This summer, take the trip of a lifetime and explore one of the world’s most unspoiled natural places. Escape to Port Davey, Southwest Tasmania. Discover this amazing and unique destination on your Tasmanian adventures with a wilderness expedition cruise by Tasmanian Boat Charters.
In this remote corner of Tasmania, where mountains rise out of the ocean and entire landscapes are reflected on the water’s surface, you’ll experience the tranquility and pureness of true wilderness and feel a peacefulness that goes with being a long way from civilization.
Wild rivers, quartzite peaks, extensive waterways, hidden sea caves, towering gorges and secluded beaches… It’s little wonder that this place is recognized as a World Heritage Area, National Park and Marine Reserve. This natural attraction is a Tasmanian must-see!
The wilderness of Port Davey, Southwest Tasmania.
The Port Davey & Bathurst Harbour is one of the most magnificent landscapes on the planet. Gold-green ranges, with bony quartzite ridges, rise sharply from the Southern Ocean and the broad interior waterways of Port Davey. Four major rivers and numerous creeks cut through gorges and snake across open plains, draining their rust-coloured waters into the marine reserve. Tiny islands dot the surface of the dark waters. White quartzite sands fringe the shoreline. Mt Rugby – the highest and most prominent peak bordering the reserve – rises grandly from the western shore of Bathurst Harbour. On a fine, calm day the marine reserve’s waters reflect this almost prehistoric looking landscape to endless perfection.
The Port Davey Marine Reserve was created to protect an extraordinary underwater world. In Bathurst Harbour a very unusual marine environment has been created by a deep layer of dark redbrown, tannin-rich freshwater, which overlies tidal saltwater. The tannins restrict sunlight penetration to the top few metres, limiting the growth of marine plants. In the clearer marine waters of Port Davey – away from the influence of the freshwater tannins – a more typical Tasmanian underwater world exists. Diverse kelp forests and abundant fish thrive beneath the surging Southern Ocean waves. This Marine Reserve forms part of the Southwest National Park, and is surrounded by the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
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 38 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 percent of the entire State.
Escape to Port Davey, with Tasmanian Boat Charters.
Explore this wilderness in comfort and style with Tasmanian Boat Charters. The Escape to Port Davey expedition cruise takes you deep into the rugged coastal wilderness of Tasmania’s remote Southwest. These small group tours are based from a ‘floating boutique hotel’, the Odalisque, a custom-built twenty-metre vessel equipped with hot showers and soft beds. Guests are entertained by an all-star crew, including skipper, chef & guide. Their chefs (borrowed from Hobart’s best restaurants) provide top-notch, modern Tasmanian fare, all paired with fine Tasmanian wine. Hand-picked expert guides (with years of experience in the area) double as personal walking encyclopaedias. Daily shore excursions, tailored to guests’ interests, will have you totally immersed in this untouched wilderness. It’s all about “getting your feet wet” (as skipper & owner Pieter van der Woude regularly says).
“The Tasmanian Southwest Park is about as remote as you can get in Tasmania…The three days I spent on Bathurst Harbour were on board the Odalisque… we didn’t only dive – or eat and drink – there was also time for walking including up to the top of Mt Beattie from where we could look down on Odalisque… Thank you owner and skipper Pieter van der Woude.”
Tony Wheeler, Co-founder of Lonely Planet
Enrich your wilderness experience. Discover more with our highly experienced guiding team.
If the Southwest’s stunning landscapes are the hero of this unique Tasmanian Adventure, Escape to Port Davey’s staff come a close second. Odalisque’s skipper has extensive seafaring experience and expert local guides, which accompany guests on each cruise, have a deep knowledge of the landforms, geology, animals, birds and cultural history of the region. Amongst their guiding team they can name biologists, conservationists, writers, wildlife experts, ecological educators and ex-Parks & Wildlife employees (including the most recent General Manager), who combined have over 100 years of experience in the area. This team’s knowledge, passion and experience will complete this expedition as a comprehensive (and entertaining!) wilderness experience.
A home-grown Tasmanian cruise experience.
Tasmanian Boat Charters’ Port Davey expedition cruises were born from a deep love of the wilderness and its waters and an innate drive to share its wonders with others. As an abalone diver, Tasmanian business owner Pieter van der Woude spent 25 years diving on and under the wild coastal waters tucked away in the island’s remote Southwest corner. For many, it’s an area of Tasmania they never get too, never see because it’s too wild, too remote. For Piet, it was his playground, work site, backyard, a place for family holidays. That it’s off the beaten track makes it all the more special to him. His love for this wild and unpredictable place is infectious, and he just loves showing visitors and sharing their Tasmanian Adventures.
Pieter had a vessel custom built so that he could take small groups through this area. Not a pretty, wallflower style cruiser (despite what the name ‘Odalisque’ might imply), this vessel was built to handle the wild terrain of the Southern Ocean. Designed from a modified abalone fishing boat (and which can still be used for this purpose), she’s a working boat at heart, but upgraded all the bells & whistles one could ever imagine they might need in the wilderness. She’s a vessel of comfort, style and practicality. Your home away from home in the wilderness.
Bookings for Feb to May 2019 now available.
The best of Tasmanian Adventures: Escape to Port Davey with Tasmanian Boat Charters.