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Ready for Action - An Adventure Holiday In Tasmania

By:
Ben Hall
 

It’s a 15 metre drop to the canopy floor, and from on top of one of the “cloud stations”, a guide tells me to step off the platform. The rope and harness I’m tied to feels secure enough, but it is an ultimate leap of faith. For anyone remotely scared of heights it’s a big step to make; in the blink of an eye I’m hurtling across the top of the forest on a zip line, with two thousand year old trees whizzing by and the Pipers River rushing below. 

Launceston

This is the Hollybank Treetops Adventure (www.treetopsadventure.com.au), a zip line near Launceston which combines the adrenaline-pumping experience of traversing the tree tops along steel cables between the platforms high in the canopy while taking in the serenity of an ancient rain forest. It’s a three-hour thrill seeking and eco adventure all rolled into one and while we wait on the cloud stations, we learn that the reason this area has such an English feel is that in the late 19th century, European trees were planted in the area to produce cricket bats. Even on a rainy day it’s beautiful, and it can make the zip lines go faster as well.

It’s the type of experience that’s led to this part of the world gaining a reputation as a real adventure lovers’ paradise, and back across the other side of Launceston, horse riding is another one of the classic outdoorsy activities in the area. The Country Club Tasmania (www.countryclubtasmania.com.au) offers 30-minute guided and gentle trail rides throughout the day through the surrounding natural bushland on trained horses with experienced guides. The horse rides available to anyone, and on your ride you can see local wildlife, while also taking in views of Launceston and the Meander Valley region.  

Cradle Mountain

You could spend weeks chasing adventure in north and western Tasmania and barely scratch the surface, and Cradle Mountain, which is just under two hours west of Launceston, is one of those places which has attracted just about every superlative in the dictionary. A World Heritage National Park of unsurpassed beauty, its alpine peaks and beautiful lakes provide one of the most stunning bushwalking locations in the world and the Dove Lake Walk is widely regarded one of the highlights of a visit to Tasmania. It’s a three hour loop of Dove Lake, but there are numerous other classic walks in the area ranging from 30 minutes to three days.

This is also the place where you’ll see wildlife at its best, with Tasmanian Devils, quolls, wallabies and wombats in the natural habitat. And if you want to guarantee a Devil sighting, the Devils@Cradle (www.devilsatcradle.com) is a sanctuary devoted to the conservation of the endangered marsupial. It’s also a tourist venture that allows visitors to see and actually touch a devil, while learning about the threats to their existence including the Devil Facial Tumour Disease which risked wiping them out.

Strahan

While Cradle Mountain has a worldwide reputation as a wildlife and adventure destination, another one hour south west is the tiny town of Strahan which has been quietly attracting visitors for decades thanks to the fact that it’s the gateway to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. This 440,000 hectare park is part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Area and the best way to be introduced to the wild beauty is on a Gordon River Cruise (www.gordonrivercruises.com.au). The cruise takes in the natural beauty of the Gordon River and its ancient temperate rainforest, along with the rich history of its convict past, original settlers and the defining conservation battles of the 1980’s over the planned Franklin Dam project which was ultimately rejected.

Kayak trips can also be added on as part of the Gordon River Cruise experience, but the tour which really captures the essence of the region is thePiners and Miners Tour (www.swaindestinations.com/australia/activities/99/index.htm) out of Strahan. This is a full day which has it all, and it delivers Tasmania at its very best with an overwhelming combination of wilderness, adventure and history. It begins with a 36 kilometre journey in a four wheel drive converted into a rail car along one of the original tracks used by the early miners. The High-Rail crosses bridges, rivers and railway stations dating back to the 19th century and at Lynchford it converts back to a four wheel drive for the journey to the Bird River Track, a 7km walk along along another disused rail line from the 19th century. 

At the end of the Bird River Track is confirmation of the futility of their ongoing battle. After  a seafood BBQ lunch we wander the abandoned mining town of Pillinger, which was Crotty’s pride and joy. The forest is taking back the town after it was finally abandoned in the 1940’s. A few structures remain, like the old brick kiln and a damaged boiler, but it’s clear it won’t be long before nature reclaims its hold on the area.   

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http://www.aboutaustralia.com/itineraries/st-walk17-tasmania-adventure-package/ Tasmania is a hidden gem of Australia, filled with spectacular shorelines and coastlines. Home of the Targa Tasmania race. In Launceston, Tamar & the north you will find sparkling wine valleys and invigorating flavors. On the east coast is stunning Freycinet National Park, home of Wineglass bay and some of the great walking tracks of Tasmania. Here you can discover wildlife like the Tasmanian devils and wombats. The Western wilderness is the perfect location for fly fishing. Find any rejuvenating spa for the ultimate treatment of rest and relaxation - Tasmania is the most relaxing place for true luxury pampering. Visit World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain, climb to the summit or explore the inspiration lake. Hobart and surrounds are home to many markets, music, history, heritage, culture, art and great food. Port Arthur is just around the corner and full of historic sites and stories. Video Credit Tourism Tasmania. About Australia, Inc. Experts in planning custom vacations to Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific. We're Aussies! Toll Free 1-888-359-2877 (USA)

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