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Explore the Franklin River

Explore the Franklin River

$9995 / per person
7 nights 8 days
18+ Age

Join Australian Professional Landscape Photographers Ken Duncan and Dani Watson to explore one of the most remote rivers in the world… The Franklin.


The Franklin River 2023 is a new tour lead by professional photographers Ken Duncan and Dani Watson. In this tour you will be taken shown some of the most remote, spectacular and uniques landscapes in Australia.

In Tasmania’s west, the rivers are wild, the landscape is rugged and the mountain peaks are dramatic and imposing. Pristine fresh waters stained by tannins from surrounding vegetation weave their way through breathtaking gorges.

Water is ever-present in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park – trickling down from mountain peaks, running into creeks that cascade and twist through the rocks, combining to make the powerful Franklin and Gordon rivers.

We will be traveling as deep as you can go into the Franklin River, it will be an adventure like no other, with some rock hopping, climbing, and rafting. An expedition with us is about sharing an adventure together in one of the most wild and amazing places on earth and capturing some of the most unique images in Australia.

Rafting or whitewater rafting is a challenging, fun and rewarding outdoor activity using a inflatable raft to navigate your way down a river. Expedition rafting is the ultimate form of rafting since it allows one to encounter wilderness otherwise too remote and inaccessible to reach.

Of all expedition rivers the Franklin River in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area is without question one of the best in the world. With its impressive gorges, fun rapids and drinkable pure water the Franklin is a must for all outdoor and photography enthusiasts.

Previous rafting experience is not needed to join our trips, however a love for the outdoors and a thirst for adventure is highly recommended.


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  • Departure/Return Location
    Hobart Airport
  • Departure Time
    4th December
  • Return Time
    11th December
  • Dress Code
  • Included
    Luxury Accommodation
  • Not Included
    Internal Flights

Tour Plan

We travel by bus from Hobart to the starting point of the trip the Collingwood River. It is a good idea to bring a little bit of pocket money for the journey to the river and back to Hobart, should you require any last minute items, drinks or souvenirs from Strahan. On Arrival we will have lunch and prepare the rafts for take off. Before leaving you will receive a comprehensive safety briefing and all the necessary rafting instruction. We raft the Collingwood River to it’s confluence with the Franklin River and continue downstream. Negotiating obstacles such as; Boulder Brace, Log Jam, Nasty Notch and Descension Gorge on or way to the spectacular Irenabyss, our resting place for the evening.
Wake up after the first night sleeping in the wilderness, your lungs full of fresh air. Another day of adventure lies in wait. What will be around the next corner ? Another fun and exciting rapid ? Tranquil pools with driftwood lying on an untouched beach or perhaps a wedge-tail eagle soaring high in the sky ? After breakfast we pack up break camp and begin the section known as the middle Franklin. A winding stretch of the river that twists and its way through beautiful cold temperate rainforest. Ancient Huon Pines, thousands of years old stand proud, sometimes precariously perched above the river. Tonight we make camp either on a delightful beach or at one of the established rainforest campsites along the river.
Our second and final day on the Middle Franklin. Today we enter The Great Ravine, the cliffs get higher and a sense of foreboding befalls us. In the distance a thundering roar, The Churn rapid a compulsory portage announces it’s presence. Getting past the dangerous rapids on the Franklin River is an art form in itself and different water levels dictate how we must tackle the task as a team. Once the rafts, all our food, camping and personal gear are safely at the bottom our next obstacle comes into view. The Corkscrew can be one of the finest rapids on the river or not, either way once we have negotiated the challenge we paddle down ‘Serenity Sound’ feeling tired, satisfied and ready to make camp.
Today we tackle the crux of the trip, The Great Ravine. Although only several kilometres in length, this section of the Franklin River is home to most of the big rapids which must be safely negotiated. The Dean and Hawkins party, who in the 1959, after several attempts were the first to successfully descend the Franklin took six days to complete this stretch of river. They called it ‘Deception Gorge’ and they were not at all pleased with the effort it required, feeling that they may not survive. Johnson Dean recounts in his book ‘Shooting the Franklin’ as they were destined for another miserable night in a rough campsite “I wished I had never encountered this hideous defile” Luckily thanks to the advancement in equipment, knowledge and tricks developed over the years, these days ‘The Ravine’ is generally surmounted in one long day. A combination of rafting, portaging and lining make for a very exciting and memorable day. Beware those that are blasé, The Franklin River is still the scene of many epic adventures. Tales of rafts lost, long arduous portages or cold wet nights waiting for a boat swamped due to a hasty attempted shortcut. Once the last obstacle is behind us we drift lazily down river until the gorge opens up to reveal our home for the evening. The beautiful Rafters Basin. Tonight we feel that sense of satisfaction that one only feels after a hard days effort. The morning seems like a lifetime ago, amazing how much you can fit in just one day.
Today we journey through the stunning Propsting Gorge, one of the best stretches of raft-able whitewater on the Franklin River. A slightly shorter day generally welcomed by all after the effort of the previous days. Shortly before camp we arrive at ‘Rock Island Bend’ often associated with the Franklin River and the campaign to save it due to the photograph taken by Peter Dombrovskis ‘Morning mist at Rock Island Bend’. Tonight we camp at Newlands Cascades a naturally sheltered campsite, one of the best places to be if it’s raining and the river is rising.
After a quick goodbye from the whitewater we have come accustomed to the Franklin changes dramatically. As we enter the lower reaches of the river it widens, the wild water becoming tranquil and the rock formations predominantly limestone. Sometimes a Sea Eagle will keep watch from above until it is satisfied with our presence. As it flies away we are once more left to experience the silent isolation of this immense wilderness. Further downstream you can visit Kuti Kina cave inhabited by the Tasmanian Aboriginals 15,000-20,000 years ago. Shortly afterwards we arrive at Big Fall Beach, a magnificent campsite gladly received after the days paddling.
Our last day of rafting today we continue down the Lower Franklin and onto the lower reaches of the Gordon River. Along the way we pass another majestic set of caves and a little known canyon called ‘The Lost World’. Perfectly named this unlikely looking nook opens up to reveal a world of dark green mosses and delicate spider webs. Not long afterwards the Franklin River flows into the Gordon River and with it the end of our adventure draws nearer. The past week seemingly gone in the blink of an eye. We pass the proposed site for the Dam, reminding us that this place was nearly lost forever. Another six kilometres downstream we reach the jetty at Sir John Falls the end of our journey by raft.
We begin the day bright and early to the sound of Andrea Bocelli coming from on board the ‘Stormbreaker’. Trevor the skipper bellows out a mighty “Good Morning Folks” as we break camp for the last time and head on board the yacht. We cruise down the Gordon River in the early morning mist past the iconic ‘Butlers Island’ where 34 years ago blockaders attempted to stop the barges carrying the bulldozers for the dam. We continue to cruise down the river to its mouth and into Macquarie Harbour, on a clear day you will be treated to 360° views including the dramatic Frenchmans Cap in the distance. The Stormbreaker takes us all the way into the small west coast town of Strahan. On arrival our bus will be waiting, the last part of our journey back to Hobart.

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