Rafting Q&A with Jordie

Guides navigating the raft to calmer waters | Glenn Walker
Guides navigating the raft to calmer waters | Glenn Walker

Jordie Rieniets is one of our top rafting guides on the Franklin River. A high school teacher by trade specializing in outdoor education and geography, he’s also an avid kayaker and climber and enjoys playing music. Jordie grew up in Moe in Victoria and his favourite trip and place is the Franklin River in Tasmania, and got into guiding as it was a great opportunity to share his love of the environment and nature with other like minded people, and claims it is the best office you can find in any job. This month we sat down with Jordie for a rafting Q&A to find out why the Franklin River is his favourite place to be during the Tassie summer.

1.       Why did you want to be a whitewater rafting guide? When did you know that it was what you wanted to do?

Being on the river is my favourite place to be, so when I found out in my second year of university that working as a whitewater rafting guide was one of the best ways to earn a living on the river, I know it was something that I wanted to do.

2.       What is the best part of rafting on the Franklin River?

The best part is there isn't a bad part! It's hard to pinpoint one thing but a few things that come to mind is the remoteness of the area, the sheer beauty and the people whom you'll share it with.

3.       You are a whitewater rafting guide in the Tasmanian summer; what do you do during the rest of the year? What do your fellow guides do?

Over the past few years I've been working up on the Larapinta Trail in Alice Springs and throughout the Northern Territory as a bushwalking guide for Australian Walking Holidays, but this year I am heading to Canada to do some raft guiding over there. My fellow guides also raft guide overseas and in Australia on other rivers while another is a school teacher.

4.       What keeps you coming back as a river rafting guide year after year?

The excitement of the job is a big draw card as well as the opportunity to hang out in boats all summer which is pretty appealing as well.

5.       What’s your most memorable rafting experience?

Being able to see the Franklin in full flood. Not many other people get to see this.

6.       What are the biggest misconception people have about the job?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that guides sit in the back and steer the raft without much effort. This is the case sometimes but very rarely. Rafting calls for a series of manoeuvres that enable you to steer the boat and overcome the boulders and other obstacles, so guides need to be very observant and have a certain skill set to navigate each rapid.

7.       What sort of experiences can people expect to come away from a paddling trip with?

People that come down the Franklin can expect a completely unique and exciting experience like no other. It really is a magical place of extreme beauty and power and has a habit of affecting people in a very significant way.

8.       Clearly you enjoy your job. What are some of your favourite things about it?

Some of my favourite things are the people and fellow guides you experience the river with, the places rafting allows you to access, the beautiful places you get to spend most of your time in, and having the opportunity to provide people with an experience that they can only really get by coming on a rafting trip down the Franklin.

9.       Any other advice for people planning on rafting the Franklin River?

Try to book before Christmas if you want good rafting water levels! After Christmas there are usually more sunny days but less water. Also, don't have any set expectations as the river changes daily, and bring a friend to share the experience with. As you can probably tell, Jordie is super passionate about the Franklin River and so are we! Are you ready for your next adventure? Head to our Franklin River Rafting trip page and lock in the 9 day rafting expedition. Season runs from November to February. If you want to add another activity to your rafting experience, consider the Franklin River and Frenchman’s Cap trip, which includes a 2 day trek to the summit of Frenchman’s Cap. Check out this recent article and transport yourself to the Franklin River and read about the heritage of the river and one of the most inspirational men who protected it: Geoff Law.

Our Team

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