A cruise expedition through Tasmania’s Southwest Wilderness should be on your bucket list. Here’s 11 great reasons why.
1. Cruise a myriad of waterways three times the size of Sydney Harbour.
The waterways of Bathurst Harbour & Port Davey are unimaginably huge. Canvassing an area three times the size of Sydney Harbour, there’s no end to the bays, rivers, inlets, coves and beaches we can explore. Our personalised and intimate guided expedition cruise takes you deep into this pristine coastal wilderness of Tasmania’s Southwest region aboard the purpose-built vessel Odalisque. You’ll explore narrow winding waterways lined with Huon pine by jet boat, picnic on remote beaches and soak up the serene views from the Odalisque’s deck as you cruise past sea caves, rock arches, blowholes and rocky islets.
2. Discover the spectacular World Heritage wilderness of Southwest Tasmania
The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area encompasses a greater breadth of values than any World Heritage property on Earth. Of 1052 sites in the world which are recognised as World Heritage areas, Tasmania is one of only 35 sites that satisfy both cultural and natural heritage values. But even more impressively, the area satisfies seven of the ten criteria, including unique human culture and history, wilderness, plants and wildlife, and geology. Only one other site in the world (located in China) equals this number and none exceed it. There’s a lot to explore; Tasmania’s World Heritage Area comprises 1.38 million hectares, or about 20 per cent of the entire State.
3. Enjoy exclusive entry to country so wild and remote it can
only be reached by foot, air or sea.
Our purpose-built cruise boat Odalisque is moored in Bathurst Harbour, deep in the remote and wild Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Ringed by mountains and buttongrass plains, this magnificent waterway is reached only by foot, air or sea – there are no roads.
Air: Take a spectacular 45-minute flight by light plane from Hobart, either crossing the rugged Eastern Arthur Ranges (you’ll see Federation Peak up-close) or skirting the beaches and crags of Tasmania’s wild and remote South Coast. Foot: Walkers can make the 7-day trek along the challenging South Coast Track. Sea: The passage from Hobart to Port Davey is a stunning trip along the Southwest coastline. Not to be attempted in bad weather, this coastline is exposed and frequently subject to unnavigable winds and swell.
4. Explore with people who know this wilderness intimately
Pieter van der Woude, Odalisque’s owner-skipper, has decades of experience as the master of vessels working off the coast of southern Tasmania. An expert local interpretive guide, selected for expertise and knowledge of the landforms, geology, animals, birds and cultural history of the region, accompanies each expedition. Daily shore excursions with these experts are tailored to your interests and will see you totally immersed in the wilderness. The experience is all about “getting your feet wet” (as skipper Pieter regularly says).
5. Dine in your own floating restaurant
You’ll find that the cruise is a delightfully indulgent culinary experience. The sea air certainly sharpens appetites and as you dine in your own private floating restaurant, you’ll savour cool-climate Tasmanian wines and fine gourmet fare prepared by Odalisque’s personal chefs. (We borrow them from Hobart’s best restaurants!)
6. Climb to the top of the world – on the edge of the world!
There are plenty of opportunities to exercise sea legs with hikes up any number of peaks, all offering top-of-the-world vistas of distant ranges, languid waterways and remote coastline. Peaks such as Mt Rugby, Mt Stokes, Mt Beattie and Balmoral Hill offer extraordinary bang-for-buck experiences; even short hikes provide views many
travellers would be willing to trek for days to see.
7. Quench your thirst with water straight from the source.
Take a sip from a waterfall which plummets straight into the sea. A unique tea colour, this water has been stained by the tea tree which grows wild in this area. Straight from the source, you won’t ever drink anything fresher than this.
8. Breathe the purest air on Earth, fresh from the Roaring 40s.
It’s fresh, it’s pure, and it’s straight off the Roaring 40s. Sure, the air can be cold sometimes (after all, it does come straight from Antarctica) but you can’t get anything purer! Just breathe.
9. Pour a Moo Brew – it’s the last tap beer before Antarctica.
Did we mention that we have tap beer on board? It’s the last stop for a tap beer before Antarctica. What better way to reward yourself after a day in the wilderness than with an icy cold, premium Tasmanian beer.
10. Spy the rare Orange-bellied Parrot.
On the brink of extinction, the Orange-bellied Parrot
has been ranked as one of the world’s rarest and most endangered species. 33 birds make up total wild population, which is complimented by a captive population of approximately 350.* Melaleuca, in the Southwest
National Park, is the home of the birds’ recovery movement and the location of several viewing hides. Visitors have a good chance of spotting these precious parrots when they migrate back to this area from October – March each year.
* Estimated at the end of the 2016/17 summer breeding season.
11. Leave the world behind – relax and unwind in the wilderness, where time stands still.
The sense of wilderness in this place is immediate. The only sounds when the boat is silent are birds and lapping water.
You’ll walk in places where few have been since Tasmanian Aboriginal people lived and hunted here, 35,000 years before us.
No contact with the outside world will interrupt your isolated bliss. There’s no reception in Port Davey – all guests are on a digital detox. So sit back, relax, and unwind in the wilderness!
Find out more about our Escape to Port Davey cruise expeditions through this pristine Tasmania wilderness here.