Tripadvisor reviews 2013/14 season

Happy rafters on airbeds aka 'lilos'. Photo M. Muller, Water by Nature Tasmania, Franklin River White Water Rafting

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Tripadvisor reviews 2013/14 season

“Water by Nature Franklin River Rafting, 7 day trip” My experience rafting on the Franklin River with Water by Nature Tasmania totally exceeded my expectations. Aside from the amazing rafting the guides made sure we were all well catered for and looked after with food and other comforts.  I was impressed by the amount, thought and care that had obviously gone into the menu. When the guides whipped up Tasmanian scallops and juicy steaks on day 5 I was stoked. Being gluten intolerant I was a little worried about catering but nothing was ever too much trouble for the guides who made sure every meal had fantastic gluten free options.

The guides Brett and Klaudia were always happy to help and made sure that the whole trip ran smoothly even with the continually changing weather and river conditions. They provided us with all the equipment including amazing waterproof bags to put all our clothes in and super comfy beds. The camps were so beautiful and I instantly felt like we were in the wilderness with just the sound of the river to put you to sleep. This was by far one of the most beautiful and enjoyable trips I have ever been on. To be able to experience such a beautiful and sacred part of Tasmania with great guides and people just made the trip unbelievable. Cheers to Brett and Klaudia for their expertise and for making it a fabulous trip

Visited April 2014  ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Megs-Hawley, Hobart, Australia,1 review

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“Water by Nature Franklin River Rafting An incredible way to visit this unique place” The Franklin River is such an important part of our political and environmental history that the chance to visit this remarkable place was something I had hoped to do for years. A friend’s invitation to join him on a commercial rafting trip was quickly accepted. I knew it would be demanding but I knew that if you wanted to see the Franklin, rafting was the way to go. In the end I did find it physically and mentally tough but I was fortunate that my friend had chosen to go with a master river guide. Brett from Water by Nature displayed his mastery throughout our 7 days rafting from the upper Franklin right through to our last night on the Gordon at Sir John Falls. Time after time rapid after rapid Brett would strategically plan our way through each challenge so that the fun was maxed and the risk and pain was minimised. Still demanding but from the get go Brett displayed a calm competence that engendered confidence. I felt I was in good hands throughout.

What was remarkable was not only was Brett good on the river but with his partner Klaudia could spin out delicious high class taste tempting meals and morsels day in day out. An impressive feat after a day of heavy rafting. Clearly they have their efficiencies and routines well worked out. For me it was an awe inspiring experience and I am very appreciative of the relentless campaigning by Bob Brown and his supporters back in the 1980’s right through to now. It is patently obvious that this naturally sculpted Japanese like water garden would have been obliterated without the vision and the persistence of the campaigners.
Everybody deserves to experience the Franklin, it reassures you that Nature is awesome and warrants our lifelong support. Brett and Klaudia are a very competent very experienced safe pair of hands who need a better website to promote the extraordinary experience they provide.
Thanks Scott

Visited April 2014, Was this review helpful? Yes 3  *****  read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Ithaca1, 3 reviews, Reviews in 3 cities, 7 helpful votes

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“Water by Nature Rafting the Franklin” It was Remote, it was Rugged, it was Risky, it was RAW. The 7 days rafting the Franklin ripped me from my comfort zone and threw me to my edge. I spent 6 days water logged, ate like a king, paddled my butt off and mastered the art of the freezer bag drop. I feel privileged to have experienced 7 days of natural beauty and isolation in this world heritage listed wilderness and am indebted to Brett and Klaudia for sacrificing an easy, low risk life to take me there and look after me. I was a member of a great team of 7 others apart from the 2 guides and we had such a fun time. Lastly, thank you Dr Bob Brown for your untiring commitment to keeping the Franklin as Mother Earth intends it to be.

