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King for the Day

King for the Day is a full day journey through the lush wilderness of the West Coast's temperate rainforest. This 20 km journey from source, the John Butters Power Station all the way down to the sea at Macquarie Harbour. This trip has it all, from the exhilaration of the swiftly flowing white water gorge and the adventure of the famous Sailor Jack Rapid portage, to the serenity and stories of the river's tree-lined lower reaches, all complimented by a picnic lunch.

From Queenstown, our experienced guides will drive you to Newall Creek on the King River, where your rafting experience begins.  The journey down the river will take around six - six and a half hours. We will paddle past thousands of Huon Pine trees, see the Garfield River, traverse the Sailor Jack rapid, spot the Abt Railway, discover West Coast mining history and more. Evidence of past mining and man’s industrialisation will be everywhere, slowly rusting back into the bush as nature reclaims its own. Our skilled guides will tell of both the natural and human history of the area and ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable day. 

The first part of King for the Day is through the King River Gorge with plenty of rapids, fun and excitement.  After the gorge the river quickly flattens out to a wide wilderness river with a few small rapids.  If you are looking for a fun and exciting day of solely white water rafting maybe have a look at our King River Gorge Raft & Steam Experience and catch the West Coast Wilderness Railway back to Queenstown from the Dubbil Barril Train Station at the end of the King River Gorge.  If you are looking for a full day journey, paddling through a beautiful big west coast valley including a great lunch, scenery and stories then the King for the Day is for you.



  • Full day wilderness rafting experience

  • Trained and skilled guides

  • Comprehensive commentary on the natural and human history of the area

  • All the requisite rafting and safety gear, including wetsuit, booties, helmet, and lifejacket

  • Generous & scrumptious King River Rafting Lunch, plus snacks on the river. 

  • Transport to and from the river from Queenstown.  

  • Minimum group of 4, maximum 30.


  • Price: Adult - $260 Child - $190

  • Duration 9 hours 

  • Timing 8 am - 5 pm

  • Start and Finishing location: West Coast Wilderness Railway Queenstown, In front of Tracks Cafe 1 Driffield Street, Queenstown, TAS, 7467

  • Maximum group size of 30 (minimum total guests for a trip is 4).


Please Note - that you MUST HAVE a competent swimming ability and be able to understand and follow River Guide instructions in English, to participate in King River Rafting's Raft and Rail experience. This is for your safety. English speaking and comprehension will be assessed by River Guides at the time arrival; if there are concerns about your ability to understand instructions and communicate with our River Guides, you will not be able to participate in the tour and no refund is available or will be provided. Rafting is not suitable for anyone who may be pregnant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How old do you have to be to go rafting? A: You have to be 11 years old to go rafting Q: What should I bring? A: We recommend that you wear some garments that can be worn under a wetsuit ie. bathing suit or spare undies and a change of clothes for the train trip home, other than that a towel can come in handy but not essential. The most important thing to bring is yourself, your friends, and of course a sense of adventure. Q: Do you still raft in the rain? A: Absolutely!! We love the rain – not only does it bring water to the river, but it also creates beautiful colours and sounds to enjoy as you float through the forest. We also provide plenty of warm clothes, wetsuits and a hot drink to keep you going through the journey. Q: How fit do I need to be? A: We recommend a reasonable level of fitness for this tour, the most physically challenging part of the trip is the portage around the Sailor Rapid which is done at medium to high river levels. The portage involves a small amount of rock scrambling with a few steps and short ladders up and down, and generally navigable by most people, and a guide will always be close at hand to aid if required. If you do have any queries about what is involved please do not hesitate to contact us via phone we are always here to help (there are also some photos of the portage on our FAQ page). Q: I have a joint problem (knee, shoulder, etc), is this going to be an issue? A: This is always going to be treated on a case-by-case basis, but in general isn't a limiting factor. Your guides will work with you to make sure you enjoy the experience. If you're not sure, give us a call and we can help to assess your particular situation. Q: Is this whitewater rafting? A: Yes. The King River Gorge is a grade III river flowing through a big temperate rainforest valley and the river is controlled by Hydro Tasmania so we can guarantee a certain level of water. In the afternoon the gorge opens up and the day becomes a flat water paddle out to Macquarie Harbour. Q: Is it okay to bring a camera on the trip? A: If your camera is waterproof, bring it along to capture images of the ruggered iconic West Coast, however do think about attaching it to yourself just in case it falls overboard (it has happened before). It is important to note that there is a chance that extra items brought on the trip, such as loose cameras, may fall off yourself and/or the raft and thus be lost. King River Rafting does not take responsibility for personal items brought on river trips. Q: How long does this trip take? A: The King for the Day experience will take approximately 9 hours, from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. 6-6.5 of these hours will be on the river.

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