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The warm Snowy River in the southeast of Australia is renowned for its whitewater paddling opportunities. The area is quintessentially Australian and really remote, a perfect setting for a week-long rafting adventure. Cruise from the Willis campground all the way to Balley Hooley with knowledgeable local guides by your side. They know so much about the area that they have been supporting scientific research there. After a day spent on the exciting grade II and grade III rapids, retreat to the shore, where you’ll set up camp, and have the guides prepare you a delicious meal. Due to the remoteness of the area, the wildlife is thriving—so you might spot brumbies (Australian wild horses), goannas (large lizards), water dragons, kangaroos, echidnas, platypus, and more!

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  • Beginner-friendly paddling

    Paired with an experienced and expert guide, grade II and III rapids are just perfect for beginners

  • Iconic Snowy River

    Despite its name, the warm waters of the Snowy River and its thrilling rapids make it perfect for a week-long trip

  • All logistics taken care of

    Our guides take care of everything—full camping & paddling equipment, accommodations, and delicious food

Itinerary

Escape into the Australian wilderness and explore it by whitewater paddling! This 8-day Snowy River rafting tour begins at Willis campground and goes all the way to Balley Hooley, allowing us to fully take in the beauty of this remote area. Our guides will take care of everything, so all that’s left to do is just show up—they’ll arrange all the paddling and camping equipment for us, as well as cook our meals. This tour is beginner and family friendly, so it might just be the ideal family vacation you’ve been searching for. While we’re in the Australian backcountry, let’s cross our fingers and hope to see some of its abundant wildlife.

  • Plan to arrive at Siba Retreat Centre between 3 and 6 pm to meet your guides and other guests, have a shared meal, and receive some packing information and equipment. Guest cars will remain parked here for the duration of the trip. A pick-up from Bairnsdale can be arranged. Get a good night’s sleep, as tomorrow the adventure begins!

    Meals: Dinner
    Accommodation: Lodge

    Wieland Adventures ready to camp and raft
  • Travel through beautiful, high-altitude (for Australia) farmland before dropping off the escarpment with stunning views towards the Snowy River. Continue into the starkly contrasting dry Suggan Buggan country and finish driving at a remote location on the NSW / Victorian border. After lunch depart with rafts packed through excellent introductory rapids. Camp at a secluded beach in the isolated Red Rock Gorge area.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Camp

    Rafting on Snowy River
  • Paddle from Red Rock gorge past ‘pine clad ridges’ (native Australian cypress pine), which seem to spring from the famous ‘Man from Snowy River’ poem. Journey under the iconic McKillops bridge, built in the 1930s and with a span of 225 m was an engineering feat when constructed. Continue on to the Little River area to camp.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Camp

    Camping spot on the Snowy River
  • This day the walls start to close in and get bigger! Rock Garden I & II and The Compressor are rapids of a different nature to anything encountered thus far. You and your guides will aim to venture far enough along the river to be well placed for what is to come the next day.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Camp

    Paddling down the Snowy River
  • Today you’ll encounter the biggest rapids of the trip in the spectacular Tulloch Ard Gorge! There are grade III rapids and even a possible grade IV rapid which need to be negotiated. A-Frame, George’s Mistake I & II, Gentle Annie, and The Washing Machine are some of the notable areas. Mountain creek is one of the best campsites on the river and is where you will rest for the night.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Camp

    Rapids on the Snowy River
  • This day features some more relaxed paddling while surrounded by beautiful scenery. The stunning New Guinea ridge gives you your first view of limestone cliffs with grass trees. There’s an opportunity to visit the New Guinea II cave where evidence of human occupation and Tasmanian Tiger remains were found in 1980s. More recently, Wieland Adventures has supported two rounds of scientific study here, the results of which are yet to be published! This area is part of the Krowathunkooloong clan’s country, of the Gunaikurnai nation and is co-managed by them with National Parks. Tonight’s camp is at the foot of New Guinea ridge and there is the possibility of walking to the top of one of the limestone cliffs.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Camp

    A group rafting on the Snowy River
  • Slowly you’ll start seeing some signs of civilization today. After lunch at Basin Falls, continue onto the confluence with the Buchan River. Travel from here back to Siba Retreat Centre for your farewell meal.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Camp

    Travel back from Snowy River
  • After you’ve had your final delicious breakfast, you can pack up and depart. If you’d like to stay longer in the area, just ask your guides for some recommendations!