Visited April 2014, Was this review helpful? Yes 3  ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

John O, Peachester, Australia, 3 reviews, Reviews in 3 cities, 3 helpful votes

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“Water by Nature 7 day Franklin River with guides, Brett and Klaudia”   Firstly, some background…..We’re 56 and 62, overweight, moderately fit but not agile, and novice campers! We joined the 7 day Water by Nature trip, rafting the full length of the Franklin River, with Brett as the guide in our raft.
The outdoor camping experience, sleeping under rock overhangs, under a tarp on a beach and in tents in the bush, was a highlight for us, and was very comfortable and warm. There’s nothing like going to sleep under the stars in the Tasmanian wilderness, listening to the rush of the rapids nearby. (If sleeping in a tent, put a tarp up over the top if rain is predicted, as the tents are only shower proof).

I had concerns before I went on the trip about the toilet arrangements, but I needn’t have worried as they were hygienic and private. The rafting was great fun and we were carefully guided through each rapid by Brett, who has over 25 years experience rafting the Franklin River. His unflappable manner, experience and skill made us feel very safe as we travelled through the picturesque river environment. The food prepared by Brett and Klaudia was amazing, and just kept on coming! I even picked up some new cooking tips from Klaudia.

For more mature participants, be aware that this trip can be strenuous at times, and requires reasonable fitness, agility and strength to clamber over rocks, climb up hills and along tracks when portage is required, at times also carrying supplies and packs. We feel we could have prepared ourselves better for this. Thanks Brett and Klaudia for making the seemingly impossible, possible, and for giving us an unforgettable life experience that we will treasure forever.

(Some suggestions that helped us…wear full gloves when rafting (I bought Neoprene) to protect hands from grazes and for warmth; buy a pair of Neoprene sox from Brett for the same reason; hire sleeping bags from Brett (they’re very warm and it saves you bringing your own from home); take crocs to wear at night….easy to slip on and off when on land; if you don’t own a Down jacket, borrow one from Brett…they keep you so warm; take a blow up pillow; take some reading material as there is some quiet time; build up leg strength before you go; definitely buy some Dunlop Volleys to wear when rafting; when you get to camp take off your wet clothes first before you start to set up your camp…sounds obvious, but remember we were new to this! Also, we would recommend doing the 7 or 10 day rafting trip to experience the entire river and the full range of terrain and rapids that this pristine World Heritage area has to offer. The 5 day trip only does the lower Franklin area.)

Visited April 2014, Was this review helpful? Yes 5  ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

JanefromSydney, Australia, Senior Contributor, 42 reviews, 14 attraction reviews, Reviews in 25 cities, 34 helpful votes

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“Water By Nature–Adventure Plus”  We enjoyed our rafting trip on the lower Franklin so much in 2009 that we went back for the 7 day full river trip in January 2014. The scenery is unbelievable. Newland’s Cascades camp site is my favourite place in the world. The only way to get out into this wilderness World Heritage area is by water and the best way to do it is with the experience of Brett and WxN. The trip is not for the feint hearted. Camping on a river bank and rock hopping is not for everyone but the adversity is more than made up for by Brett’s fantastic meals and expertise and the knowledge that you are in safe hands. We were in Klaudia’s raft and apart from a few exhilarating spills she guided us safely home. It rained on several days on both trips but that did not detract from this amazing experience.

Visited January 2014, Was this review helpful? Yes 1  ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Doug S, 1 review, 1 helpful vote

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“White water rafting with WBN”  Just do it. Franklin river is truly amazing and Brett, Klaudia, Jim and Jonno are the best of the best .A rafting trip you won’t forget. My son and I did the 7day on Jan 4 – 11 the weather was cold and rainy for 2 days made the rapids exciting then beautiful sunshine wonderful time . Food was fantastic all great cooks.

Visited January 2014, *****  read on tripadvisor

suzanne-olive, Melbourne, Australia, 1 review

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“Water by Nature 7 day Frankin River rafting trip” Loved this trip. Amazing place. Well organised, catered, uber professional. My son (17) and I did this as our first big bush/wild-country adventure together and great trip for building stronger bonds and relationships. My son took some convincing to go btw, but ended up being totally blown away by the wild majesty and grandeur and adventure of the trip (as I had hoped he would) . Water By Nature (‘WBN’) and guides Brett and Klaudia were great across the board, not least for their great sense of how to engage the different characters, backgrounds and ages on the trip. While they exuded an easy professional vibe and overlay, affording us plenty of opportunity for swimming, exploring, and as much extra river activity as you fancied, it was evident (even more I had expected) that the trip was clearly meticulously planned and all contingencies prepared for.

