Kayaking in Tasmanian Wilderness

There are only two places left on earth that merit seven Unesco stars. The Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expedition is one of these, and it embraces 6,000 square kilometres (2,000 square miles) of Australia’s island state. The other one is Mount Tai in China’s Shandong province (watch this space).

The Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expedition arguably offers the finest combination of emerald ranges, glacial lakes, perennial rivers, ancient rainforests and dreamy moors anywhere.

Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expedition: Lake Pedder from Mt Eliza
Lake Pedder from Mt Eliza by Lawrence Murray / CC 2.0

My 7-Day Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expedition

From March to November every year, heavy rain and cyclonic winds pound the park, discouraging any thoughts of commercial or residential development. Without this saving grace it might not survive human greed. When I took a seven-day kayaking expedition into the wilderness late last year after sunlight returned to lighten up the waterfalls, I was mindful of the unbelievable privilege that blessed me.

Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expedition: A waterfall at Strahan in Tasmania
A waterfall at Strahan in Tasmania by Angela Thomas / CC 2.0

I took a small plane deep into Southwest Tasmania where I explored the Bathurst natural harbour area while polishing up my kayaking skills. There is no road access to this largely landlocked place and its main role is to provide safe anchorage to passing yachtsman. Nobody lives there permanently although a few reclusive individuals have tried.

Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expedition: Mt. Rugby
Mt. Rugby: Photo Opis_zdjecia / CC 3.0

That evening I gathered around a roaring fire with my guides and fellow travellers to confirm the route we would follow. The following morning we departed for the narrows at Mount Rugby into a wonder world of inlets and forested islands. Next, we headed for the Bathurst Harbour entrance, tied up our kayaks, and followed the tramping trail up Mount Stokes on a cloudy day.

Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expeditions: Sunlight over Lake Pedder
Sunlight over Lake Pedder

The highlight of my kayak tour was on Day 4, when we paddled a short distance out to sea to land on Breaksea Island that is home to penguins, saddlebacks, yellowheads and skink lizards. Our remaining days were taken up with exploring inlets, following hiking trails and camping in sheltered havens. It felt good returning to where we started for a hot shower, clean clothes and a full-on dinner at basecamp reminiscing.

Tasmanian Wilderness Kayaking Expedition: Platypus Bay, Lake St Clair National Park
Platypus Bay, Lake St Clair National Park: Photo Paleontour / CC 2.0

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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