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Rafting – The Franklin River

I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, as it is exactly 10 years ago to the day (Hobart Show Day) that I embarked on a 9 day trip down the famous Franklin River.

It was 2006 and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to raft the river with my work at TasTAFE (or Drysdale Institute back then).  This was the last trip for the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students for the year and there was a spare seat!  As an added bonus, I got to experience this majestic place with my teaching colleague’s – Marcus Morse, Tanky (Shaun Clement) and his wife Anna Fealy.  All very experienced guides who had spent countless commercial trips on ‘The Ditch‘!

I have had many bushwalking adventures in the Tasmanian wilderness over the years, but after experiencing this rafting trip, I gained a new found love and appreciation for our wild places in Tasmania.

The below quote from commercial operator – World Expeditions, sums this trip up beautifully:

There are few great frontiers left in the world – the Franklin is one of them. Free of pasture and any human habitation, it is a veritable feast for the intrepid explorer. Rafting down this superb river is the only way to truly appreciate its wild beauty. It is acknowledged as one of the most spectacular and challenging river trips around, attracting adventurers from all over the world. The opportunity of an expedition-style trip, rather than merely “thrills and spills” makes this the ultimate wilderness experience. At times on the trip, like all great expeditions, there will be times when patience is required. However, you will be one of the privileged few to have experienced this relatively untouched wilderness area – one of Australia’s most scenic and prized destinations.

I was so inspired by this majestic place, I even wrote a poem whilst on the river:

The Journey

An impending adventure

Surrounded by mystique and intrigue

A true wildness

A fight to save

A beauty beyond words

Forest like no other

Fluid, churning, meandering.

Rapids with descriptive names such as The Corkscrew, The Churn and Thunderush

Conjuring up anticipation and in some cases – fear.

Relaxing, drifting rafts

Bright red, contrasting with forest green

Camaraderie and team work

Loading, unloading

Lining and portaging.

Sleeping under snowy tarps,

Stars and a silver moon.

This journey down the mighty Franklin

Evoking emotions, challenges and wonder.

Rationed tea bags

Sandy bivvy pads

Cameras clicking

Smiles widening.

This journey of ours … down the mighty Franklin!

I will get back down there again one day – hopefully before another ten years pass!  Xx

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Anna Fealy

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