    Meals: Breakfast

  • This is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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Meet your guides

Jayd Wieland
5.00
Jayd Wieland
Jayd is an experienced outdoor guide, instructor, and leader, having run trips and taught outdoor-related subjects for the last 25 years for schools, universities, community colleges, outdoor companies, etc. He also completed a Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education. Jayd is experienced in remote area hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater paddling, and has led trips in India, Malaysian Borneo, and Mongolia. He currently resides near the Snowy River with his partner Jane Forke and daughter Luca, who also both enjoy working in the outdoors.
Wieland Adventures
5.00
Wieland Adventures
Wieland Adventures offers a range of high quality outdoor services—from bespoke adventures to tailored outdoor education experiences and off grid logistics, they have the experience and equipment for anyone! Wieland Adventures guides and instructs in a variety of environments, from cliffs to whitewater, mountain bikes to horses, and bush to snow. They are fully insured and licensed National Park Tour Operators and they pride themselves on providing their clients with high quality equipment and unforgettable experiences.
5.00 (1 reviews)
Tasman Cocks-Wheaton (source: Guide’s Facebook)

Great charisma from both of instructors! Would recommend to those looking for adventure and a challenge.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 8-day Snowy River rafting tour
      • All necessary paddling equipment (rafts, paddles, life jackets, whitewater helmets, wetsuits, spray top, sharkskin top, neoprene socks, dry bags)
      • Transportation during the tour
      • All food during the tour
      • Group first aid equipment
      • Accommodation for 7 nights
        • Comfortable lodge-style accommodation before and after the tour (water, juice, tea, coffee, and some selected local alcohol included)
        • Lightweight 4-season tents on the river
      • Camping equipment — tents, tarp shelters, ground sheets, sleeping bag, foam-base layer sleeping mat, self-inflating Thermarest sleeping mat, inner sheet, pillow and pillow case, eating utensils, toilet paper, water purification system, hand wash system
      • Satellite communication system
      • River rescue equipment
      • Laundry facility at the lodge

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to the meeting point (Siba Retreat Centre) — Bairnsdale Train Station pick-up and drop-off possible at an additional $65 per person
      • Airport transfers from/to Melbourne Airport — possible at an additional cost
      • Personal clothing (other than wetsuit, neoprene socks, and paddling spray top)
      • Shoes for paddling
      • Personal medication
      • Beverages (bring your own alcohol if you have particular tastes)
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Travel and medical insurance — optional
  • This Snowy River rafting tour is beginner-friendly! You can except class II-III rapids, which are generally easy to navigate, but having a professional instructor by your side is a major plus. Along the Snowy River, you can expect even grade IV rapids, but these will be discussed with your instructor.

    Keep in mind that your instructors’ top priority is safety, so this Snowy River rafting tour is perfect for beginners! You can read more about day-to-day activities and grades in the itinerary.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Comfortable clothes (other than wetsuit, neoprene socks, and paddling spray top)
      • Joggers (or secure water-specific shoes, not slip-on style) which can be worn in the boat and walking around the edge of the river
      • Comfortable change of clothes and shoes for around camp
      • Several woolen socks
      • Several undergarments
      • 2 long-sleeved thermal tops
      • 2 long pants thermal bottoms
      • 1 long-sleeved collared shirt (quick-dry)
      • 1 trekking pants or tracksuit pants for in camp
      • 1 t-shirt for in camp
      • 1 lightweight polarfleece jumper
      • 1 heavy-weight polar fleece jumper, parka or down jacket
      • 1 gloves (if cold)
      • 1 warm hat or beanie
      • 1 rainproof jacket with hood
      • 1 rain pants
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (hand sanitizer, bug spray, etc.)
      • Sunscreen and lip balm
      • Head torch with spare batteries
      • Sunglasses
      • Strap for glasses if worn

    Optional items:

      • Swimsuit
      • Neck buff
      • Chaps
      • Personal snacks (snacks are provided but feel free to bring items you like)
      • BYO alcohol

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • For your 8-day Snowy River rafting trip, all your meals are included in the price of the tour. You’ll enjoy fresh fruit and homemade slices with a variety of heart meals including traditional Australian roasts with local meat, beef, and Guinness stew, kangaroo and quinoa salad, and BBQs. For breakfast, you’ll have cooked breakfast options such as bacon & egg, salmon bagels, etc.

    Your guides are used to catering for a diverse range of dietary requirements as long as they’re notified on time. If you have special dietary requirements, please let us know upon booking.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For this Snowy River rafting tour, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 6 people for this tour to operate. The maximum group size is set at 12 participants.

    Snowy River rafting tours can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 14, you’re good to go.
      • Minors older than 14 may be permitted to join the Snowy River rafting tour on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to your Snowy River rafting tour, you need to get to Siba Retreat Centre between 3 and 6 pm on Day 1. To get there, you first have to fly into Melbourne Airport (MEL) or Canberra Airport (CBR). From there, it’s best to rent a car to get to Siba Retreat Centre. Public transport options are available, but take significantly longer. Your guides can help coordinate group airport transfers for an additional cost, let us know if you’re interested upon booking.

    Another option is to reach Bairnsdale Train Station, which is about 1.5 hours away from Siba Retreat Centre. This is a great option for everyone reaching Bairnsdale via train from Melbourne. Your guides can pick you up at Bairnsdale Train Station and drop you off there at the end of the trip at an additional $65 per person. Let us know if you need help with transport upon booking!

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in Australia, please refer to Australia’s safety measures.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. If Client cancels the tour…

      • Anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the departure date, Client is entitled to a full refund minus the booking fees.
      • 14-29 (fourteen to twenty-nine) calendar days in advance of the departure date, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of 50% (fifty percent) of the total price of the Booking.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund.
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