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.
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.
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.
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.
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.