Course Full

Dates: Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February 2019

Venues: Sat: Derwent River, near New Norfolk

Sat Evening: Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay

Sun: To be confirmed as either Derwent or Picton River

Fee: $240 for course instruction

Registration closing date: February 9th, with all payments to be made by this date

Paddle Tasmania will be conducting a Beginner Whitewater Packrafting Course with daytrips based out of Hobart over the weekend of the 16th and 17th February. Practical sessions will be conducted during the day plus a theory session on the Saturday evening. The course will conclude Sunday afternoon (approximately 3:30pm) either from near the Tahune Air Walk (approximately 1.5 hours drive from Hobart) or near New Norfolk (approx. 40 minutes from Hobart).

The course will be led by Paddle Australia Advanced Whitewater Instructors with a maximum ratio of 1:6. The main instructors are Dan Hall and Mark Oates with additional whitewater instructors involved if required. The course is suited to complete novices and those who already paddle grade 2 whitewater. The focus of this course is on developing safety and technical knowledge specific to packrafts being used on grade 2 whitewater and is an ideal foundation for those aspiring to learn to paddle grade 3 safely & competently. There will number of in-water practical components and all participants should be prepared for sessions involving capsizes plus swimming and wading in moving water (wetsuits are recommended or drysuits if available). This course provides the foundation for both the Intermediate Whitewater and Advanced courses and is recommended prior to undertaking an Intermediate Course.

Starting Time & Venue: Saturday 16h Feb 8.15 am – Meet at the Banjos Bakery in New Norfolk at 8:15 am to grab a coffee/snack/lunch before the official start at 8:30 am. From there we will drive out together to the starting location, 10 minutes further north. If any issues with meeting the group at Banjos by 8:30 am then contact the course organiser, Mark Oates on 0409194260.

Evening Session: Saturday 16th Feb 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm – Meet at The Hutchins School Power of 9 Campus which is located next to the Hobart Royal Yacht Club on Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay. This is the rounded-roof building immediately to the north of the main Hobart RYC building.

Saturday night accommodation: Participants need to organise their own accommodation

Sunday 17th Feb: The location for day two depends on both river levels and the group. It may well take place near New Norfolk but on a more challenging section of the Derwent or it may involve a downriver trip on the Picton River near Geeveston and the Tahune Air Walk.

Topics covered will include:

  • Packraft Options, Design & Outfitting

  • Understanding Moving Water

  • Personal Protective Clothing & Paddling Equipment

  • Whitewater Terminology

  • On River Communications and Signals

  • Basic Paddling Strokes

  • Self and Assisted Re-entry Rescues

  • Whitewater Swimming

  • On River Group Management

  • Group Safety Considerations & Equipment

  • Basic Throwbagging

  • Field Repairs & Options

Equipment: Participants will need a packraft, paddle, PFD, whitewater paddling helmet & personal paddling clothing. Participants who don’t have suitable paddling equipment for whitewater are encouraged to hire gear for the course rather than purchase new gear. After completing the course participants will have a much better idea of equipment options and their pros/cons. If you wish to hire a packraft (self-bailing Kokopelli) with paddle, PFD and helmet the cost is $70 for the weekend. Note that the hire of these items is not through Canoe Tasmania and needs to be arranged independently by contacting Mark Oates directly via

Enrolment Form – Beginner Whitewater Packrafting Course

You can register for the waitlist if you are interested. If someone is unable to make the course the first person on the waitlist will be contacted. Please do not forward any payment at this time.