FAQ

Here are some of the common questions we have been asked.

If you have any need for further information you can send us an email on the Contact Us page.

  1. I would like to go white water rafting. How can I join a rafting trip?
  2. How do I contact the club?
  3. Do you have a Facebook page?
  4. Can anyone come white water rafting?
  5. How old do you have to be to join your club?
  6. How much does it cost to come on a trip with you?
  7. What is your membership refund policy?
  8. What is an “Intro Trip”?
  9. I couldn’t make it to one of your intro trips. Can I still come on a rafting trip with you?
  10. What should I wear white water rafting?
  11. What else should I bring with me on a trip?
  12. Can I wear glasses on river?
  13. How safe is white water rafting?
  14. What safety gear will I wear while white water rafting?
  15. What medical conditions will prevent me from rafting?
  16. Do we go white water rafting if it is raining?
  17. Do you need to know how to swim to go white water rafting?
  18. How do I find you?
  19. Can I borrow rafting gear from the club for my own trip?
  20. What are river grades?

 

I would like to go white water rafting. How can I join a rafting trip?

Keep an eye on the Events page or our Facebook page, all upcoming trips are posted on there. The majority of our trips are single-day trips but we also like to go away for weekends and camp, particularly if the drive is more than 2 hours. Some trips can be announced at short notice due to the rain dependency of some rivers. Should you wish to come please contact the trip organiser or comment on the event page.

If you do wish to join a trip and you aren’t already a member we ask that you sign up and pay your membership fee on the website before the day.

How do I contact the club?

If you want to contact us, send us an email using the Contact Us page on our website and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Do you have a Facebook page?

We do! We would love you to join our Facebook group I’ve gotten wet with the Tas Uni Rafting Club. Many of our club members, past and present, are part of the group and we encourage active socialising on there. It is a great place to ask questions, post photos of your last rafting trip and maybe even get a group of people together to organise a future trip. Its also a great place to find out about last-minute rafting trips.

Can anyone come white water rafting?

The majority of our trips are suitable for all levels and we welcome new members whenever we go rafting. Our experienced guides will provide you with all of the equipment and training you require on the day. We never get on river without a comprehensive safety brief so we can ensure that everyone has a great time. If a particular experience level is required for a trip this will be stated in the trip description, although it is very uncommon.

White water rafting requires a reasonable level of fitness and a moderate swimming ability as this is a water sport and you may end up in the water. It is also important that you don’t have any major injuries that may be aggravated by movements such as sitting, paddling and swimming.

How old do you have to be to join your club?

As of Wednesday 1st April 2015 the Working with Children Registration has come into effect. This means that we as a club, are not permitted to have members under the age of 18 unless we are registered and our volunteers hold current WWC Registration cards. In extension, at this point in time we cannot permit anybody under the age of 18 to join our trips or take part in our social events.

How much does it cost to come on a trip with you?

If you are a current UTAS student: $15 per year for membership and a one-off payment of $40 for your first trip.

If you are not a student: $40 per year and a one-off payment of $40 for your first trip.

We don’t charge anything further for rafting trips but we ask that you bring along some extra money to chip in for petrol costs (we try to car pool) and we like to stop off at a local bakery for a coffee/snack/lunch on our way to the river.

What is your membership refund policy?

The club will not offer refund of membership or intro trip fees for any reason, as we feel that there is plenty of opportunity to for club members to participate. However if you have paid your intro trip fee and where unable to come on an intro trip that you may have signed up to don’t worry! You can come on another and use your into trip fee for that, or you can come on any trip and that can be your intro trip!

What is an “Intro Trip”?

Intro trips are run at the beginning of university semesters when the club has a large number of signups. They are generally run on easier rivers and feature a BBQ or provided lunch on river. They are design to give new members a taste of rafting without too much adrenalin before everyone has got the hang of being on river. They are a great place to meet people and find out what the club is about. But what if you missed all the intro trips or joined halfway through semester? No worries, you don’t have to participate in an intro trip before you go on other club trips. You can go on any club trip provided that the guides on the day feel that you have enough experience for the particular river and conditions.

I couldn’t make it to one of your intro trips. Can I still come on a rafting trip with you?

We run intro trips at the start of each semester to encourage new students to join our club and come and see why we love white water rafting in Tasmania. There’s no requirement that our members join these trips before they can take part in any of our other organised rafting trips. All of our trips are open to new members and our guides will ensure that everyone has proper training in safety and white water rafting techniques when we arrive at the river. The only thing we require is that you pay the one-off $40 fee if it is your first trip.

What should I wear white water rafting?

We have one rule when it comes to clothing on river: No cotton!

We ask this because we know that cotton will not keep you warm when it gets wet and its no fun being cold and wet with another 3 hours of rafting before your can get off river. Our guides will remind everyone again on the day. We can’t stress the importance of this enough.

The water here in Tasmania is cold most of the year so we encourage you to wear warm layers so you don’t get cold when you get wet. The club has a range of wetsuits available to borrow and we prefer that you wear a thermal layer underneath to keep you warm. Our recommendations are either merino or polypro thermals, long sleeved top and bottoms, as well as woollen or neoprene socks to keep your feet warm. You will need to bring secure footwear that will not come off your feet while rafting such as sandals with ankle straps, Dunlop volleys (cheap and a club favourite) or old running shoes. Thongs are not appropriate footwear for white water rafting. The club also provides all required safety equipment, including life vests and helmets.