The guides’ river navigation, raft movements and negotiation of big rapids and obstacles made it all look easy (ish…). Some parts of the river and great gorge look (through wide bulging eyes…) initially unpassable, yet our passage through paddling, lining or portaging made magic happen. ‘Wallah!’ what were we worried about.? I developed a growing awareness that the trip could have been much different, without really professional, experienced and mature guides – I think I heard Brett say he had done more than 200+ descents and had seen the river in every state and level imaginable. Mind boggling stuff to hear him casually point out a mark up a cliff wall and say, “yeh the water was up to there, and we had to do such and such”.

The wilderness and wild aspects of the trip were continually mind-boggling – but these were topped off several times a day by almost unbelievably restaurant ( I kid you not) quality food and culinary treats and the odd wine and beer if you fancied, as you tried to take in the river and the surrounds from some great vantage point on a beach or a rock overlooking the river. Off the river at both ends: the pre-briefing, link and pick up in Hobart and trip back out from the river – in our case flying out from the lower Gordon – was great fun, well oiled, low hassle and otherwise flawless. Likewise WBN/Brett’s offer and ongoing post-trip intel, advice – and his transport help – with us getting around to see the sights in Hobart after the trip for the next couple of days, including a trip to MONA. Was hard to leave Tassie with this kind of scenery and friendliness. – Al Sweetman

Visited January 2014 *****read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Al S, 2 reviews, Reviews in 2 cities
“A great way to experience Tasmania’s wilderness!” The seven day full river Franklin Rafting trip with “Water by Nature” is an adventurous way to explore this remote area. Thanks to Brett and Klaudia you can’t get rid of the feeling that you stay in a five star hotel under the open sky. They offer a variety of good meals and snacks. The Franklin River changes its face during the trip a lot, from a raging torrent to a calm river. Nevertheless there are always things to do, like exploring caves or nearby waterfalls. From the sixth day on we could raft in the inflatable kayak which meant a lot of fun!

Our camps were located next to the river and sleeping under the stars is an unforgettable experience. The beauty of the landscape is breathtaking all the way down the river. The good weather (around 30 degrees every day) allowed us to fly out by seaplane a nice way to farewell the Franklin. For the first time you realise how remote the area really is. To round off the trip the whole group met for dinner in a local restaurant in Hobart. I highly recommend the trip, it’s guaranteed that you’ll leave with unforgettable memories.

Visited January 2014,Was this review helpful? Yes 1, ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

uf_u_dervo, Hobart, Australia,1 review, 1 helpful vote

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“Fantastic experience!”  We did the 5 day rafting trip down the Franklin River with Water by Nature leaving Hobart on 1 January 2014. Unseasonal the weather turned cold and conditions were more like what would be experienced in October, however, we had come prepared with all the right gear. It is an awesome experience which is very physical, challenging, exhilarating, scary at times and provides much adrenalin.

Our guides Robin and Morgan where extremely experienced and knew every twist and turn the river took. We were also given local knowledge and history about the wilderness, the Franklin and the Gordon Rivers. We experienced a rapidly rising river as we had rain overnight during out stay. This made for good rafting conditions but poor overnight conditions, however, manage we did. The overnight camping on the side of the river is an amazing experience. The first night we stayed on a rock lodge under a rock overhang, the second night on a crushed rock island which jutted into the river where we experienced a wild and woolly night and the third night we stayed at the very beautiful St Johns Falls. On the final morning we were met by the yacht Stormbreaker which sailed us down the Gordon River into Macquarie Harbour and back to Strahan. All meals were provided on the trip and were excellent, tasty, nutritious and varied. All the gear is provided but take plenty of thermals, a warm sleeping bag and warm clothing for night time. It was definitely a wow experience!

Visited January 2014, ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

jashmawa, Sydney, Australia, Senior Contributor, 28 reviews, 16 attraction reviews, Reviews in 12 cities, 9 helpful votes

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“Water By Nature: Fabulous”  I have just returned from a rafting trip on the Franklin River for 4/5 days from the 10th January. I have no hesitation in raving about the experience. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, having only done day rafting before in other countries. Our guides were Jim and Jono who were a great team. They could read the river and obviously loved their work! I also stupidly left my camera at a lunch spot and they unhesitatingly returned upriver to retrieve it.

