Friday, February 8, 2013

The Mighty Franklin

Part of the beauty and appeal of river trips lies in the fact that no two trips are exactly alike. This is especially true of large catchment rivers running through steep sided gorge country, that rise and fall in the blink of an eye, turning a gentle flow into a raging torrent. 

Will, Shaun, Doug and myself had been dreaming of our moment on Tasmania's iconic Franklin River for a long time and knowing the reputation of the big river well, we expected, maybe even hoped for, an experience that would show the Franklin in all its moods. In the end we had a straight forward trip with low to medium river levels and almost perfectly fine, warm bluebird days. Which was ok by us. We did however welcome the rain which fell on our fourth day, lifting the water level 200-300mm, making the rapids on the lower part of the river a little more exciting and long flat sections a little quicker. Just to be on this magnificent river, floating down it's perfect golden waters, staring up at it's huge forested flanks and reveling in the wildness of it's location is more than enough.  

The itinerary:

Day 1 - Collingwood River to The Irenabyss
Day 2 - Frenchmans Cap hike - no paddling
Day 3 - The Irenabyss to The Coruscades
Day 4 - The Coruscades to Newlands Cascade
Day 5 - Newlands Cascade to Kutikina cave
Day 6 - Kutikina cave to Sir Johns Landing

River Level: 

We put on at 0.7m at the Collingwood gauge. Time permitting I would wait for a little higher level next time.


Log Jam, Nasty Notch, The Churn, Coruscades, Thunderrush, The Cauldron, Pig Trough, Big Fall. The portages are the main reason packrafts are THE boat for this river. I honestly don't know why someone would consider paddling any other craft on The Franklin. 

Video coming soon


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Darren! It was an amazing trip, I can't recommend it highly enough.

      Hope all is well with you.

  2. Superb! I read Roman Dial's interview this week, and he said that the Franklin is probably the best river in Australia for some great packrafting adventures, and here it is!

    1. Thanks Hendrik! Roman wasn't wrong, the Franklin is an absolute classic and perfectly suited to packrafts.

      A big thanks also for including my post in TWIR as well as continuing to provide outstanding coverage of the lightweight adventure scene. As I am about to relocate to the south island of New Zealand, in the future I'll be posting details on some of the best hiking, packrafting and bikepacking on offer over there.

  3. Nice one Trev. Enjoyed the video as well. Looking forward to you NZ adventures.