While much is known about Queenstown’s rich mining history, some may be surprised about the town’s natural surrounds as they stand today. The King River is no longer the polluted river that it once was and now, for the first time, visitors can explore the river, its gorges and magnificent surroundings by raft.
In fact, the only way to fully appreciate the King River, its abundant bush and everything else that comes with this stunning environment is from the river itself.
The adventure begins in Queenstown near the Hydro-owned and operated John Butters Power Station.
Following a full safety briefing, the tour leisurely makes its way down to Strahan with plenty of spectacular scenery to take in along the way.
While the King River may be a far cry from days gone by, it still has a story to tell about its past. Some remnants of tailings from the mines, which were once dumped in the King, are still evident in places and visitors will also witness the remains of a former gold mine and its shafts along their journey.
The area is also famous for Australia’s oldest living trees – the Huon Pine. While many of the forests were heavily logged in the mid 19th Century, visitors can still admire this iconic tree along their journey. The daylong trip also passes by the Teepookana Bridge, an area known for its beautiful Huon Pine forests and stands of Leatherwood trees which are a rich source of leatherwood honey for beekeepers.
There’s also a good chance of seeing the majestic sea eagle along the way and in summer you may even spot the brilliant blue of the Azure King Fisher.
The qualified guides are keen to share their wealth of knowledge about the King, the region’s history and natural environment with you.
Visitors can also look forward to the all-important gourmet picnic lunch, featuring Tasmanian produce and prepared locally in Queenstown.
The day finishes in picturesque Strahan …. And what better way to finish the day’s adventure than with a glass of Tasmanian wine, beer or soft drink and some more Tasmanian fare. Visitors are then bussed back to Queenstown.
King River Rafting is owned and operated by husband and wife team Paul Steane and Michele Cordwell-Steane, who have explored the waterways of the West Coast for nearly forty years. They’re now keen to share this hidden jewel with others.
No where else is there a summer day raft trip through wilderness such as this.