The biggest surprise of all was the food. They were excellent cooks and I returned 2 kilos heavier; not what I expected. The whole experience will be logged as one of the best holidays I’ve had. Though reasonable fitness is essential and my quads have only just recovered from the descent from the MCall track to the river (where we started). Finally, the journey to the river from Hobart (via Queenstown) and the return on the Stormbreaker via Strahan was also pretty fab. The only downside was a mix up/delay with retrieving our bags at the end – which seemed to be a communication problem between Water By Nature and the bus company who transported us…but really. I am already planning on returning in a year or 2 with my now 8 year old daughter.

Visited January 2014, Was this review helpful? Yes 1   ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Sarah H, Canberra, Australia, 1 review, 1 helpful vote

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“Water By Nature is a top experience with superb guides”  Have just spent Christmas and New Year on a 7 day Franklin River trip with Brett and Claudia from Water By Nature. Without doubt an absolutely fabulous trip. Both Brett and Claudia worked tirelessly to ensure both our safety and comfort. These two wonderful people are not just great guides but know a thing or two about bush cooking. What delights they produced had to be seen to be believed.

Visited January 2014, Was this review helpful? Yes 2   ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Mal P, Noosa, Australia, Senior Reviewer, 10 reviews, Reviews in 9 cities, 10 helpful votes

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“Water by Nature”  Prior to the trip Stacy was wondering anxiously about three things – big rapids, toilet arrangements and being too cold. Ken was simply excited. Stacy’s concerns were rapidly dispelled. Brett and Klaudia’s expertise with the high tech rafts made the rapids just heaps of action packed fun. The toileting setup was ingenious. The wet suits and neoprene socks (the latter available cheaply at the briefing meeting) made us very comfortable despite several days of rain. The guides knowledge and obvious love of the river made for a wonderful trip – the river and scenery are simply stunning. The food was also a highlight. We find ourselves enthusiastically recommending the trip with Water by Nature to all our friends. A truly memorable experience!!Water by Nature,

Visited December 2013 Was this review helpful? Yes 1  ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

stacy796, Hobart, Australia,2 reviews, Reviews in 2 cities, 2 helpful votes

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“Water by Nature and The Mighty Franklin”  I chose this company because of the wealth of experience by trip leader Brett. I had zero prior experience of white water rafting and was bringing along my 16 year old daughter so wanted a reputable, capable team. After his decades of travelling the length of the Franklin River Brett still shows a very healthy respect for this wild river, never under estimating and always expecting the unexpected. With his calm, quiet , lay back style I felt reassured that what could be controlled in this wild environment was, even though at times the ride was a literally wild, white knuckle experience, which by the way was exactly what I was after.
Off the river my belly was constantly filled with the most amazing food conjured up by Brett and Klaudia on two small gas cookers. I was fascinated by what came out of the kitchen each night – garlic prawns, fillet steak, it never ceased to amaze me. At night I was comfortable and warm. The Franklin is unbelievably beautiful – this trip will remain one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Visited December 2013 *****  read on tripadvisor

Pip959, Carrara, Australia, 1 review

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“Water by Nature – Upper Franklin Expedition”  I  just completed the 7 day Upper Franklin River expedition with a couple of friends journeying with Brett Fernon’s Water by Nature Tasmania.

This is the second time I have rafted the river – see my review from January 2013 below. On both occasions, I went with Water by Nature and I would do it all again. On both my expeditions with Water by Nature, Brett ensured that our guides were none other than the very best. With Jim and Rob, we navigated the river with competence, in safety and with much mirth. The portages were handled carefully and without drama. Jim has an adventure company in Scotland known as Ace Adventures and Rob has represented Australia in world championships in white water rafting. So we were in good hands!

Jim constantly prepared great meals and took care to ensure that those of us with sensitive stomachs were nourished thoughtfully. The trek to Frenchmans Cap and back was a real privilege afforded to us in good weather. Unlike Ben C, I reached the first peak alone, but that in itself was a treat enough. I bought 5.10 Canyoneers and can’t recommend them highly enough. They made all the difference to my enjoyment of the river. For those of you in NSW, you can buy them from Summit Gear in Katoomba.

