Intermediate Whitewater Packraft Course November 7-8, 2020

Intermediate Whitewater Packraft Course

Dates: Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th November 2020

Venue: Mersey White Water Regional Reserve

Accommodation: Camping (own tents) @ Berlin Wall campsite

Fee: $365   non-members;  $290 members

Course Numbers: Spaces are limited due to low instructor-student ratios

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

Note: There are restrictions for people coming to Tasmania, all travelers must complete a G2G before entering and will be required to isolate for 14 days.


Paddle Tasmania Development Officer: Sandra Kent 0497 656 710 (for any enquiries about registration and payments)

Course Coordinator: Dan Hall 0434 861 887 or Mark Oates 0409 194 260 for any enquiries about course details or suitability.

Course Program: Paddle Tasmania will be conducting an Intermediate Whitewater Packrafting Course at the Mersey White Water Regional Reserve in north-west Tasmania in early November. This course involves camping (BYO tent and camping gear) adjacent to the Mersey River. To learn more about the section of the Mersey the group will utilise, see:

The course will be run by Paddle Australia Advanced Whitewater Instructors Dan Hall and Mark Oates but may also include additional instructors. 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. If you are unsure as to whether this is the right level of course for you please refer to the information click here.

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 7th November – Meet at 9.30 am for a 10.00 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°41’59.48″S 146°13’5.51″E

Saturday night accommodation: This involves camping at the Berlin Wall campsite 850m from the day use and slalom area. It is a 3-minute drive or a 10-minute walk between the two venues. Note that there are no toilets at the campsite so participants are encouraged to take the 10-minute walk to the day use area to access the toilets there. Participants will need to bring their own tent, camping gear and full sleeping and cooking kit. Regarding stoves, for those flying in from interstate, Mark Oates (if notified) can arrange Trangia stoves and fuel for anyone who requires them. Participants 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 camping venues.

To find the Berlin Wall campsite from the Mersey White Water Day Use / Slalom area, travel 600m further along the Mersey Forest Road then turn left down a dirt track and follow this for 250m to a cleared area beside the river. 2WD vehicles are fine on this track.

Google Maps reference: 41°42’18.25″S 146°13’15.09″E

Course Conclusion: The course will conclude on the Sunday afternoon at about 3:30pm. It is not recommended that interstate paddlers book return flights on the Sunday prior to 6:30pm however participants may leave the course early if they need to.

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, a small number of 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 Paddle Tasmania. Contact to arrange hire. Alternatively packrafts can be hired through:

Equipment List:

  • packraft with some form of attached bow and stern perimeter lines
  • WW PFD (personal floatation device)
  • WW kayak helmet (NOT a climbing or bike helmet)
  • WW paddle
  • Full wetsuit or ¾ wetsuit with drytop or cag OR a full drysuit
  • Appropriate footwear for paddling and walking
  • Drybag for carrying essential gear during trips
  • Lightweight pack in case we need to walk into or out of a river
  • Personal medications, sunscreen, etc

Optional if available: throwbag, river knife, slings, carabiners, personal rescue gear

  • Tent & all camping gear
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Lots of warm clothes
  • ALL FOOD for the 2-day duration
  • All cooking gear
  • Thermos or similar (optional)


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


Become a member and receive 20% off all courses read about other member benefits

To register click here

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