River Drift Experience

If you love nature and the water, this is the perfect tour for you!
Elle M.
Absolutely amazing!
All the guides are very knowledgeable and helpful.
It was fun, adventurous and relaxing.
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Exciting update about our tour

We are thrilled to share some fantastic news! Our popular ‘River Drift Snorkelling’ tour has evolved to bring you an enhanced experience, now aptly renamed ‘River Drift’. This change beautifully captures the essence of our tour while adjusting to the new wonders nature has presented.

After Cyclone Jasper, the Mossman River has unveiled new areas for us to explore, adding a fresh dimension to the River Drift experience. While we have temporarily paused snorkelling, we’ve introduce a river walk through these fresh landscapes. Equipped with river sleds, you’ll experience varying river flows—from calm glides under lush canopies to exhilarating navigation through faster currents.

Join us to celebrate this new chapter! We’re eager to share the revitalised ‘River Drift Experience’.  Your support means everything to us as we continue to offer unforgettable experiences in this spectacular part of the world.

Looking forward to welcoming you for a river and rainforest adventure!

Warmest regards,

The Back Country Bliss Adventures Team

What to expect

Escape into the rainforest on our River Drift Experience a perfect retreat from the heat, located just 20 minutes north of Port Douglas.

Beginning with a river walk, where the shallow or dry riverbed serves as your path upstream, completely enveloped by the rainforest. This unique journey allows you to traverse the river’s course on foot, surrounded by the serene beauty of nature, before transitioning to a different section of the river for the next phase of your adventure.

Here, equipped with river sleds, you’ll experience the varied pace of the river’s flow, which can fluctuate depending on the water levels. Glide through calmer sections under a lush canopy, then feel the exhilaration of navigating faster currents as you skilfully steer through the natural surroundings.

This blend of peaceful exploration and thrilling adventure offers a deeply immersive outdoor experience, showcasing the diverse beauty of the Mossman River and its surrounding rainforest.

Children floating in the rainforest

Frequently asked questions

Who is this for?

Our adventure is filled with beautiful surprises and unforgettable moments. However, one surprise we want to avoid is guests discovering they are not physically suitable for the tour.

While the overwhelming majority of our guests thoroughly enjoy the experience with ease, it’s important to note that our tour is physical in nature, and requires a certain level of fitness and mobility. Most people who lead an active lifestyle and have a reasonable level of fitness will have no issues participating in our tour.

Before you book, we want to ensure that all our guests have a safe and enjoyable time. To do so, we have some basic requirements that all participants must meet.

What you’ll need to be able to do

Paddling

Our river sleds are controlled by paddling, similar to how one would paddle while laying on a surfboard. While you don’t need to be a professional athlete, you should have enough upper body strength and endurance to paddle for short periods. If you’ve ever tried to paddle on a surfboard, you’ll have a good idea of the kind of effort required. This is a key part of navigating certain sections of our river, and enjoying the full experience.

Carrying Equipment

Each guest will be responsible for their own river sled, which weighs approximately 3kg. You’ll need to be able to carry this equipment over short distances, and they have convenient handles to make this easier.

Navigating Uneven Terrain

Our tour includes walking through a river bed mostly made up of sand, with some sections of round, loose rocks, as well as a rainforest trail with uneven ground. This requires balance, stability, and the ability to walk on irregular surfaces. If you’ve ever walked along a pebbly beach or walked along the uneven surfaces of a dry creek bed, you’ll understand the kind of mobility required. This ability to adapt to changing and uneven surfaces is crucial for safely navigating our river and rainforest trail.

Exiting the River

Our tour can finsih in multiple locations, depedning on the amount of water in the river. At the end of the tour, you may need to exit the river by climbing up a few of steps made from strong tree roots, similar to climbing a ladder. This climb is approximately 1-2 feet high. It requires some lower body strength, upper body strength for grip, and the ability to climb without assistance. If you’re comfortable climbing a small ladder or a steep set of stairs, you should be able to handle this part of our adventure.

