White water rafting in Australia is a thrilling adventure that combines adrenaline-pumping rapids with stunning natural landscapes. From the rugged wilderness of Tasmania’s Franklin River to the tropical allure of Queensland’s Tully River, Australia offers a diverse range of white water rafting experiences. Each river presents its own challenges and charms, making it an exciting journey for both beginners and experienced rafters alike.

Exploring the best places to go white water rafting in Australia reveals a tapestry of rushing waters, scenic gorges and lush vegetation. Whether navigating the technical rapids of the Nymboida River in New South Wales or marveling at the alpine beauty along Victoria’s Snowy River, rafters are treated to an immersive encounter with nature’s raw power.

The thrill of conquering rapids and the camaraderie forged on these adventures create lasting memories for enthusiasts.


Safety is paramount in white water rafting, with expert guides leading each expedition and providing essential training and equipment. This combination of adrenaline, natural beauty and safety measures ensures that white water rafting in Australia is not just an adventure but a well-rounded experience that appeals to the adventurer in everyone.

1. Franklin River, Tasmania

Tucked away in the pristine wilderness of Tasmania, the Franklin River is a paradise for white water rafting enthusiasts. Known for its challenging rapids and stunning natural beauty, this river provides an unforgettable rafting experience. As you navigate through the Franklin’s tumultuous waters, surrounded by ancient rainforests and rugged terrain, you’ll feel a rush of excitement like never before.


2. Tully River, Queensland

For those seeking a thrilling rafting adventure in the tropical north, the Tully River in Queensland is a must-visit destination. With its Grade 4 rapids and stunning rainforest scenery, the Tully offers an adrenaline-pumping ride for both beginners and experienced rafters. Professional guides ensure a safe yet exhilarating journey down this iconic river.

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3. Kicking Horse River, Victoria


Venture into the heart of Victoria’s Alpine region to discover the Kicking Horse River, a hidden gem for white water rafting enthusiasts. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush forests, this river provides an exhilarating mix of rapids and calm stretches, perfect for all skill levels. Prepare to be awed by the rugged beauty of the Australian Alps as you navigate the Kicking Horse’s dynamic waters.

4. Barron River, Queensland

Located near Cairns in Far North Queensland, the Barron River offers a thrilling white water rafting experience amidst the region’s tropical splendor. With its mix of rapids and tranquil sections, this river caters to both adrenaline junkies and nature enthusiasts. Rafting down the Barron River is not just about the thrill; it’s also a chance to spot native wildlife and immerse yourself in Queensland’s natural wonders.

5. Mitta Mitta River, Victoria

Nestled in the High Country of Victoria, the Mitta Mitta River is a mecca for white water rafting adventures. Its challenging rapids, including the famous “Razorback,” attract thrill-seekers from far and wide. Surrounded by rugged landscapes and serene forests, rafting on the Mitta Mitta promises an adrenaline-fueled journey through some of Australia’s most picturesque scenery.

6. Nymboida River, New South Wales

For a wild and remote rafting experience, head to the Nymboida River in New South Wales. Known for its technical rapids and pristine wilderness, this river offers a true escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Navigate through rocky gorges and turbulent waters as you soak in the beauty of the Australian bushland along the Nymboida’s banks.

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7. Murray River, Victoria

While the Murray River is better known for leisurely cruises, it also offers opportunities for white water rafting enthusiasts, particularly in its upper reaches. Experience the thrill of navigating rapids amidst the river’s tranquil stretches and picturesque landscapes. Rafting on the Murray is a unique way to explore one of Australia’s most iconic waterways from a different perspective.

8. Snowy River, New South Wales

As the name suggests, the Snowy River in New South Wales offers a white water rafting experience like no other, especially during the snowmelt season. With its challenging rapids and stunning alpine scenery, rafting on the Snowy is an adventure of a lifetime. Prepare to be dazzled by the river’s turquoise waters and the rugged beauty of the Snowy Mountains.

9. King River, Western Australia

In Western Australia’s southwest corner lies the King River, a hidden gem for white water rafting enthusiasts. While not as well-known as some other rafting destinations, the King River offers a unique experience amidst ancient forests and rugged terrain. Its Grade 3 rapids provide a perfect balance of excitement and scenic beauty for adventurers looking to escape the crowds.

10. Cotter River, Australian Capital Territory

For those in search of white water rafting adventures near the nation’s capital, the Cotter River in the Australian Capital Territory delivers an exhilarating experience. Navigate through the Cotter’s rapids surrounded by the scenic beauty of Namadgi National Park. While not as intense as some other rivers, the Cotter offers a fantastic introduction to white water rafting for beginners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is white water rafting in Australia safe?

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While white water rafting involves inherent risks, reputable tour operators prioritize safety by providing expert guides, quality equipment and thorough safety briefings.

What is the best time of year for white water rafting in Australia?

The best time for rafting varies by location, but generally, spring and summer (September to February) offer optimal water levels and weather conditions.

Do I need prior experience to go white water rafting in Australia?

Many rafting tours cater to beginners, offering training and guidance to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for participants of all skill levels.

What should I wear for white water rafting?

Wear comfortable swimwear, quick-drying clothing, secure footwear (like water shoes) and sunscreen. Tour operators typically provide safety gear such as helmets and life jackets.

Can children participate in white water rafting trips?

Some rafting tours offer family-friendly trips suitable for children, with age and weight restrictions varying by tour operator and river conditions.

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