Whitewater Wishlist: The Top Ten Whitewater Rafting Trips

Turkey's Coruh River and the North Johnstone in Queensland, Australia
  |  Gorp.com

The Coruh, Turkey
For rafters interested in combining rapids with religion—and kayakers looking for culture—it doesn't get any better than Turkey's Class III-IV Coruh River, which takes paddlers past Byzantine and Seljuk Turk castles on the way to the infamous Yusufeli Gorge. Although different sections can be done in different time frames, 170-mile trips start near the northeast town of Bayburt and end at Artvin near the border with Georgia. The only hard part is keeping your eyes off the castles long enough to negotiate the solid Class III-IV whitewater.

The North Johnstone, Queensland, Australia
While most people head to Cairns, in Australia's northeast corner, to dive the Great Barrier Reef, another site on UNESCO's World Heritage list awaits paddlers just a rugby ball's kick away. Thundering through one of the oldest rainforests in the world—one that has repeatedly escaped the ravages of ice ages striking farther north—the North Johnstone cuts through Crocodile Dundee country for more than fifty miles before merging with the Pacific just south of the Barrier Reef. Along the way paddlers encounter towering cicadia palms, secret aboriginal caves, and countless Class IV-V whitewater that even Dundee himself would have trouble negotiating without the able help of a guide bolstered by a can of Fosters.

Eugene Buchanan lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he has worked as editor and publisher of Paddler magazine since 1992. He is an accomplished freelance writer whose credits include The New York Times and Men's Journal, Outside, Powder, Ski, and Sports Afield magazines.

Published: 20 Jun 2001 | Last Updated: 3 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »