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This website features a personal history of Packrafting in Tasmania, from the early days of the Franklin campaign in the 80s to the first Australian International Packrafting Meetup in 2018.


Last summer I had the pleasure of helping to organise and host the first Australian International Packrafting Meetup in the Mersey Valley. It was a great success.

More info about Packrafting in Tasmania and beyond, in this Facebook Group:

Packrafting in Tasmania


Photo Credit: Ben Weigl (ben_explores)



  1. Hi John. Loved your account of pack rafting in the Brooks. I am planning to hike there next northern summer and have a couple of questions for you. Can we make contact via email ( or mobile (0423791728)? Regards, Andrew

    • Sure Andrew, I’d be very hapoy to chat. I’m on a field trip at present, on the edge of phone range. I’ll contact you over the weekend.

  2. Hi my partner and I are travelling to tassie and looking to get packraft rental. Any idea if there is one?

  3. Hi my partner and I are travelling to tassie and was unable to bring our packraft because our bikes have maxed out the baggage limit. Any idea if we can do rental anywhere?

  4. Brett permalink

    Hi John, I recently stumbled upon the world of packrafting and inturn some videos of yourself and Matt Brain on a few adventures in Tas. I’d love to come along with you guys on an adventure if you’re ever looking for some more companions. I live in Sisters Beach and kayak there, although I haven’t packrafted as yet I’m very keen and am on the lookout for someone to go with

    • G’day Brett, sorry you had to wait until the end of the working week for a reply! Glad you are keen to get into packrafting and happy to help facilitate that within my means to do so. In recent years Matt and I have tended to go packrafting infrequently, but when we do we go for big, difficult expeditions, so we haven’t been able to nurture keen new people into the sport as much as either of us would like… just because time is such a limiting factor with busy careers and families. There is a growing packrafting community in Tasmania; in Hobart Mark Oates is leading the way, look for his stuff on Vimeo; it’s very good. We have a fairly new Facebook group to facilitate hook-ups and sharing information, it would be a good idea to join:

      I hope these leads help ypu to get started, and I look forward to seeing you on a river!

      Cheers, John

  5. daniel permalink

    Hi John,

    I’ve been reading a lot about packrafting and came across your name today when reading about the golden paddle….congratulations! That’s a real achievement and it’s really incredible to hear about your efforts to conserve special parts of our state…I know a lot of people are thankful for what you and other did in the past to keep places wild for my generation and the ones to come in Tasmania. I also live in Tasmania, and have for the past 8 or 9 years, I work mostly as a eco-tourism guide and work on the east coast. Winter is coming and i’m really keen for a pack rafting adventure with my girlfriend, something ideally of the 3 to 5 month variety. I’d really love to do something in central asia and the “stans”….Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, or Mongolia. It’s a long shot but have you heard of anything or anyone who has done a long trip anywhere in those areas. I’ve had a pretty good search online but even sifting through the information not much has come up that seems to be relevant. With your contacts and reputation in the packrafting community I thought you might have a lead possibly. Also being quite new to the packrafting community, if you would ever want to catch up over a cup of coffee in Launceston i’d be more than keen to pick your brain a bit on different set-ups and gear….but I don’t mean to be a hassle either. Anyways, I always love an adventure and was really fascinated by some of your trips. Hope to hear back from you.

    daniel (

    • Hello Daniel, sorry I haven’t replied sooner. WordPress hasn’t been giving me notification of page comments so I haven’t known about them. Not happy with this software, wish I’d chosen another platform. Please try contacting me again if still relevant. Cheers, John

  6. Hi John,

    I stumbled on your blog while doing research on backpacking to Arrigetch Peaks in Gates of the Arctic. Your post and pictures were super helpful! If you have time, I have a couple questions and would love your insight. Hope we can make contact via email (graceliaved[at]gmail).

    Much appreciated,

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