Intermediate Whitewater Packraft Course

Course full – to sign up for the waiting list email:


Intermediate Whitewater Packraft Course

Dates: Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December, 2017

Venue: Mersey White Water Regional Reserve

Accommodation: Camping (own tents) @ Arm River Outdoor Education Centre

Fee: $245 includes course and camping fee (Saturday night only)

Course Numbers: Spaces are limited so don’t delay registering.

Registration closing date: November 30th, with all payments to be made by this date.

Canoe Tasmania will be conducting an Intermediate Whitewater Packrafting Course at the Mersey White Water Regional Reserve in north-west Tasmania in early December. To learn more about the section of the Mersey the group will utilise, see:

The group will be camp at the Arm River Outdoor Education Centre on the Saturday night. Practical and theory sessions will be conducted including an evening theory session on the Saturday. The course will conclude on the Sunday afternoon at about 3:30pm

The course will be run by Australian Canoeing Advanced Whitewater Instructors Dan Hall and Mark Oates. It is ideally suited to those who currently paddle grade 2 rivers as well as those who are aspiring to learn to paddle grade 3 safely & competently. The focus of this course is on developing safety and technical knowledge specific to packrafts being used on grade 2+ whitewater. There will number of in-water practical components and all participants should be prepared for sessions involving capsizes and rescues plus swimming and wading in moving water (wetsuits are highly recommended or drysuits if available).

Starting Time & Venue: Saturday 9th December – Meet at 9.00 am for a 9:30 am official start. The starting venue is the Day Use Area, adjacent to the slalom site, at the Mersey White Water Regional Reserve (where there are toilet facilities, a shelter, fire pits and tables and you can overlook the slalom course). This is located between Lake Parangana and Lake Rowallan on the Mersey Forest Road – on the left 1km after crossing the Arm River and it is where the road goes back to bitumen for a short distance.

Google Maps reference: -41.697302, 146.217777

Saturday night accommodation: This involves camping at the Arm River Outdoor Education Centre in order to utilse the toilets/showers there as well as a teaching room. As another paddling group (slalom training) is staying there we are unable to use the communal dormitories or small kitchen. As such participants will need to bring their own tent and full sleeping kit plus a stove. Regarding stoves, for those flying in from interstate, Mark Oates (if notified) can arrange Trangia stoves and fuel for anyone who requires them. Participants do need to bring all food for the duration of the course as there are no shops or services at all nearby.

Note that there is almost no phone coverage after you leave Mole Creek and definitely none at either the paddling or accommodation venues. All participants are expected to stay at the Arm River Outdoor Education Centre for Saturday night as an information session will take place there after dinner. The camp is located approximately 850m up Maggs Road (take the first turn right after crossing the Arm River on the Mersey Forest Road).

Google Maps reference: -41.691077, 146.207297

Paddling Equipment: Participants will need to provide and bring a packraft & all personal paddling gear including a decent PFD, paddle and whitewater paddling helmet. If required, self-bailing packrafts with thigh straps can be hired for the course @ $40 per day – this needs to be arranged directly with Mark Oates, the Course Coordinator, prior to the course and not via Canoe Tasmania. Contact to arrange hire.

Topics covered will include:

  • Packraft Design and Models & Outfitting Options
  •  Defensive and Aggressive Swimming in Moving Water

  • Personal Protective Clothing & Paddling Equipment
  • Throwbagging Techniques and Practice
  • Group Safety Considerations & Equipment
  • Self and Assisted Rescues
  • On River Group Management
  • Basic Technical Strokes
  • Overnight Equipment, Tools & Resources Info
  • Paddling Techniques for Entering and Exiting Eddies

  • Raft Repairs & Options


If you are interested in this course and would like to be on the waiting list in case we get an opening please email: