Best River Trip: Franklin River, Tasmania

Outside chooses the top vacation spots of 2013

Running Tasmania's Franklin.     Photo: Bill Hatcher/Alamy

There are no towns, settlements, or farms along the 78-mile-long Franklin River, which bisects the 3.5-million-acre Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. That means once you start this nine-day odyssey down the Class IV whitewater, there’s no turning back. Not that you’d want to. After 34 years of commercial rafting, the river is in better shape than it ever has been, thanks to World Expeditions, whose guides are leading efforts to remove noxious weed infestations and manage riverbank campsites. These are some of the best waterside digs on earth: Newlands Cascades sits in a deep notch in a quartzite cliff that runs parallel to the longest rapids. It’s so choice that rafters paddle the 1,300-foot-long series of Class III–IV rapids, then portage their gear back up the rock slabs to spend the night. $2,725.

From Outside Magazine, Apr 2013 Get the Latest Issue

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