River Tubing On The Mulgrave River Near Cairns With The Kids

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The kids and I did a whole heap of fun (and sometimes scary) adventures when we were away in Cairns and Port Douglas.

It’s taking me forever to sort through the photos. I blame my PT office job writing a website with Autism Spectrum Australia. But mustn’t grumble as I have spent some of my well-gotten gains on a new computer and so working on the photos is MUCH faster than it used to be.

And today, let me show you some photos from a really hilarious half day of river tubing which the twins and I did from Cairns.  Teen17 went proper whitewater rafting, but the twins are eight and so too young to be able to do that.

The river tubing is fine for kids over the age of five.


‘Welcome to my office,’ said Mikey, our main guide for the morning.

You know in life there are guides and guides and some are keen and fresh and enthusiastic, and others a bit jaded.

Well, Mikey was just terrific, full of beans, funny, dead keen and great with the kids. He kept up very amused as well as safe and sound.


Once kitted up we carted the tubes up the riverbank and then hopped in for the first gentle ride downstream.


The rapids got a bit busy as we headed for this bridge.

Kids jump off bridge

All the kids on the trip loved leaping off the bridge… so did I but there’s no photographic proof of my daring leaps.


We then went down some more rapid rapids… and at the end we could carry the tubes back up to the top and ride down again.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rusty Rocket did fall off his tube at one stage and was washed down the river a bit which he found scary, but he got back on for more turns, so all was well. I got washed out too once, was no trouble at all.


This trip is very tame, I believe, compared to the real whitewater rafting.

It suited all of us well, and ended too soon altogether.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see, the weather wasn’t fabulous that day. I thought we might get cold as we didn’t wear wetsuits and did get completely soaked. But I think all the movement kept us warm.

River Tubing – The Details

We went with Foaming Fury, see heir website here.

The trip cost $79 for the adult, me and $59 for each twin. We also had to pay $5 to hire the crocs we wore on our feet as we didn’t have our own. This included transport fromt he hotel, guides, tubes and a snack and drink on the way home.

Wear swimmers and shorts and t-shirts than can get wet.

Take towels and dry clothes to change into afterwards.


Family Holidays in Cairns and Port Douglas – More Posts

If you’re thinking of a holiday to Cairns or Port Douglas start with..

Tips for Planning Family Holiday to Cairns and Port Douglas (has a good list of things to do)

 Family Packing List for Cairns, Port Douglas and Other Hot Places

And here are detailed posts on what we enjoyed

Coral Reef Dreaming – Overnight Yacht Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

 Why We Are Loving The Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Muddy’s Playground On The Esplanade In Cairns

 Miracle on the Great Barrier Reef – Kids Take Photos of Mum For Once!


Have you ever been river tubing or whitewater rafting?



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Posted on: October 24, 2014


  • Reply October 22, 2014


    That looks great!

    We did River Snorkeling when we were in Cairns but it was a bit challenging for my nephews (11 and 7). Basically you have to white water raft but without the raft.


    River tubing looks much more kid friendly. Will file it away for our next trip up there.

    • Reply October 22, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Ah, I read about the river snorkelling, so sounds like better for adults and older kids. What other stuff did you love to do up there?

      • Reply October 24, 2014


        I must admit I was a bit disappointed with river snorkeling. I had watched a segment on it on Getaway and they had made out it was very relaxing. They implied you just floated down the river and watched the fishies. It was a bit more involved then that. You had to navigate rapids so there was some fast swimming and thinking about angles of attack. I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I had known what to expect.

        We did a day out on the reef. We caught one of the big ferries out to the pontoons. Before kids I did a day on a yacht which is my preferred way to see the reef. However, it just wasn’t practical with young children.


        We also did Breakfast with the Birds. Enjoyable but I thought they would bring round more animals at breakfast time and talk to us more about them.


        After reading your post about Cairns and the playground I really want to revisit there with my kids. Would love to stay at the Novotel too!

  • Reply October 24, 2014


    I’m watching your posts closely as we are hoping to have a family holiday in Cairns soon!

    • Reply October 24, 2014

      Seana Smith

      I have a big one with an overall look at what we did and top tips. It’s huge! Will try to get it out next week.

  • Reply October 24, 2014

    Gourmet Getaways

    Aww…Seana they all look so happy and enjoying! I love that photo of them bringing their own tubes 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

    Gourmet Getaways

  • Reply October 24, 2014

    The Hungry Mum

    wow – such an exciting adventure! I would be far too much of a wuss to try this but my kids & hub would *love* this. I don’t know that I’d consider it tame [see my earlier comment RE wuss].

  • Reply October 24, 2014

    Aleney @ BoyEatsWorld

    Great pics! This looks l like such a hoot! 🙂

  • Reply October 27, 2014


    This looks great fun Seana – good on you for taking the kids on your own. I can imagine it must have been a bit scary watching them shoot off down away in front of you, but so glad that you all enjoyed it, and went back for more 🙂

    • Reply October 29, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Next time I fully intend to do the scary white water rafting. My Teen17 really enjoyed it. The river tubing was fun and quite safe. Jumping off that bridge was a thrill!

  • Oh I wish I had done this. My kids are a little young perhaps but something amazing to look forward to. How did you take the photos? Do you have a great waterproof camera or did you hire one?

    • Reply October 29, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Hello, there Danielle, I bought one in Cairns, an Olympis Tough and it is tough. The pix are OK and it’s easy to use. The kids loved it, I kept expecting them to drop it into 20m when we were on the GBR. It survived though. I’ve done another post on planning a trip to Cairns and Port Douglas and linked to your blog. Please do add in any other advice… and links to your blog if you like, I remember reading a great one you did on taking kids to GBR.

  • Reply December 8, 2014

    Jess (Are We There Yet?)

    This looks awesome! Really, really want to do this with our kids now – think they would love it! Thanks for alerting a ‘local’ to something we had never heard of before! Always the way! Great post and loved the pics!

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