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Catriona on the hovercraft.
Catriona on the hovercraft.
Catriona gets ready to hovercraft down the Snowy.

Snowy River Hovercraft

Thursday, June 15, 2000
Catriona hovercrafts her way along the Snowy River and takes a tranquil swim while she's there.

Rod Pardew owns and operates Snowy River Hovercraft, and his 65hp gliding machine piggybacks up to four passengers at a time up and down the Snowy. He built a similar craft from scratch a couple of years ago, which was a bit small for comfortable commercial trips, so he purchased the big one he now uses.

The hovercraft is suspended on a cushion of air, which is generated by a fan attached to an engine, which in turn is attached to the hovercraft. The cushion of air is contained by a flexible rubber sleeve called a skirt, which is attached around the perimeter of the craft and holds the air under it.

The ride is rather like being on a motorcycle on water. With the wind in your hair you can enjoy the scenery and birdlife.

Rod runs joyrides by the hour, or if you feel like something more adventurous he will take you from Orbost to Sandy Point Gorge, where the water is deep enough to enjoy a swim.


Orbost is about 5½ hours east of Melbourne.


A one-hour ride costs $35 per person for a minimum of two people. The two-hour trip to Sandy Point costs $130 for two and includes morning or afternoon tea.
They operate year-round and bookings are essential.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission.

More information

Snowy River Hovercraft: (0417) 533 226
Orbost Visitor Information: 1800 637 060

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