Water Confidence

Our river tour is an immersive water experience. Therefore, it’s essential that all adults are comfortable in water and able to swim. This doesn’t mean you need to be an Olympic swimmer, but you should be able to handle yourself confidently in a water environment. If you’re unsure about your water confidence, consider how you feel when you’re in a swimming pool or at the beach. Can you enter the water without fear, move around comfortably, and exit without assistance? If so, you’re likely to be just fine on our tour. We provide life jackets free of charge, however they are not a replacement for knowing how to swim.

Treading Water

During our river tour, there may be times when you’ll need to tread water. This means staying afloat in one place, using only your own physical ability. You don’t need to be able to do this for hours on end, but you should be able to tread water without assistance. This is a basic safety requirement for participation in our tour.

Self Assessment

Your safety is our top priority, and we rely on you to assess your own abilities honestly. It’s crucial to understand that overestimating your abilities can not only impact the overall experience for the group, but also create a safety risk. Our tour guides are always there to ensure everyone navigates our river experience safely. However, if a guide needs to divert their attention to provide extensive assistance to one individual, it can slow down the tour and limit the time we have to enjoy all the wonderful aspects of our river adventure.

Please note that refunds are not guaranteed if our guides decide on the day of the tour that you’re unsuitable to participate. This decision would be made based on safety considerations and the need to ensure an enjoyable experience for the entire group.

 

Essential Information for Participants

We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all our guests. As part of this commitment, there are certain requirements and restrictions that we must adhere to. We understand that these may not suit everyone, and we apologise if any of these prevent you from being able to participate in our tour.

Medical Questionnaire and Liability Release Form

For your safety and the safety of our other guests, all participants are required to complete a medical questionnaire and sign a liability release form before joining our tour.

Mobility and Injuries

Our tour is not suitable for individuals with limited mobility, or current or chronic injuries that could impact their ability to fully participate in the activities. This includes, but is not limited to, difficulty walking, back injuries or limited movement of knees, ankles, shoulders, etc.

Pregnancy

Due to the risk of falling on the stomach, sudden jarring movements, and impacts, our tour is not suitable for anyone who is pregnant. We understand that situations can change after bookings are made. If you become pregnant after booking your tour, please let us know as soon as possible. We will be more than happy to reschedule your tour for a later date or provide a full refund.

Weight Limit

Our maximum recommended weight limit is 120kg/265lb. This is due to the limitations of our equipment. If you are near or over this weight, a good level of fitness and mobility is required to participate in our tour. We encourage anyone with concerns about this to contact us directly so we can discuss the specifics of the tour, and the challenges that may arise.

If you have any concerns or questions about these requirements, please contact us before booking.

What to bring?

Swimwear
Guests no longer require our wetsuits, so all you need to bring is some shorts to swim in and a shirt/rashie. Bikinis and bathers are not advisable. There are no change rooms at the river, so please wear your swimmers underneath your clothes.

Towel & comfortable footwear
Thongs or sandals are fine as boots are provided

You can’t spend any money on this tour
Leave all valuables behind, including any loose fitting jewellery and rings that can be removed

Waterproof camera
Gopro’s and waterproof cameras can be brought at owners risk. We highly reccomend a wrist strap.

Prescription glasses with case
These can be worn to help with walking to the river, our guide can store them in a waterproof bag when you’re in the water.

 

Anything you won’t be swimming with, will be left in our vehcile at your own risk.

Whats Included?

Hotel transfers from Port Douglas & Mossman

River sled to float on
Smaller sleds availble for children

Dive boots and Thermal top
Max boot size US 13

Life jacket (PFD)
If required please contact us before your tour to check that the river is suitable

Experienced river trained guides

Free tour photos
Posted on our Facebook Page after each tour.
Due to the nature of our tour, photos are not guaranteed.
You are always welcome to bring a waterproof camera with wrist strap along with you.

Light snacks after the tour
We provide drinking water and biscuits.

Free tour photos

Free tour photos are available for all guests on our shared tours.

Examples of previous tour photos can be viewed on our Back Country Bliss facebook page.

Due to the nature of our activity, there may be times we are unable to guarantee photos.

All guests are required to sign a media release as photos are shared online, and may be used to advertise Back Country Bliss Adventures on social media & print advertising.

