With a passion for the diversity and wilderness of our Island State it was no wonder that we chose Tasmania for our first Wilderness Tour. With many hours of recceing for the most perfect place to host the tour we choose the central north, and it certainly didn’t let us down. So with 15 eager, nervous and excited adventurers we set off.
With first day sunshine it had to be a good omen! So with everyone aboard our bus with its dodgy door we headed straight to Cataract Gorge. The gorge which was still in recovery from flash floods three months ago is still a spectacular place to visit, with Peacocks roaming the lawns and the suspension bridge making this a beautiful place to visit.
After a yummy healthy lunch we walked out along the gorge track to meet Ian our abseiling guide. Suited up with our harness and helmets we headed along the Zigzag track which rises above the gorge, stopping half way up to give everyone a chance to get a feel for the ropes before proceeding to our first abseil which was a 15 metre drop. With lots of trepidation, people were guided to the ledge where they were roped up and sent over the edge – where they did all manage to abseil their way to the bottom.
With a little more confidence now showing it was off to the thirty metre cliff, which is the highest section of rock face in the entire gorge! Needless to say everyone edged over the top with varying degrees of enthusiasm and willingness and made the full descent.
After an exhilarating day it was time to make our way to our accommodation in Mole Creek. With a combination of a farmhouse and studio cottages, everyone had space to move around and we settled in for the night with a few get to know you games and dinner.
Our second day saw us back on the bus with some very patient and skilfull driving in wet slippery conditions, managing to miss the hundreds of bike riders who were out racing in atrocious conditions. At Lemonthyme Lodge, we brought out the special TSA weather forecast and made the rain ease off as we headed up the hill to the stunning Bridal Falls before taking the most beautiful track in Tasmania down to Champagne Falls. A few had unexpected sit downs and toe dipping on the slippery conditions as we headed back for lunch.
A short trip up to Kimberley’s Lookout had the lungs pumping again and we had some views of Badger Range and across to Mt Roland and the Western Tiers. TSA kept the heavy rainclouds at bay for a little while longer while we headed Sheffield, where a quick mural crossword puzzle was achieved with coffee in hand. Though the number of Peacocks was and still is under debate! After a long day we headed back to our accommodation for dinner and a wine tasting game, it appears that some of us knew a little too much about wine!
Monday morning we awoke with a 10 degree drop in temperature and snow on the opposite hills, which was pretty awesome as we were heading up our largest climb. Quamby Bluff is an outlying hill of the Western Tiers and pretty steep 6km hike to the top, taking 4-5hrs… this challenging walk is incredibly rewarding travelling through ferns and forest until you reach the big boulders of the scree field on the lower slopes before the steep and winding ascent to the top (1250m).
The scree field was a big mental block for some, but having being ‘encouraged’ to give it a go, everyone young and old, injured and fit made it up through the boulders to admire the surrounding views. The majority of our group then climbed the last steep pinch and reached the top, to be greeted by freezing winds and snow!
After the walk, we made a quick stop in the little town of Deloraine where we had a wander around the shops and lunch before heading off to Devonport for our kayaking, but not before another quick stop at the Spreyton Cidery where we we enjoyed a variety of yummy ciders. With the weather closing in and wind picking up, we had a change of location to the flatter calmer estuary where we had some fun in the boats learning some of the skills of how to kayak and going around in circles.
There was no sleep-in for the last day, with an early run/walk to the magnificent views at Alum Cliffs that look down over the spectacular gorge below. More yummy breaky then our final walk to Westmoreland Falls. Unfortunately the recent floods had created significant damage to this area and although the forest was still magnificent, falls and walking infrastructure was in quite a damaged state. Back into the bus and off to our last lunch together at city park where we got to admire the monkeys and check out the gardens.
With days that were full, lots of outdoor fresh air, snacks and hearty lunches, home cooked food and best of all other people who wanted to give life a go. With the cosy living area, communal kitchen, and constant chatter and seat changing on the bus, the memories and friendships are what really makes this a memorable tour. So thank you to everyone who participated and we can’t wait to thank you on another Take Shape Adventure soon.
What our clients had to say ..
We loved every minute. Thank you both for all your efforts in taking care of all the details. Those 4 days were so memorable with some great adventures shared with an awesome group of people and your fabulous food! The hardest decision the whole weekend was where to buy a coffee when our sugar levels starting to dip down below 100%! Fee and Chris
.”Super fit or casual hiker, old or young, single or with friends, shy or outgoing, vegetarian, vegan or dietary considerations… Tracey and Adrian have catered for absolutely everything.
So I strongly recommend to you that you stop thinking about it and just come and enjoy. I guarantee you will have a fantastic time, that you will thank yourself, and still be talking about for years after ‘remember when…’ “