Barron River Rafting

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Full details

An epic rafting adventure, perfect for beginners!

Raft your way through the World Heritage Listed rainforest of the stunning Barron Gorge. The rapids on the Barron River are grade 2 - 3, which means they're ideal for first timers or anyone wanting a couple of hours of fun.

Our guide to Barron River Rafting

Join this popular half-day tour that takes you 20 minutes inland from Cairns to the Barron River, where you will embark on your white water rafting adventure through breathtaking scenery. The Barron River flows along the Atherton Plateau and through the ancient rainforest that flourishes in the Barron Gorge National Park before meeting the sea at Trinity Bay, just north of Cairns.

This heart-thumping ride spears through The Barron Gorge National Park and the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics. In the calmer sections, you will get to enjoy the ethereal beauty of the world's oldest rainforest and waterfalls from a unique waterline perspective.

Expect to raft grade 2-3 rapids over 2 hours. These rapids are simple technical rapids with a need to maneuver the raft, which results in great rafting for those seeking an introduction to White Water Rafting.

No experience is necessary, all equipment and instructions are included, just bring your smile and get ready for a good time!

Sample Itinerary (Subject to change without notice): 

  • 14.00 – 14.30 - Pick-ups around Cairns and Northern Beaches. Drive to Lake Placid and rendezvous with other (self-drive) rafters.
  • 14.30 – 14.45 - Travel further into the Barron River Gorge to our start point and get fitted with rafting gear.
  • 14.45 – 15.00 - Meet your River Guide who will give you a safety briefing and paddling instructions before it’s time to hit the water!
  • 15.00 – 17.00 - Raft down the Barron River conquering awesome grade 2 & 3 rapids!
  • 17.00 – 17.30 - Arrive at the take-out point and change into dry clothes before heading over to the Lake Placid Tourist Park for some tea and coffee (own expense).
  • 17.30 – 18.00 - Kick back and relax as we transfer you back to your accommodation.


Daily, year-round except 25th December and 1st January.

Start times

This tour picks up from centrally located Cairns accommodation. Hotel pick-ups start from 2.00am. Your exact pick-up time will be advised upon reconfirmation of your tour locally.


Around 4 hours with up to 2 hours on the water

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for Barron River Rafting

  • You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
  • You MUST re-confirm your booking locally at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Rafting Levy of AUD30.00 per person is payable locally on the day. The rafting levy is a compulsory charge covering Land Management fees, government charges and taxes, dam water release and part recovery of public risk insurance (amount subject to change without notice). Payable direct to Raging Thunder.
  • This trip is suitable for all levels of fitness. All passengers must be able to fit into the supplied life jackets.
  • This tour is not suitable for children under 12 years of age. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian counter-sign their liability waiver form.
  • Bring lace-up shoes (that WILL get wet), swimsuit and towel (you will need to be wearing your swimsuit at the time of pick-up), a spare change of clothes, and don't forget the sunscreen. You will be provided with safety equipment, including a life jacket, helmet and spray jacket.
  • All tours depart at the discretion of your guide based on weather conditions and safety reasons.
  • A medical questionnaire and liability waiver are required to be completed and signed.
  • PLEASE NOTE: you MUST HAVE a competent swimming ability and be able to understand and follow River Guide instructions in English, to participate in Barron River Rafting. This is for your safety. English speaking and comprehension will be assessed by River Guides at the time of pick-up; if there are concerns about your ability to understand instructions and communicate with our River Guides, you will not be able to participate in the tour and no refund is available or will be provided. 
  • Rafting is not suitable for anyone who is pregnant.
  • For your safety you will not be permitted to raft if we detect you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in these instances, no refund will apply. If you have any medical conditions you are worried about, please talk to our friendly team.
  • We highly recommend having your own travel insurance.
  • If you have a medical condition or you are unsure that you are physically able to participate in the activity, we recommend that you consult with a medical practitioner.
  • Hire shoes are available for hire at $5/pair if you do not wish to get your own shoes wet.
  • Action digital photos of the day will be available to buy, at the end of the tour.
  • Prior to your rafting trip you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and sign a liability waiver (either online or on paper).
  • *CANCELLATION POLICY: Free cancellations for bookings cancelled with the operator up to 24 hours before your chosen activity date. No refunds are given for cancellations made within 24 hours or in the event of a no-show.


Frequently Asked Questions for Barron River Rafting

Can I change the date of my tour?

Dates may be changed locally at the discretion of the tour operator. It MUST be resquested up to 24 HOURS before the tour departs.

What if I miss my coach pick-up?

If you are not waiting at the pick-up point at the date and time specified in your booking, then you will forfeit 100% of the total price paid. At the discretion of tour operator, if you miss your coach departure you may be able to reschedule for another day subject to the payment of a rescheduling fee (this covers administration charges and the provision of meals where applicable).

What should I bring?

Please bring lace-up shoes (that WILL get wet), swim suit and towel (you will need to be wearing your swim suit at the time of pick-up), a spare change of clothes, and don't forget the sunscreen. You will be provided with safety equipment, including life jacket, helmet and spray jacket. Bring money for photos and levy BUT please do leave jewellery and valuables at home.

What is the Rafting Levy fee?

The rafting levy is a compulsory charge covering Land Management fees, government charges and taxes, dam water release and part recovery of public risk insurance. The amount is payable locally on the day of your tour, and is subject to change without notice.

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