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