After a safety briefing and gentle ‘practice rapid’, you’ll then hit the white water foam of the mighty Tully River as you navigate your whitewater sports raft along 6km (half day tour) or 12km (full day tour) of two and three grade rapids under the expert instruction of your white water river guides.
Catch your breath and absorb the beauty of the rainforest surroundings in the stretches of calm between each group of exhilarating white water rapids.
Look out for the iconic electric blue Ulysses butterflies, rainbow bee-eaters, fly-catchers, honeyeaters and sunbirds, not to mention the 506 species of stunning fish that live in the Tully River.
Listen to the natural soundtrack of croaking tree frogs and chirruping insects, before the sound of approaching foaming water drowns them out.
You’ll emerge wet, victorious and very happy, having conquered the mighty Tully River in Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia.
Enjoy a nice cold beer as you change into some dry clothes and recount the ride of your life with your friends and tour group.
The Tully River is located at the foot of Mount Tyson, two hours south of Cairns, where it receives one of the highest annual rainfalls in Australia – a staggering 4200 mm (14 foot).
The Tully River descends from the Cairns Atherton Tablelands through stunning gorges.
This abundance of rain creates swift and exciting rapids, making it one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in Australia.
The Tully River is one of three main rafting rivers in North Queensland (the others are at Barron River and North Johnstone) and have more than 45 individual rapids graded up to grade 4.
Your day starts with a courtesy pick-up from your hotel accommodation in Mission Beach or Cairns.
The scenic, educational 45-minute journey to Tully Gorge Recreational Park takes you through a World Heritage national park and rainforests.
An abundance of rare and amazing wildlife calls the Tropical North rainforest home, including the famed Cassowary bird.
With only 1200 Cassowaries in existence today, and most of them inhabiting the Tropical North rainforest, you might just be lucky enough to see one of these unusual looking birds.
On arrival at Tully Gorge Recreational Park, your expert guides will unload the sports rafts and give a safety briefing and instructions on how to navigate the white water rapids and what to look for.
Change rooms and toilets are available at the park. You’ll then be fitted with your safety equipment – helmet and life jacket – before being paired into the sports rafts.
You may also choose to go solo if you have previous whitewater rafting experience (and if there are enough rafts).
Your sports rafts will be launched on a quiet part of the river so you can practice maneuvering and paddling on some of the more gentle white water rapids first.
This is a great way for you to build up your confidence before you hit the foam action.
Your highly experienced rafting guides will be with you the whole way down the river on the ride of your life.
They will show you the best way to negotiate the 6km (half day tour) or 12km (full day tour) of foaming frenzy and ensure that all rapids are navigated safely.
As the intensity of the white water rapids build you’ll be watching water currents, dodging rocks and crashing through walls of foaming water – drenched and exhilarated as you master the mighty Tully River.
In between the rapids there are stretches of tranquil, calm waters. Catch your breath and absorb the majesty of this 410-million-year-old rainforest and the array of flora and fauna, some of which are native to this small eco pocket in Far North Queensland.
Enjoy the chorus of croaking frogs, chirruping insects and tweeting exotic birds – and even the ‘woompoo’ of the aptly named woompoo fruit dove.
You might spot the rare electric blue Ulysses butterfly flitting by and some amazing bird life including, ospreys, honeyeaters, bowerbird, tree creepers, brightly coloured parrots, lorikeets and cockatoos.
The Tully River is also home to saw-shelled turtles and fish with strange names like sooty grunters and rainbowfish.
You’ll emerge from the water feeling euphoric and accomplished. Enjoy a well-earned cold beer and change into dry clothes before your relaxed trip back to your accommodation. You’ve earned the title of ‘Whitewater Warrior’!
Lunch (included in full day tour)
After an action-packed morning navigating the rapids you’ll enjoy munching on a delicious lunch of roast chicken served with salads and wraps.
General characteristics of the grades of whitewater. The Tully River is graded rapids up to 4.
Rapid Grade 1:
Rapids are small to regular waves. The passage is clear and easy to recognise and negotiate. Care may be needed with obstacles like fallen trees and bridge piers.
Rapid Grade 2:
Rapids with regular medium sized waves (less than 1 metre); low ledges or drops; easy eddies and gradual bends. The passage is easy to recognise and is generally unobstructed although there may be rocks in the main current, overhanging branches or log jams.
Rapid Grade 3:
Rapids with fairly high waves (1-2 metres); broken water, stoppers and strong eddies; exposed rocks; small falls. The passage may be difficult to recognise from on the river and inspection from the bank may be required. Maneuvering to negotiate the rapids is required.
Rapid Grade 4:
Difficult rapids with high, powerful, irregular waves; broken and confused water; often boiling eddies; strong stoppers; ledges; drops and dangerous exposed rocks. The passage is often difficult to recognise and inspection from the bank is preferable. Precise and sequential maneuvering is required.
If you wish to self drive, directions can be provided.
January - December
Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day
Half day tour - 4 hours (approx.)
Full day tour - 8 hours (approx.)
Weight: Up to 140 Kg / 309 Lb
No children under 6 years of age
All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our Terms and Conditions for details prior to booking.
Bookings may be cancelled or changed up to 24 hrs prior to tour date without penalty. Bookings cancelled less than 24 hours before the tour departs will be given a voucher for the same tour, valid for 3 months subject to availability, no refund will be payable