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A Family Day Rafting The Mighty King River

Tasmania is famous for its rafting experiences through some of the worlds most pristine rainforests and untouched wilderness areas. King River Rafting is one of these experiences. From the moment you meet your guide to climbing aboard your raft and pushing off; beautiful memories are being made. Commencing in the mountain ranges near Queenstown in Tasmania's West Coast, the King River is one of the States largest tributaries. Ancient Huon pines and prehistoric Myrtles line the river banks, with giant Sassafras's, Leatherwood and Celery Top Pines towering up to the valleys surrounding the river. Ferns droop into the water, creating perfect hiding spots for Platypus, with smaller tree branches being popular hangouts for the elusive Azure Kingfisher.


Touched by the raw beauty and rich heritage of the King River, rafting specialists Paul and Michele developed King River Rafting. We recently caught up with them to find out why these trips down the King River are so special and popular with families.

Tassie4Kids - Introduce yourselves and tell us where you are located:

Hi. We are Paul and Michele Steane. We own and operate King River Rafting. We are based in Queenstown for the warmer six months between October and April. During the cooler months, we are based in Hobart.

Tell us a little bit about your tours

King River Rafting is Tasmania’s one day rafting specialist. We run family friendly river trips with a sense of fun, excitement, adventure and wonder. In Queenstown most of our trips are on the King River. Some involve exciting rapids in a gorge, another is a quiet kayak trip exploring the creeks and Huon pine, or you can mix the rafting with a ride on the West Coast Wilderness Railway in our King River Gorge Raft and Steam Experience. From Hobart we offer trips on the Derwent, Huon and Picton Rivers. Just contact us to find out more.


Is there a special story you can share with us about your rafting experience?

We have for years explored Tasmania’s rivers and have only recently been able to share that love with others through King River Rafting. We can show you wilderness gorges, exciting rapids, ancient rainforest, calm and silent pools, Huon Pine, waterfalls, old gold mines and more.

Why did you decide to take up rafting on the King River?

Having raised a family in Tasmania we formed King River Rafting with the idea of giving something back to the state that has given us so much. We are hoping to provide employment for local young people and create an iconic attraction where people can actively enjoy the West Coast wilderness and gain an appreciation of the delicate balance between the natural environment and human development.


What makes your trips great for families?

The family that rafts together laughs together. Shared experiences, laughs, challenges and excitement are the stuff that holds families together. King River Rafting safely caters for families and looks after all the equipment and logistics that often make family adventures so difficult. We have trips suitable for people from 8 years of age. Make your memories with us so that the kids say ‘Remember the time we went rafting at Queenstown?’.


How are you different to other rafting experiences in Tasmania?

King River Rafting is Tasmania’s one day rafting specialist. There may be other groups that raft but raft is all we do. We do not do the extended Franklin River expeditions. Our trips are achievable for almost everyone. Our guides are able to help you all the way through the day. At the end of the day you can safely retire to your warm dinner and comfortable bed.

You operate your tours in a magical part of the world; why will families love traveling through your area to get to you?

Whether you come to Queenstown from the north or the south the drive is one of the most varied and magical around. Take your time to enjoy some of the spectacular scenery, take in a short walk or two, enjoy a waterfall or a swim in a lake. This a journey to immerse yourself in and enjoy every bend in the road.

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Do families need to bring anything with them when they come to go for a trip?

Most importantly a sense of humour and adventure. Secondly, some clothes to get changed into at the end of the day. We supply all the gear you will require but if you or the kids especially feel the cold bring an extra thermal or your own wetsuit and booties.

How much does it cost to go on a rafting experience on the King River?

Our trips are priced between $100 and $300 for adults or $80 and $200 for kids (15 & under).


Do you have an age limit for kids to participate?

8 years for our less challenging trips. For trips through the rapids of the King Gorge the minimum age is 5 years

Do you have a recent review from a family who travelled with you that would help other families?

"We completed the King for the Day tour along the King River just out of Queenstown. This was the first rafting experience for our kids aged 12 & 14 yrs and was a perfect intro for them with enough rapids to excite them but not so big to put them off another trip. The company itself is well managed, communication good and staff great at their jobs. The trip included a snack & a generous lunch served on the river bank. There was a fair amount of paddling required after lunch as we meandered through calmer waters but not so strenuous to be a deterrent. Expect to feel tired afterwards, (our 14-year-old night owl was asleep within five minutes of sitting on the return journey bus). We wish this company well in the future, this part of Tasmania is beautiful and this family run business is a credit to the area". Via Trip Adviser, King River Rafting.

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What other places, activities or experiences do you recommend in your area for young kids?

Swim in the warm summer waters of Lake Burbury surrounded by high mountains. Walk to the old abandoned town of Pillinger at Kelly Basin. Check out the old Huon pine headstones at Cemetery Creek at Linda. Take the Lake Margaret tour. Go to Trial Harbour and explore the endless Ocean Beach. Raining? The museums at Zeehan & Queenstown are priceless (except for the small admission fees), Nelson Falls and Montezuma Falls are best viewed in the rain.

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What other places, activities or experiences do you recommend in your area for older kids and teenagers?

All the above with more, walk up the Henty River, Climb up the track to Mt Owen, fish for Australian Salmon at Macquarie Heads, surf at Granville Harbour, paddle a canoe on the Pieman River at Corinna. Ride a mountain bike at Dundas.

What are your top five Tassie destinations that are family friendly?

Camp at Maria Island, Hire a hut at Mt Field National Park, Explore Launceston and surrounds by bicycle, Chase wombats at Naranwtapu, Wonder at the convicts of the Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur and Salt Water River; Walk on a wild winter beach.

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Your top items families should take with them when travelling to the West Coast in Tasmania?

  1. Raincoat
  2. jumper
  3. hat
  4. sunblock
  5. boots
  6. bikes & boats

What’s your top travel tip for a family holiday in Tasmania?

Take it slowly and enjoy every day.

Anything else you would like to add?

Tasmania is special place. Pick an area and explore from a base. Many areas are easy to spend at least three or four days in. Walk more & drive less.

To book a family rafting trip down the King River, visit our Tours page: