OZ and NZ. How many packrafters are there down here?

Great to see some good Ozzie pics added to the forum…

I’m not sure where we are “at” with packrafting in Oztralia and New Zealand, and this forum…

It seems that we Ozzies have been “up there” at the forefront of packrafting (courtesy of Bob Brown et co on the Franklin, and presumably a lot of other rubber duckies prior to that), but “those” North Americans/Alaskans are just so much more “out there” in their contribution to this forum.

Look at the last couple of months of input…

We’ve at last had the benefit of something from the Kiwis (presuming Adrian and “Captain whomever” are actually Kiwis…??). Obviously there have been a few (presumably wealthy, given your crap exchange rate) kiwis rafting over recent years, whom have not contributed to this site to date, and then some newer contributors, such as AdrianNZ, lucky lucky bastard, living in Q’town, with soooooooooooooooooo many rivers around to paddle (make the most of this bit of your life, mate, as you are in packrafting [and fly-fishing] heaven)…

The Tassie group (can’t remember whether you’re Taswegian or Mainlanders - sorry) have their own dialogue about some amazing trips down there. One of my mates visited Vanishing Falls many years ago and tried to lilo out - if he’d had a packraft, he’d have had a great time…by the by, we really need some video from the Tassie packrafters of their amazing trips.

My little NZ trip this year was a packrafting disaster (although I’m sentimentally much closer to my rafting stuff now that I’ve carried it every day whilst away!), so I have little to add visually.

And then those bloody Alaskans come out to NZ and raft all the good stuff, and even have the cheek to stick it on youtube!!! (and “they” did this really really well, in my opinion). In fact, fantastically well. I enjoyed all the vid I saw.

Come on guys…let’s make a stand for Oz and NZ. Just use the video on your digital camera whilst rafting, and post it on youtube, and don’t bother whether it is waterproof or not (having just bought a 10mp camera with video today for #4 daughter’s birthday for AU$137.00, they aren’t that expensive).

Good on you Steve “fish de jour” for adding some photos. We need more…(and please, from now on, use the video option on your digital camera!)

AA (ranting now over and done with!)

Ok Andrew, you have unleashed the beast…

I had a go at a bit of video but sadly when I use the video facility on my dodgy camera the battery life is significantly reduced, I found this out on day 2 of our 5 Day trip…so this is what I was left with. I also found the wind noise a bit over the top. I am sure a decent editing program (any tips?) would sort the sound issues, ie overlay some tunes etc, perhaps over dub a voice track or something…anyway this is my first attempt at video on any level so…I will continue, but the learning curve is more a wall than a curve.

I went and paddled the Bega river last week when it was in flood, good fun…I was a bit affraid to take the camera as I was sure that I was going for a swim…I managed to stay in the raft so am feeling a bit more confident for my next outing. tie the camera to the raft I think.

I am planning a paddle down the Eucumbene R. in the next month or two so will do a better vid of that, I can practice on my local Brogo R in the meantime.

Heres my first dodgy bushwalk/packraft clip for what it is worth


Gentleman, chef, handyman, angler, walker, rafter and now cinematographer.

Is there no end to it !

Good work f-d-j !

You know how terribly disappointed I was that my first feature did not feature your fine features my dear Watson. Those Mel Gibson like boyish good looks of yours could have taken this from mediocre rough-umentry to Bollywood block buster… intstead the viewers get a Rough Headed Ranga…mmm good name for my production company?

Hah! Not so hard to do, is it?! Well done.

Did you catch any fish???

I think that if you use a digital camera for video, you have to be resigned to deleting the sound component, as mine also gets a lot of wind noise (and internal noise from camera if the zoom function is used), however I am happy with the quality of the picture from my pentax optio W20.

Video editing can be as much of a nightmare as you wish, but a lot easier if you get rid of the sound bit, and just use the visual stuff. I’ve been using an old version of Adobe Premiere for the last few years, and got used to it, but I did fiddle around with some other software before and was happy with it. You just have to get used to that particular software.

Enjoy the Eucumbene - you might be bottoming out a bit. Don’t forget to blow up the seat!



I think I will just get rid of the sound and go with a few tunes with the vision next time.

The less said about the fishing the better. How’d you go in NZ?


I completed a packraft exploration down the King Edward river in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in May 2010. I’ve got the Yukon Yak. Handled superbly, and did the job. Very happy with it, first time I used it. There is a short video about the trip at the website: remoteriverman.com
It’s called “Packrafting solo through the Kimberley”.


Remote River Man

Matt B. has also youtubed some of our Tassie trips:

I also have a rough cut of last summer’s footage from Vanishing Falls, however that was mostly a scrub-bash with very little rafting. I suppose I should still post it.



fyi - I’m not from Alaska. I’m from Wyoming.

Forrest, I’m not sure if your response related to my original post, or something subsequent, however, having read them all again, I figured that you might have felt that I had included you in “those Alaskans who visit NZ”, and that wasn’t my intention.

You’ve obviously had some fun times in NZ this summer, and posted some great video. Well done.

Sadly I haven’t been to NZ this year, so have little to add, and last years fly-fishing/rafting trip for us was a packrafting dud anyway…and, despite the huge amount of water in Oz with our floods etc, I’ve had no time for packrafting.

It’s interesting looking at the posts over the last year or so, as packrafting is clearly “taking off”. The number of new members over this time seems exponential, which is great.

Sadly, I’ll have to admit my ignorance about Nth American geography, now improved. I know that Wyoming is in Nth America, but wasn’t sure exactly where. I know that Jackson Hole is a ski resort there, and I thought there are some hot springs there as well, but I was stunned to look on Google Earth and realise that Wyoming was right plop bang in the centre. A bit like associating mainland Oz with Tasmania, or the Kimberley’s with the Snowy Mountains. Yep, you are miles away from Alaska. How many packrafters are there in Wyoming??

Andrew A

Wyoming has some of the largest roadless/wilderness areas with navigable rivers and creeks in the lower 48 and offers (IMHO) some of the best packrafting in the USA - outside of Alaska.

Just a few short years back there were only a few of us in Wyoming that owned and regularly used packrafts. Currently, much like OZ/NZ, the popularity of packrafting is growing expediently. I have no idea how many packrafters there are currently in Wyoming and the Northern Rockies. I do know there are lot more and their popularity is continuing to grow.