If you are thinking of rafting the Franklin, check out Brett’s website and give him a call. Known as the Godfather of the River, he’s a lovely guy and is the most experienced man on the river.
Hope this helps,
Peter

Visited December 2013, Was this review helpful? Yes 2   ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Peter B, Sydney, Australia, 2 reviews, 4 helpful votes

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“Fantastic Upper Franklin rafting with Water by Nature”  I’ve recently returned to Melbourne after one of the best trips I’ve ever had. Two friends and I rafted the upper Franklin River with Water by Nature – I’d highly recommend Water by Nature for this trip. Our guides, Jim C. and Rob J. were knowledgeable, friendly and, most importantly, extraordinarily competent at navigating the exhilarating and, at times, nail biting environment (Jim, Rob – thanks!).

We were a small and perhaps underpowered crew but were able to run the amazing rapids with confidence. The River itself is a gorgeous place – rough, rugged and untouched (nb: and you keep it that way – be prepared to primitive ablutions and taking everything out with you. I mean everything…) The excitement of the rapids and the truly awesome environment as well as being completely removed from the rest of the world combines to create a magnificent trip.

The “walk” up to Frenchman’s Cap on the trip was a highlight for me. If you take this trip be aware that if you’re not used to walking, this is relatively strenuous side trip. Technical portages were difficult, challenging and in the end fun. Coming out of the boat a couple of times along the way added a certain piquancy to the experience! Be prepared for exhaustion, fear, thrills and the unassailable enjoyment of being in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and completing a challenging series of activities.
Make sure you follow the gear recommendations – shoes are really important! Go with the Dunlop Volleys or the 5.10 Canyoneers. You don’t want to slip of the Slimy Rocks of Doom into the Raging Torrent of Death….

Again, I would highly recommend Brett and the Water by Nature team. If you’re going to take a ride along the ditch, get in touch with them.

Cheers
B

Visited December 2013, Was this review helpful? Yes 5   ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Ben C, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Senior Reviewer, 7 reviews, Reviews in 6 cities, 6 helpful votes

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“The mighty Franklin River guided by the ‘Water By Nature’ Team.”   Exploring the mighty Franklin River was an incredible and unforgettable experience with the Water By Nature Team – led by Jim Davis and Rob Jimmieson and I wish I was still out there lost in all its beauty. Jim and Rob shared their knowledge and love of the river with us through-out our entire journey.

Also, Jim’s culinary skills completely blew me away as every meal was prepared with the freshest of local produce – herbs and spices too! I have fallen in love with the Franklin and will be forever grateful for the experiences and challenges that it offered me.

Visited December 2013, Was this review helpful? Yes 2,  ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Kcollins13, Muswellbrook, Australia, Reviewer, 3 reviews, Reviews in 3 cities, 9 helpful votes

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“Water by Nature”  My wife and I are not young people and have never slept in caves with glow worms, under the stars or under rock overhangs. The idea was to voluntarily take ourselves out of our comfort zone and enjoy ourselves.
This was truly an experience of a life-time which has enriched our lives and make us realise how precious the beauty of the Franklin River is.
Being with Brett and Klaudia was fantastic and we felt privileged that albeit a commercial venture were generous enough to share their world with us,
It was tough going, but it builds character and it is and experience that we will be able to tell our friends and family about for years to come.

Visited November 2013, ***** read on tripadvisor read on tripadvisor

Stephen D, Esperance, Australia,1 review

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“wild bliss on the Franklin.”  whoah, wow, its been a little while now since i went down “the Ditch” (lol) with water by nature and i’m still revelling in delightful flashbacks of ancient greens, rush and bubble and tumble and wild escape. A 7 day escape was a perfect length of trip, long enough to truly feel like i had been somewhere, gone somewhere. Very satisfying. Brett and Claudia were reassuring, and entertaining guides. Good fun, good food,good banter, a memorable journey on an amazing river. totally recommended. many thanks!

Visited October 2013, Was this review helpful? Yes 1, *****  read on tripadvisor

david j, Hobart, Australia,1 review, 1 helpful vote

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