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King For The Day

One day King River wilderness white water raft trip
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King for the Day is a full day rafting journey through the lush wilderness of the West Coast's temperate rainforest. This 20 km journey down the King River is Tasmania's only regular one day wilderness rafting trip and a highlight of any visit to Tasmania's West Coast. This trip has it all, from the exhilaration of the swiftly flowing gorge and the adventure of the famous Sailor Jack Rapid portage, to the serenity and stories of the river's tree-lined lower reaches.

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 about six 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. Wildlife in the thick West Coast bush can be hard to see but you may catch a glimpse of a timid platypus or a subtle movement signalling a passing wallaby. 

The small birds of the forest are about and as you near the sea the White-bellied Sea Eagle may be soaring overhead.  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.


Experience Highlights

  • Raft the King River Gorge with exciting rapids to grade three
  • Get up close to ancient rainforest and rare Huon Pine and King Billy Pine trees
  • Unspoiled environment of the Garfield River
  • Portage the exhilerating Sailor Jack rapid.  This involves a short steep walk up and down, using existing steps, ropes & ladders.
  • Experience calm serene reaches
  • Interact with the West Coast Wilderness Railway
  • Catch glimpses of local wildlife and birds
  • Visit sites of historical interest including the original town of Teepookana and the old Cascades Hotel


  • 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 River snacks of sweets and nuts and water
  • Transport to and from the river from Queenstown.  
  • Review the days photos on the return trip to Queenstown on our bus' TV 

Suitable for: families with stronger children.
Cost: Adults $260, Children $190 (11 - 17 yrs)
Start time: 8am
End time: Approx. 5pm
Duration: 9 hours
Start & end location: West Coast Wilderness Railway station, in Driffield Street, Queenstown
Minimum group of 4, maximum 30.
Operates 7 days per fortnight.

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 Raftings, King for the Day experience. This is for your safety, English speaking and comprehension will be assessed by River Guides at the time of 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.



Q: How old do you have to be to go rafting?

A: For our King For The Day experience, 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 as well as a Towel and a change of clothes for the bus trip back to Queenstown. 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 Jack Rapid which is required 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 is 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.


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 first half of the day is through the King River Gorge which is a grade III river flowing through a big temperate rainforest valley. The river is controlled by Hydro Tasmania so we can guarantee a certain level of rapids. The second half of the day is much calmer and is more of scenic paddle.


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). If you are worried about losing your camera, your guides will also have cameras and taking plenty of pictures as you are going down the river, all of which can be purchased after the trip.


Q: How long does this trip take?

A: The King For The Day experience is a full day adventure, which starts before 8:00am and will not return to Queenstown untill 5:00pm.


Q: What is included in the food on the tour?

A: During your day out with King River Rafting, we will provide snacks and lunch to consume as you float on down the river.