors may influence our planned itinerary causing delays and variations. The Tasmanian Expeditions group leader reserves the right to make modifications and or alterations to the trips itinerary in the best interests of all involved.
Departs FromLaunceston (departure point provided upon booking)
- 2 professional rafting guides
- 10 nights camping
- 10 breakfasts, 11 lunches & 10 dinners
- transport by private minibus
- Sailboat from lower Gordon River to Strahan
- all rafting and safety equipment
- wetsuit and paddling jacket
- emergency communications & group first aid kit