All guests can easily choose to opt-out of photos when completing their waiver form if they do not consent.

You are welcome to bring your own waterproof camera (at own risk). We highly reccomend a wrist strap.

How long does the tour go for?

From Port Douglas, the tour takes approx. 3.5 return including transfers.

We aim to spend up to 2 hours in the river, but this can vary based on group size. Smaller groups may finish earlier, based on reduced time taken for pickups/getting ready.

Child Policy

Children love this tour, however please note the below requiremnts:

  • Minimum age is 4
  • Child price is for ages 4-15 inclusive
  • Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18
  • Guests aged 16 & 17 must have their waiver and medical form signed by a parent or guardian over 18
  • Child booster seats available free of charge for children under 7
  • You are responsible for any children in your care

Our family rate is for 2 x adults + 2 x children (4-15)
If a family rate is booked with children older than 15, we will update your booking to reflect the correct charges and send a payment request for the remaining balance.

This discounted rate is only availble when you book directly with us.

 

River Conditions and Age Requirements

Being in a river means that the water is always moving. In our summer months (Jan-Mar), the river levels increase, and the water flow becomes stronger. Even with increased river levels, we still only operate within a small window of the river’s range due to safety. It’s important to note that during this time, the stronger water flow can present more challenges for lighter individuals, particularly children, due to their lower body mass.

With this in mind, we’ve established the following guidelines to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all our guests:

Low River Level

When the river level is low (which is most of the year), our activity is generally suitable for all ages (4+).

Intermediate River Levels

Between the low and high river levels, we make judgement calls on the minimum age that we will allow on the tour. These decisions are based on the current conditions, the individual’s age, size, swimming ability, and overall fitness.

High River Level

When the river level is higher, the faster flowing water (while fun), presents more of a challenge. During these times, our tour is only suitable for strong swimmers, (generally 14+), with good fitness and mobility. This is to ensure the safety of all participants, as navigating faster flowing water requires more strength and skill.

In all cases, we make a judgement call based on the current conditions, the individual’s age, size, swimming ability, and overall fitness. If we dont think the conditions are suitable, we will try to reschedule your tour, or offer a full refund. We appreciate your understanding that these decisions are made with everyone’s safety in mind.

 

What about crocodiles?

Mossman river

We don’t swim with crocs!

You should always be Croc-wise in Croc country; that is why you can rest assured that our tour operates in a very safe, Croc-Free stretch of water.

Crocodiles use the water, sun and shade to maintain their preferred body temperature of 30–33°C.

Where we swim is too clear, too cold at 16-22°C, and too shaded for crocodiles.

The cool water is one reason we provide you with a very fashionable wetsuit to use during your tour.

The best way to see crocodiles in the wild, is with Bruce Belcher’s wildlife cruises on the Daintree River (not the same river)

Tour schedule & transfers

Our tours depart every day of the year except Christmas day

Departure times vary based on the day and pickup location. Please check your booking confirmation for exact pickup times, or contact our office if unsure.

Port Douglas

Morning Tour Afternoon Tour
9.00am –  12.30pm 2.00pm –  5.30pm


Cairns & Northern Beaches

There are multiple shuttle companies that can transfer you to Port Douglas. Please choose Wildlife habitat as the pickup point and ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled pickup time.

Self-drivers

While we still need to drive you the last bit, this is a great option if you’re travelling up from Cairns, or simply wanting a more flexible day.

Mossman

This is the closest meeting point to where our tour operates, and a great option if you’re planning to visit Mossman Gorge or travel north to the Daintree. We meet guests at George Davis Park Mossman, in front of the toilet block (under the giant trees).

Pickup is approx. 20 minutes after our Port Douglas pickups

Port Douglas

The closest pickup point from Cairns & Palm Cove. We meet guests at the Wildlife Habitat carpark.

Transfers

Return transfers from all major Port Douglas accommodations are included in your tour price. There may be times where we ask you to meet close by at an alternative location.

If you are not waiting at your pick-up point at the date and time specified in your booking, you will forfeit 100% of the total price paid.