If you have any further questions about clothing send us an email on our Contact Us page.

What else should I bring with me on a trip?

Towel
Dry set of warm clothes (for travelling home in)
Dry shoes
Waterproof camera (we love posting your rafting pics!)
Sunscreen
Garbage Bags for wet gear
Snacks/Lunch
Money for petrol and bakery stops

Can I wear glasses on river?

For safety reasons we strongly encourage wearing contact lenses while rafting. There’s no guarantee that your glasses won’t break or fall off on river, and they can be expensive to replace! Glasses can also fog up or appear blurry when wet (which happens a lot while rafting), obscuring your view of the beautiful surroundings or oncoming danger. You can buy contact lenses from the many optometrists in the Hobart CBD and Sandy Bay. Expect to pay around $90 for 30 pairs of dailies (prices may vary depending on the brand and the condition of your eyesight). You will need to book an appointment if you do not have a current prescription.

If contact lenses are not an option, tying the handles of your glasses around the back of your head with some tape or string will usually hold them in position once your helmet is securely fastened.

How safe is white water rafting?

Rafting is an adventure sport that involves a degree of risk on the part of the participant. We take precautions through risk management, trained guides and high quality equipment to help you have a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Our guides are trained in first aid, CPR, river reading, river navigation and white water rescue. On each trip we carry an emergency beacon, first aid kit and a rescue kit to ensure your safety while on river.

We are not be responsible for lost or damaged articles and/or personal injury and require you to acknowledge these risks. By reading and agreeing to join the club you acknowledge and agree to a liability release.

What safety gear will I wear while white water rafting?

All rafters are issued with personal flotation devices (life jackets) and helmets. These are checked for fit by guides once at the shed and once more at the river. We also have wetsuits you can borrow to keep you warm and your river guides have a range of other safety equipment on board the rafts.

What medical conditions will prevent me from rafting?

Injuries, pregnancy and some life threatening heart conditions do not mix with rafting. If you are unsure please feel free to Contact Us. If you have allergies (especially those requiring you to carry an EpiPen) please let us know and bring along any essential medication. Our river guides are trained in first aid but the remote location of many of Tasmania’s rivers means emergency medical care may be quite a few hours away.

Do we go white water rafting if it is raining?

We run our white water rafting trips in all weather conditions and have gear available to help keep you comfortable in the cold. For trips to run we need water so wet weather is often associated with rafting. Tasmania’s weather is notoriously unpredictable so weather is rarely a reason for cancellation.

Do you need to know how to swim to go white water rafting?

Rafting requires a moderate swimming ability as this is a water sport and you may end up in fast moving water water.

How do I find you?

On the morning of a rafting trip we usually meet up at the Olinda Grove Sports Ground to pack our gear and get fitted for safety equipment before we travel to our chosen river. We can also organise a pick up from the TUU Activities Centre if you are a student or you don’t have a car. Please contact the trip leader if you need to arrange to be picked up or you need any more information.

We also have members who are located in the north of the state who run trips and may require members to meet up at an alternative location. Please read the details of the Event page and if you have any questions contact the trip leader for more information.

Can I borrow rafting gear from the club for my own trip?

The club does not allow for club gear to be borrowed or rented (it’s an insurance thing!). Club gear can only be used on club trips on which all participants need to be paid members so they are covered by insurance.

The club has a couple of tents and sleeping mats that can be borrowed on overnight club trips.

What are river grades?

River grades are a way of classifying rivers and rapids by their level of technical skill required and risk of injury. The majority of the rivers run by the Tasmanian University White Water Rafting Club fall into Grade I-III and are suitable for beginner and intermediate rafters. Occasionally we run trips on rivers with Grade IV or V rapids but we generally ‘portage’ these rapids (carry the boats around the rapid or line them through and walk to the bottom) as they are considered too dangerous to run. Some rivers have Grade IV rapids that are safe to run but these trips are for more advanced members and we require highly skilled guides for these rivers.

Grade I: Easy, smooth water with clear passages; occasional sand banks and gentle curves.
Grade II: Moderate. Medium-quick water and rapids with regular waves; clear and open passages between rocks. Manoeuvring required.
Grade III: Moderately difficult. Numerous irregular, high waves; rocks and eddies with passages clear but narrow and requiring experience to run. If rapids are unknown, visual inspection is required.
Grade IV: Difficult. Long and powerful rapids and standing waves; souse holes and boiling eddies. Precise and powerful manoeuvring is required and visual inspection is mandatory. Advanced preparation for possible rescue is necessary.
Grade V: Extremely difficult. Long and violent rapids that follow with no interruption. River filled with obstructions. Violent current and extremely deep gradient. Rescue preparations are mandatory. Can only be run by top experts in specially-equipped whitewater canoes, decked craft and kayaks.
Grade VI: Extraordinarily difficult. Paddlers face constant threat of death due to extreme danger. Not recommended for anyone except Olympic-level rafters.

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