Navigation: Home >> Franklin River Rafting Tours >> 7-day Upper River incl. Frenchmans Cap

7-day Upper River incl. Frenchmans Cap

Adobe PDF Document iconDownload PDF [7 Day Upper Trip Notes]

This 7-day Upper Franklin River whitewater rafting adventure takes you through the Upper and Middle sections of the Franklin River, deep in the heart of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area. Our journey includes a day walk to the imposing Frenchman’s Cap, the monarch of the south west, as well as rafting through one of Tasmania’s most spectacular gorges.

Morning tea on a Franklin River Rafting trip.

Morning tea on a Franklin River Rafting trip.


Unpredictable river levels mean our trip will always be an adventure – it is possible to encounter both very low levels and floods within days of each other. Whatever the level, rafts offer the best way to explore this unique wilderness.

Meeting Point

We meet the afternoon before Day One at 4.00pm at the Astor Hotel, Level 2, 157 Macquarie Street, Hobart (03) 6234 6611. This meeting is to issue and check gear. It is possible to initially meet later by prior arrangement.

Time of Return

We expect to return to Hobart by early evening. Please note that very occasionally delays can be caused by extreme weather conditions. We recommend catching the last flight out of Hobart on the day after the trip.

Grade and Fitness

Adventurous – A reasonable level of fitness is important and should increase your enjoyment of this trip. There will be some portages which require us to carry rafts and equipment around certain rapids. You should feel confident swimming with a buoyancy vest should you fall out or the raft capsize. Rapids vary from Grade One to Grade Six though most are Grade Two or Three. The most difficult level run on most trips is Grade Four and it is possible to walk around many of these rapids should you choose. Please call us anytime on 1-800-1111-42 to discuss your individual fitness.

Read more about Rafting and Grades of Whitewater

Itinerary – 7 day Upper River

This is a guide only and may alter with river levels.

Day 1
We depart at 7.30am from the Astor Hotel. We follow the Derwent River then climb into the central highlands passing Lake St. Clair before descending to the Collingwood River, a tributary of the Franklin. Here your guides will load the rafts and give a safety briefing. The day is spent mastering the rafts and enjoying the easy rapids leading down to our evenings camp at the junction with the Franklin proper. A short climb can take us to Donaghy’s Hill for panoramic views down the Franklin River and across to Frenchman’s Cap.

Junction Collingwood and Franklin River

Junction of the Collingwood and Franklin River

Day 2
An early start sees us traversing the first of the Franklin’s gorges, Aesthesia Ravine. After tackling the Log Jam and Nasty Notch portages, we rocket through the rapids of Descension Gorge before arriving at the beautiful ‘Irenabyss’ or chasm of peace, our base for the next two nights.

Irenabyss the 'Chasm of Peace"

Irenabyss the ‘Chasm of Peace”

Day 3
Today we will scale the Cap. In fine weather we’ll have views that encompass the entire south west World Heritage Area, including the rapids of the Franklin River sparkling below. If the weather is poor or you choose not to climb the Cap, there are a number of lower level walks nearby that offer a different perspective of the river.

On top of the world - Frenchmans Cap summit

On top of the world – Frenchmans Cap summit

Day 4
Today its straight back into the action. Dozens of rapids, interspersed with quiet reaches, lead us past Mt. Fincham, the Jericho Walls and the Crankle and onto our campsite at the base of the Engineer Range. Here we relax under a canopy of towering sassafras and myrtle trees and may go swimming.

Household chores - cooling the drinks in the Franklin River

Cooling the drinks in the Franklin River

Day 5
A spectacular day that brings us to the awesome Great Ravine, one of Tasmania’s deepest gorges. First we’ll tackle the Side Slip rapid before coming to the Churn. Teamwork and tenacity will be required to portage at least part of this huge obstruction in the river. Soon after we’ll arrive at our camp for a well earned rest on the banks of Serenity Sound deep in the Ravine.

An optional bit of whitewater: the Corkscrew, the lower part of the Churn, Great Ravine, Franklin River Rafting. Photo D. James

An optional bit of whitewater rafting: the Corkscrew, the lower part of the Churn, Great Ravine. Photo D. James

Day 6
We’ll use all of our well practised whitewater rafting skills to negotiate the Coruscades, one of the longest rapids on the river. A short float takes us through to our next portage at Thunderush, then it’s on to the last obstacle, the Cauldron. Our expert guides will ensure that we pass these awesome rapids safely and efficiently. Our final camp at Rafters Basin is a great place to relax after the achievements of the day.

Camp life at Rafters Basin, just after the Great Ravine

Camp life at Rafters Basin, just after the Great Ravine

Day 7
Today we head into Propsting Gorge and arrive at the Mt. McCall track. After a climb of ~350 meters up a steep trail we four wheel drive to Queenstown then bus to Hobart. Estimated time of arrival is about 06.00 pm.

The Franklin River at the bottom of the Mt. McCall track. Photo T Ruff

The Franklin River at the bottom of the Mt. McCall track. Photo T Ruff

Trip Map

Click here to view interactive Trip Map, showing details like

>> Trip outline
>> Rapids, Gorges
>> Landmarks, Campsites (some with photos)

Trip Map Franklin River Rafting ™, Water by Nature Tasmania

Trip outline, Franklin River Rafting ™, Water by Nature Tasmania


Navigation: Booking || Dates and Prices || Equipment list || Map || Gallery || Travel Info || Terms || Rafting Tours ||
10 day Full River || 7 day Full River || 7 day Upper River || 5 day Lower River

Share this post
Back to top