Tully river rafting (Australia) - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-04-2013   #1
Cairns, Queensland
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1
Tully river rafting (Australia)

I'm European and I'm traveling all across the world.
In my first 8 months in Australia I spent so much money that I was planning on going home soon. But for the last 5 months I was consistently employed and got paid decently. I made more than what I lost in 8 months

I decided to take a holiday on the Australian east coast and get into rafting.
The extreme rafting on the Tully river looks amazing and therefore I came over.
Now, a full day of rafting there costs $200. Pictures of that day cost $110 and camera rental is $50 per day. So you're looking at $360 in one day which I find pretty ridiculous.

I am a complete rafting noob. Am I better off rafting somewhere else (I'm doing Asia and New Zealand as well and life is generally cheaper there) or is it going to fall in that price range anywhere in the world?

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Old 05-04-2013   #2
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 213

Well, the Tully rafting - and kayaking!! - is very, very, good. But on the other hand, the Kiwis are pretty insane. Having been both places I'm pretty confident there is no good answer to your question. The companies on the Tully are very professional. They pay for water releases so you're guaranteed a good level, they have buses, water contracts, video boater, etc all in places. It is generally a very smooth and well oiled process, and the run has some very spectacular rapids. You _will_ be entertained.

Similarly, in NZ there are a bunch of great rivers, with incredible scenery. And they apparently don't have the law suits we suffer from in the US, so when they say the river is class V, you should be scared.

If you're in Oz, and you can do the upper Tully, go for it. If you're really turned on by whitewater, you'll do more when you get to NZ, and if you're infected, you'll do even more when you get home. Lots of great rivers in Europe, but the weather is a lot less accommodating.

You're asking about an experience that will be very personal - depending on water level, weather, your guide and crew, etc. Both Oz and NZ offer incredible world-class experiences so I suggest you just go for it!!

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Old 05-04-2013   #3
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Having never been to New Zealand but worked on the Tully, I love that river it has some great whitewater, amazing scenery and good companies, and if I remember correctly you are rafting through a world heritage rainforest.

With that being said what time of year are you going, as the wet season is ending which means a bit lower flows and more bugs.

Ask them what the flows are going to be when you are booking, look for 80 Meg's or higher.
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Old 05-04-2013   #4
Dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Tulley vs. elsewhere

I have rafted on the Tulley and many rivers in NZ. Having worked as a guide in NZ, I would save my money and raft in NZ, unless the Tulley is in flood stage. Then it is game on. There are two main companies on the Tulley, check out Raft & Rainforest (R n R) my good friend Rod is an Aussie guide there, over 15 years experience.
In NZ, check out Rangitata Rafts on the South Island, or River Valley on the North. Both offer a grade V trip that is hands down world class. I might pick the Rangitata over the Rangitikei that River Valley works on because the scenery is so impressive. Either way, both have a hostel that you can stay at.
Have fun.
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Old 05-05-2013   #5
Wanaka,, New Zealand
Paddling Since: ?
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5
if you are wanting to experience rafting then there are lots of options but "getting into" rafting is a different story. Typically in australia and new zealand rafting is the territory of commercial operators with clients undertaking a one off adventure tourism activity. There are very very few recreation rafters in Aussie, and very few (although some) recreation rafters in new zealand. if you are wanting to get into it, you might be better off looking at kayaking or at least a single or double person inflatable kayak.

I think that typically kayaking is better suited to recreational users as there is a greater skill progression, easier to find a couple other kayakers than a raft full of friends and logistically easier. maybe try the NZKS in murchison for kayak lessons.

If you are wanting a rafting experience tully looks good, west coast NZ (perth, whataroa or other), or the kaituna, lots to choose from. all very different experiences. An extended trip would be a good option also.
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Old 05-05-2013   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 189
when I rafted the Tully a ride was only $35 US
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