Pick up times are approximate and can vary due to factors outside our control. Wherever possible we will contact you directly or your hotel reception to inform you of any delays/changes.

If your accommodation is not in our pickup list when booking, please choose “other location” at the bottom of the list, fill in your accommodation details and we will contact you with further info.

Can I meet you at the river?

Due to limited parking and a different finish location, we can’t meet you at the river.

The closest place to meet us is in Mossman, 5 minutes away. This is a great place to meet us if you are planning to visit Mossman Gorge in the afternoon, or continue north towards the Daintree.

Do we still run the tour if it is raining?

Generally yes!

However, it depends on how much rain and also where the rain is falling.
1-5mm of rain will hardly wet the ground in the tropics, so please don’t worry if this is the forecast.

If you have any concerns, please contact us for an update on the river conditions, as heavy rain can influence the safety and overall enjoyment of this tour.

As this tour is weather dependent, it may be cancelled in conditions of heavy rainfall or extreme weather. If this occurs, an alternative date will be offered, or you will be refunded in full.

Can I be a spectator?

Unfortunately not.

Due to the tour starting and finishing in different locations, there are no suitable areas to sit and watch.

How cold is the water?

The water temperature varies between 16-22C (60-71F) year round. We provide an extra thermal layer during winter, gloves are also available to use.

Cancellation Policy

As this tour is weather dependent, it may be cancelled in conditions of heavy rainfall or extreme weather. If this occurs, an alternative date will be offered, or you will be refunded in full.

  • Cancellations outside of 72 hours from departure — no charge
  • Cancellations within 48-72 hours before departure — 50% charge
  • Cancellations less than 48 hours before departure, or no show — 100% cancellation fee applies
  • Date changes are free of charge, but must be received by email or phone, 48 hours prior to tour departure
  • All changes are subject to availability and made at the discretion of the operator
Booking Terms & Conditions

Children love this tour, however please note the below requirements:

  • Minimum age is 4*
  • Child price is for ages 4-15 inclusive
  • All children 4-8 are required to wear a PFD/life jacket (provided)
  • Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18
  • Guests aged 16 & 17 must have their waiver and medical form signed by a parent or guardian over 18
  • Child booster seats available free of charge for children under 7
  • You are responsible for the safety of any children in your care

Our family rate is for 2 x adults + 2 x children (4-15)
If a family rate is booked with children older than 15, we will update your booking to reflect the correct charges and send a payment request for the remaining balance.

This discounted rate is only availble when you book directly with us.

Do I need to confirm my tour?

While not necessary, we appreciate if you call or email 24 hours before travel to confirm accommodation details and pick up time. We can also update you on the river conditions.

Do I need my voucher?

If you’ve booked the tour directly with Back Country Bliss, there is no need to bring any vouchers or confirmation emails.
If the tour has been booked through a travel desk/Travel agent, please bring your voucher along with you to give to the guide.

Full terms and conditions can be found HERE

Medical declaration & liability waiver

All guests are required to complete a medical declaration form & sign our liability waiver to participate in this tour.

Assumption of risks

Your safety is our number one priority.  However there will always be risks involved with participating in recreational activities.
By signing our liability waiver, you acknowledge that there are numerous risks you may face during your involvement in the activities.

Medical declaration


For safety reasons, some medical conditions, disabilities or impairments may exclude participants from our River Drift Snorkelling tour.

You understand that this activity requires physical exertion and it is your responsibility to make sure you’re healthy enough to participate.

Any serious medical condition or history may disallow you from participating in the tour.

If you have any concerns about your suitability, please contact us before booking.

Refunds are not guaranteed if you are deemed unsuitable to participate on the day of the tour.

Bookings and enquiries

 

Our small groups fill up quickly, so we advise booking ahead to avoid missing out.

 

Waiting List

If our tours are full on the date you’re after, you can easily join our waiting list.

We will always try our best to fit you in on the date requested, or offer you an alternative.

Need more info?

Call our office 7 days a week between 8am-4:30pm on 07 4099 3677

Or email: sales@backcountrybliss.com.au

Group bookings

For private tours or larger groups, please contact our office to discuss.

Payments

We accept the following payments online