4- Packrafting Drysdale River
2 to 15 April 2023
31 March to 13 April 2024
Where: DRYSDALE NATIONAL PARK - KIMBERLEY - WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Duration: 14 days
Highlights: Rafting in Northern Australia, Level 1 and 2 rapids, unique Aboriginal art sites, exploring pristine land.
Language: The tour is originally in English
Day Exploration of the Drysdale River.
3 to 16 April 2022
14 Day Exploration of the Drysdale River. Leaving Kununurra by plane, we will fly North-West across the vast Kimberley to the Drysdale River station. Once at the station we will inflate our Alpacka rafts to begin 18 days of paddling along the Drysdale River to Solea Falls. We will take time to explore the extraordinary landscape along the river. We will paddle through tranquil pools linked by long and fun class 1 and 2 rapids. Hidden in space and the past are the hypnotic Gwion Gwion figures, an ancient Aboriginal painting style describing a forgotten time of dancing and ceremonies. We will then meet our sea plane for our return journey to Kununurra.
DRYSDALE RIVER NATIONAL PARK
Duration: 14 days
The expedition starts early on Sunday 3 April 2022. We will meet the planes at Kununurra for our flight up to the Drysdale River station. Drysdale river station is next to the Drysdale river on Kalumburru Road.
Once we have landed, we will load and inflate the rafts.
There will be two people per raft. If you have your own packraft, you are welcome to bring it along. Please advise me early, so that I can make the necessary changes.
We will be using Alpacka rafts that were designed and manufactured in Alaska since 2000. These rafts are made from the most lightweight and durable materials available and are recognised as the benchmark in adventure rafting. They allow you to store all your gear in the inside tubes of the boat, so you will only need to have the gear you need for the day available. You will not need to carry at the end of the rafting, because we will be walking a circuit and can pick them up on our return.
All food and supplies will be taken with us in the plane and the rafts, there is no food drop.
We will paddle the Drysdale for 14 days. I plan to leave camp at 7 am each morning. Our day will start early to avoid paddling in the heat of the day. We will set the camp up around 3pm.
The weather in the area can varies greatly. In April, the season is changing. Day temperatures can still be over 35°. The nights can be hot and humid or just perfect.
At the end of the trip, on Saturday 16 April 2022, a sea plane will take us back to Kununurra. You can also continue the journey with us on foot to explore for 15 days the mysterious Solea Falls area.
Plane flight from Kununurra
Sea Plane flight to Kununurra
Evening 3 course meal
Experienced guide with extensive knowledge of the area
Alpacka raft, helmet and life jacket.
Dry packs to keep on the boat and inside the boat.
Accommodation at Kununurra
First night dinner in Kununurra
Breakfast, lunch and snacks
Farewell dinner in Kununurra
Please view the equipment list to ensure you have the right equipment.
DRYSDALE RIVER DESCRIPTION
Drysdale River National Park is one of the least accessible national park in Australia. There are no public roads, no airstrips and no tracks so it is really appealing environment for the Notraces philosophy. The park is located in the North West corner of the remote West Kimberley. The Drysdale River flows through a pristine landscape of untouched landscape forgotten by the modern world. This is the kingdom of nature. The Park showcases vast tracts of Kimberley wilderness, and features open woodland, gorges, cliffs, waterfalls and the creeks of the Drydale River. Over 600 species of plants are known to exist within the park. About 30 of these are aquatic and swamp varieties. A variety of fauna also exist with in the park including 100 species of birds, wallabies, bats, sugar gliders and salt water crocodiles. The river is a succession of large lazy pools linked by long rapids. Hidden in space and the time are the hypnotic Gwion Gwion figures, an ancient Aboriginal painting style describing a forgotten time of dancing and ceremonies.
NoTraces is the only company to organise a rafting expedition in Drysdale River National Park.
We start our expedition at Kununurra, a one hour charter flight will take us to Drysdale River station. We will then make our way to the Drydale river to commence navigating downstream in Alpacka Rafts. These rafts have been selected for the expedition because they are lightweight and durable, ideal for the conditions we will encounter. The preferred model Sebastien has nominated has a Cargo Fly zipper which allows you to store all the gear in dry bags that are stowed inside tubes on the raft. Thus, our gear will stay dry and the rafts will not be congested.
We will spend the next 14 days exploring the Drysdale river on the rafts, paddling about 20km per day. We will come upon serene billabongs teaming with wildlife, play and swim from sandy beaches and experience the tranquil beauty of the area as we move through the paper bark forests. We will also have fun in easy class 1 and class 2 rapids. Sometimes, we may also need to portage our rafts around the more uncompromising difficult rapids. Each night we will set camp by the river, some you may like to contribute to dinner by catching a fish or just to relax and take in your surroundings.
On the final day, on Saturday 16 April 2022, we will be picked up by the float plane for our return trip to Kununurra.
All rafting equipment will be supplied by NoTraces bushwalking
- Two person Alpacka Forager Raft
- Personal floatation device
- Internal Dry Bags ( to be stowed in the raft tubes)
- External dry bags (for items you will need during the day)
If you have your own equipment that you prefer to use, please contact Sebastien to discuss
The Drysdale River
We will start our packrafting expedition from Drysdale River Station
Our first camp on the Drysdale. It is not far from the start of our expedition
The first days, the river is flowing slowly between the melaleucas in shallow waters
Drysdale flooded pool
The pools on the Drysdale River are connected by fun class 1 and 2 rapids. This one is a class 1 rapid
Enjoying the sunset, listening to the birds singing, feeling the peaceful power of nature
Back to the nature in the early morning
Finding our way on the flooded wet season channels
To the next rapids
To the next short walk exploration
To the next camp
To the next day
To the next pool. Great Egret on the right of the picture
To some more challenging rapids
The very few challenging rapids will involve a portage
The Alpacka raft is great for that too!
Camping on flat hot rock camps
Or on sandy camps in an "out of the time" atmosphere
Jump on the Drysdale with us in April 2022
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