Skip to main content

King River Gorge Raft and Steam Experience

  • White water rafting Queenstown Tasmania Strahan
  • tasmania cradle mountain rafting
  • queenstown tasmania rafting white water
  • Strahan Cradle Mountain Tasmania West Coast Wilderness Railway
  • Queenstown Cradle Mountain, Strahan
  • West Coast Wilderness Railway
  • West Coast Wilderness Railway

The King River Gorge, Raft and Steam Experience is a collaborative adventure between King River Rafting and the West Coast Wilderness Railway, combining the thrill and adventure of white water rafting and the history and comforts of a heritage steam train experience.ride through wilderness and history.

Your rafting experience begins on the King River, surrounded by the mountains of the West Coast Range. From our entry point, we'll navigate through 7km of the King River Gorge's exciting rapids, from Newall Creek to Dubbil Barril, passing through a remote rainforest gorge past thousands of ancient Huon Pine trees. It's an awesome day in the wilderness, mingled with excitement as we pass through some exhilarating raids, including a potential portage around the wild Sailor Jack Rapid, which is an adventure in itself.

We'll catch glimpses of the West Coast Wilderness Railway on our journey. Our journey downriver continues until we meet the train at Dubbil Barril Station.  The return steam train ride takes us over a steep ridge using the rack and pinion Abt system to move the train out of the gorge and safely down the other side.  Homeward bound the train stops at Rinadeena, a water stop for the train and coffee for us, and again at Lynchford.  The last stop is Queenstown, where our tour ends.

This is how Charli from Getaway saw the day.


Experience Highlights

  • Raft the King River Gorge with exciting Class III Rapids
  • Get up close to ancient rainforest and rare Huon Pine trees
  • Unspoiled environment of the Garfield River
  • Portage the exhilarating Sailor Jack rapid.  This involves a short steep walk up and down, using existing steps, ropes & ladders.
  • Ride the West Coast Wilderness Railway's heritage steam train
  • Visit Rinadeena and Lynchford train stations


  • 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, wetsuit booties, helmet and lifejacket
  • River snacks of sweets, nuts and bottled water
  • Transport to the river from Queenstown.  
  • Photos will be taken as we travel down the river ( Access to these photos can be purchases for $15)
  • Return to Queenstown on the West Coast Wilderness Railway heritage steam train over the steep ABT section of track  
  • Drinks & snacks available at the Rinadeena cafe

Suitable for: families with stronger children.
Price: Adults $320 Children $250 (11 - 17 yrs)
Start time: 8am
End time: Approx. 2pm
Duration: 6 hours
Start & end location: West Coast Wilderness Railway station, in Driffield Street, Queenstown
Minimum group of 4, maximum 16.
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 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: For the Raft and Rail 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 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.


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.


Q: Is it okay to bring a camera on the trip? 

A: If your camera is waterproof, bring it along to capture images of an iconic Tasmanian river, your guides will also have cameras and be 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 River Raft and Rail experience will take approximately 5.5 - 6 hours. The first three are spent rafting and the last two and a half are spent on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, returning to Queenstown.


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

A: During the Rafting portion of your trip you will receive a small snack to keep you going, and during the Railway portion of your trip you will receive a hot drink and sweet slice at the halfway point of the train journey. This trip does not include lunch.