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River Derwent Kayak Descent

  • 11
  • 11
    Departs From New Norfolk
  • 6 Hours

The River Derwent Rapid kayaking tour is a multi award-winning adventure experience located within an hour drive from Hobart’s CBD. This half-day adventure can be best described as receiving a VIP backstage pass to our local region; combining breathtaking Tasmanian scenery, local guides, world-class produce with a little excitement!

Commencing at the historic Hawthorn Lodge in Bushy Park the trip begins with a short scenic drive through the Upper Derwent Valley, offering views of Mount Field National Park, surrounding lush farmlands and iconic hop fields.

Paddle downstream on the mighty River Derwent, take in sweeping views of the iconic Wellington Range, pass under historic railway bridges and perhaps even see a platypus, an active sea eagle breeding area or some acrobatic trout before stopping for a fresh gourmet riverside lunch by a local waterfall.

This half day adventure has it all; a relaxing start to build confidence, epic lunch spot, supportive & informative local guides and finishes with a few Grade 2 rapids which will get your adrenaline running.

No kayaking experience is required to participate and trip suitable for beginners, couples, small groups and families.  Trip includes morning tea and lunch prepared by a fully qualified chef, packed full of world-famous Tasmanian seasonal produce.

Children 7 & up (who are confident swimmers) are very welcome.  All guests are provided with their own kayak, however a tandem is also available for children and not so confident guests.

Please note all participants must be able to swim to participate but do not need to have any previous kayaking experience. 

Departure details

Transfers to and from New Norfolk. Meeting point located approximately 35 minutes from Hobart’s CBD.

Price Includes

  • Transfers to and from New Norfolk. Meeting point located approximately 35 minutes from Hobart’s CBD.
  • Introductory kayak briefing and safety demonstration.
  • 4-hour professionally guided paddle down the River Derwent.
  • Fully catered morning tea & lunch made from fresh and in season local Derwent Valley produce.
  • Photos of the day and transfers back to New Norfolk.
  • Wets suits are available for rent for $10 pp. You will get a little wet! Spray jackets are also provided.
  • All guests will be provided with their own premium Hobie sit-on-top kayak and all safety equipment. Tandem kayaks are available by request for children and not so confident guests. Weight capacity for the single Hobie Lani kayaks are 113 kg. Weight capacity for the tandem kayak is 193 kg.
  • Kayaking experience not required however all guests must have basic swimming skills and general mobility/fitness. Trip follows the moving flow of the river and is not particularly strenuous. There are a few introductory Grade 2 rapids to negotiate. These are moving water sections with smaller waves, clear channels that are obvious without scouting and well-managed by guides. Some steering might be required, and instruction is provided by guides. If you need further information about whether this trip is suitable for you or your group, please contact us before booking. With over 10 years’ experience guiding on the River Derwent we’ve seen guests for 7 – 87 complete the trip who have had little or no kayak experience.
  • Coach transfer are available from Hobart for participants without their own transport.

Additional Info

What is your COVID 19 Policy and Plan?

If your travel plans have been impacted by COVID-19 your tour is flexible all the way up to 7* days before departure.

* Why 7 days? This gives us the time to alter our food supplies and staffing if need be.

Our COVID-19 Plan
So you can relax and enjoy your adventure we have implemented a COVID-19 Safety Plan. This will ensure that we look after ourselves and each other tomorrow. The main points are:

  • We have increased cleaning of the van/4WD and conduct a deep clean of van between every tour and of all frequently touched surfaces.
  • We provide hand sanitiser for use before, during and after tours.
  • Observation of social distancing rules on the day.

Please do not attend on the day if:

  • you have a temperature, cold or flu like symptoms.
  • you have been tested positive for COVID 19, have been directed to self-isolate/quarantine or waiting on test results.

How much kayaking experience is required to join one of the trips?

While we do require you to be a confident swimmer and of reasonable fitness, no experience is required for our kayak tours! Our adventures are for everyone. Our trips are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. The majority of people who join our tours are first time kayakers. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected.

What you should I bring on the day?

All your mandatory safety equipment is provided, therefore, all you need to bring with you are some personal items to help make your day even more enjoyable. We recommend that you bring sunglasses, a cap or hat, a pair of shoes or sandals to wear on the river (they will get wet!), your swimsuit and/or shorts and a change of clothes. We also recommend a white long-sleeved shirt for guests kayaking on the Derwent River Adventure Experience.

Do I need to be in great shape to join one of the trips?

No. Our adventures are not considered to be strenuous or physically demanding, and we do not require a high level of fitness. We just ask that you are capable of a few hours of moderate exercise. Our kayaks do have weight restrictions and can carry up to 147kgs. Keep in mind that good general health will go a long way if we happen to encounter any difficulties. Most important is an adventurous spirit.

How stable are the kayaks? What is the likelihood of flipping over?

The kayaks we use on our tours are stable and designed for comfort. The likelihood of capsizing a kayak is minimal on our Lake Pedder and Twilight tours, and generally only occurs in an uncommon situation. On our Derwent River Experience the chance of capsizing becomes more likely and if your kayak flips over, our guides have ample practice time on the water with rescue procedures in order to quickly and efficiently get you back in your boat. If the need arises we will take you to the nearest shore to change into warm clothing and carry on with our journey. While we are out on the water, it is of utmost importance that the group sticks together in the event of a capsize or change of route plan.

What if the weather turns bad? Will I be comfortable and warm?

Our weather in Southern Tasmanian between November and May is generally pleasant. The temperature will vary slightly depending on which area you visit. For example, if you go on our Derwent River experience, it is not uncommon in mid-summer to savour a swim in the refreshing waters in order to cool off. Lake Pedder, a little further west and more exposed to weather, will generally have cooler temperatures. Although it is uncommon, it can rain in the summer. We provides light rain proof jackets in all the kayaks in case of unexpected rain and encourages all its guests to bring a warm set of clothes to change into if guests become cold, unexpectedly fall into the water, or to change into at the end of the tour if required.

We do not launch tours if we consider the weather conditions to be unsuitable for the group. If water conditions are good but the sky is cloudy or there is light rain, we will launch trips and expect clients to honour their bookings. Once a trip has started, the financial risk of weather disruption transfers to the client. No refunds will be given if a tour participant decides to leave a tour early. If your trip is cancelled due to bad weather and you cannot transfer to an alternative tour, we will refund any tour payments made.

Cancellation Policy

Full payment of the tour fee is required upon booking to confirm participation. Cancellations made less than 30 days from departure will incur 100% forfeit of fee.

Please call us on our mobile 0417 008 422 . There are no fees payable for rescheduling your tour seven days prior to tour departure. We are unable to reschedule your tour within seven days of tour departure time. However, if the rescheduling is due to unsafe weather conditions no fee is payable.

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