The classic Boys’ Weekend Away is a near-sacred tradition. Often difficult to negotiate with partners and loved ones, they are hard earned and come at a high cost – in brownie points at the very least. Here then is a little Mancation inspiration: the best of the best of boys’ weekends in Australia. So unwind, enjoy, and remember . . . it’s all in the name of manly fun. Words by AT Staff, edited by Craig Roberts

The churning rocky rapids required for whitewater rafting don’t look inviting. In fact, that’s why they’re churning and rocky; to warn people to steer clear. Thankfully, humans are smarter than that, so we’ve created a sport to tackle this head on, the rockier and rougher the better.

On the first day of any rafting trip, appearances can be deceiving; you start with a lazy paddle down a quiet, soothing river. “Hold on,” you wonder to yourself. “Where are the rapids and the danger?” Don’t worry; grades four and five are coming soon, and by the time you tackle Nasty Notch, Double Falls and Slip ‘n’ Slide, it’s well and truly past brown pants time.

By the time you tackle Nasty Notch, Double Falls and Slip ‘n’ Slide, it’s well and truly past brown pants time.

Once you’ve conquered the water (and changed your underwear) you can relax and camp under the stars with a beer in your hand, a line in the water and a sizzling snag on the fire. This is definitely a hairs-on-the-chest kind of Mancation: touring a wild river with your mates and a trained guide, battling rapids by day, then camping by night with just the sound of the river next to you, and your mates telling pork pies.

More exciting than extreme ironing but with a safer record than base jumping, whitewater rafting combines male bonding with all the thrilling beauty and terror mother nature can muster. In addition, you can hold competitions. For example: first one to cry from fear or panic has to carry the raft over the portage all by themselves.

Brag Factor // You’ll come away feeling tougher than ever – if you weren’t the one who cried.
Partner Pitch // “But honey, just think: I’ll be gaining crucial skills against the day the water levels rise and flood the entire country.”
Details // REAL Fun has tours on the Murray, Snowy and Mitta Mitta Rivers starting from $220 (
www.realfun.com.au, 02 6228 1264).
Upper Murray White Water Rafting has trips from $95-$350 (
www.raftingsnowymountains.com.au, 1800 677 179).
Water By Nature runs five-day tours on Tassie’s Franklin River from $1840 (
www.franklinrivertasmania.com, 1800 111 142).
Rafting Tasmania has day trips from $115 or ten-day for $2600 (
www.raftingtasmania, 02 6239 1080).
RnR White Water Rafting cover the Barron, Tully and Johnstone Rivers in Qld from $123 for half-day tours (
www.raft.com.au, 07 4035 3555).

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