Common questions asked by customers with King River Rafting
If your question is not answered here simply ring and we will help you
Can my children come with me?
Yes, most children love rafting and have a great time. Our King River Rafting Trips can be cold and a bit hard for smaller children so we have a minimum age of 12 years on these trips with discretion to reduce it a little. Some 10 year olds can be very confident. Ring us if you have questions. Our King River Gorge Explorer and Day on the Derwent are certainly suitable for younger children with parental support. We have a minimum age of 10 years on these trips with some discretion. Again ring us if you have any questions.
What should I wear rafting
King River Rafting will supply you with all the gear you need, including wetsuit, helmet, and PFD. If you have your favourite wetsuit bring it by all means, otherwise just come as you are with your bathers to go under the wetsuit and let King River Rafting look after you. Bring a towel and bag to put your gear in on the bus and it will all meet you at the finish of your rafting adventure.
The Tasmanian sun can burn so a hat and sunscreen is recommended for your face and arms.
You will need to wear secure footwear which will not come off your foot while rafting such as running shoes or sandals with an ankle strap. If you don’t have suitable footwear (or don’t want yours to get wet) King River Rafting can supply them.
Will it be cold?
Queenstown in the summer has an average temperature of 21 degrees. In the shady depth of the gorge the temperature will be lower than that in Queenstown and the water in the river cooler again. Once out of the gorge in the sun we will quickly warm up again. The Derwent Valley however can get up to 40 degrees on a hot summer day and the warm river waters provide provide a welcome respite from the sun.
How do I know if there will be water?
Rafting like many outdoor activities is seasonal. Our season is during the summer. The King River is fed through the Hydro controlled John Butters Power Station from Lake Burbury. The lake fills with the winter rains and is used in the summer to supply electricty to the National Grid. This has the effect of turning our season around so that during the dry summer months the river flows when other natural rivers are dry. King River Rafting attempts to align trips with these periods of summer generation by Hydro Tasmania to take advantage of the periods of high probablility of water. We are in regular contact with the Hydro and have an agreement that at least a minimum flow will be supplied for trips. Sometimes things happen that are outside the control of both King River Rafting and Hydro Tasmania and we may have to cancel a trip. In this case you will be offered an alternate trip or your money back.
The Derwent River flows all year round and water is assured.
Other rivers we may raft are generally rain dependent so trips are more likely in the winter and spring months of the year.
Tell me about alternate trips.
In the event that the King River is not flowing we have surveyed both the Collingwood River and Pieman River as suitable alternate sights. The Collingwood is a journey of about 10 kilometres finishing where others start their trip down the Franklin River. You will be paddling the main tributary of the Franklin River on rapids up to grade 2 through the natural bush. This river is undamed and relies on recent rain to flow.
The Pieman River is a drive of about 80 kilometres from Queenstown to the Reece Dam. From there we raft about 17 kilometres to Corinna. The river is large, deep and swift with no rapids. It flows through the virgin Tarkine rainforest with Huon Pine, Myrtle and other rainforest trees down to the waters edge. At the end of the trip you can enjoy the local Corinna hospitality before returning over the Pieman River on the Fatman Barge to Queenstown.
What can I bring aboard the raft?
Just yourself. All of your bags, towels and clothing will be locked aboard the bus which will meet you at the end of the trip. If you need to take medication during the day, give this to your guide who will arrange for it to be carried on the trip. If you wear prescription glasses these should have a strap on them, but normal sunglasses are not necessary or recommended. Bring a water bottle for drinking on the river.
Cameras are not recommended as there is a high chance of you losing them if you fall out of the raft, and you should leave any jewelry or watches in the safety of your hotel room.
How safe is White Water Rafting?
Like any adventure activity, rafting carries with it inherent risks and you will be required to sign an indemnity form to this effect on the day. The King River is a grade 2 – 3 river on the international scale of 1 to 6. This means that all the rapids can be rafted with safety. The exception is the final rapid in the King River Gorge, Sailor Jack, a compulsory portage through the rainforest.
On each trip our trained staff examine your health questionnaires, and are able to address concerns you may have. It is up to you to bring any essential medication that you may need during the day and to keep the guides informed of any concerns you may have. The King River flows through an area remote from roads and usually the quickest way to outside assistance will be down the river. Every trip will carry a satellite phone and Personal Locator Beacon to assist in the management of emergencies. Our aim is for you to have a safe, enjoyable and memorable day
What safety gear will I wear?
All our guests wear a wetsuit, helmet and approved PFD (Personal Flotation Device). The rafts are equipped with safety equipment including first aid kit, satellite phone, PLB, and a repair and wrap kit.
How fit do I need to be?
If you are able to walk up a few flights of stairs you should be able to complete rafting on the King River. There is a low chance of falling out of the raft. The portage track around the Sailor Jack rapid is steep with steps and ladders. You will be walking on slippery rocks and climbing and descending around the rapid on steps and ladders built into the rock. Ropes are provided as hand lines to assist you. Most people complete it without a problem. The pictures show the Saior Jack portage track. If you are under 18 years old you will need your parent/guardians permission to come. Alcohol & other drugs don’t go with rafting.
Where is the King River?
The King River starts in the remote peaks of the Eldon Range in western Tasmania and flows to Lake Burbury. From there it flows through a tunnel driven deep under Mt Jukes to emerge at the John Butters Power Station which generates clean renewable electricity for the National Grid. It is here 10 km south of Queenstown that our adventure starts. We will travel through the King River Gorge and onwards for 20 km to Lowana at the mouth of the river.
Tell me about the King River Water Quality.
The Queen River flows through Queenstown and into the King River. The Queen River carries legacy mining waste and below its confluence with the King River we do recommend not drinking the water. Bring your own water bottle or purchase or borrow one of ours. We can fill it from the side streams carrying clean water from the Tasmanian rainforest.
The Derwent River is clean and clear. Hobart sources its drinking water from near the finish of our trip.
Can I drive my car to the King River?
King River Rafting will you meet at the West Coast Wilderness Railway Station in Driffield St, http://www.wcwr.com.au/. The meeting times will be between 8 am and 12 noon depending on the arrangements for the day and will be in your confirmation email. We will return you back to the train station about 8 hours later. If you have someone to drive your can whilst you are on the river you can drive to the start of the trip. The sealed road continues on past the John Butters Power Station to the southern end of Lake Burbury and stunning views into the SW Tasmania World Heritage area.
At the end of your adventure we will deliver you back to the West Coast Wilderness Railway Station. If you need other transport arrangements just let us know when booking.
Where can I go for more information?
We also recommend visiting the Western Wilderness site at http://www.westernwilderness.com.au/ Here you can find out all the things to see and do and places to stay on Tasmania's west coast.