Imagine travelling to your Tasmanian accommodation and peering down at passing patchworks of pine forests and undulating mountains, pristine beaches and quiet islands. Even better, knowing you and your friends will be the only ones there.

Welcome to Southwest Wilderness Camp, perched on the shores of Bathurst Harbour in an especially remote corner of Tasmania’s Southwest National Park. Spanning two days in winter and three summer, the experience is decidedly choose-your-own-adventure –visitors design the itinerary – and your guides make all the meals.

Run on and off for three decades by Tasmanian speciality airline Par Avion, access to this intimate spot is a getaway in every sense of the word. There’s no internet or phone reception (guides do have satellite phones for safety), no light pollution and nobody else within 100km – except for the dedicated lighthouse keeper over on coastal Maatsuyker Island.

Broadsheet Access members get special tables at busy restaurants, tickets to exclusive events and discounts on food, coffee, brand offers and more.

Find out more

“You really feel disconnected,” says Shannon Wells, managing director for Par Avion. “You really are at the end of the world.”

The sense of isolation is compounded on arrival. There’s no road access – you can only arrive by air – and there’s a limit of 10 people per group at the camp, plus a pair of guides to take you around and cook up lovely meals.

“It doesn’t have a big population or some tourist trap,” says Wells. “We like it that way. It’s world heritage: no Europeans ever settled down there. It’s 60,000 square kilometres of untouched Tasmanian landscape. And that’s part of its success.”

To get there visitors fly out of Hobart in the morning, following the picturesque coastline (including Bruny Island) before wrapping around the southernmost point of Tasmania and then heading west to Melaleuca, a former tin-mining settlement with a hand-built airstrip. From there it’s a half-hour boat trip to the wilderness camp, just in time for lunch or afternoon tea. The camp’s well-guarded location is right against the Bathurst Harbour Marine Reserve, three times the size of Sydney Harbour. That puts you on the doorstep for whatever degree of wilderness adventure or relaxation you desire.

Options include exploring the islands of Bathurst Harbour, picnicking near Bathurst Narrows (which connects the harbour with Port Davey) and boating to the Breaksea Islands, complete with views of the Southern Ocean. “Or if you just want to sit on the boat and drink Chardonnay for a few days, we can do that,” says Wells. Camping accommodation includes spacious yurts with chairs, warm bedding and plenty of blankets and rugs – all on raised platforms. There are also hot showers, ideal for a spot where nature might dictate what can be done.

Nearby Mount Beattie and Mount Bathurst are magnets for confident hikers, while the forests, rivers and Indigenous cultural sites are ideal for walks and hikes of all skill levels. Wildlife can be sparse, but beyond the usual wallabies, wombats and possums is the endangered orange-bellied parrot, which migrates from Victoria and South Australian to Melaleuca to breed. You also might spot black swans, firetails and other birds from the tranquil viewing area at Melaleuca.

“We’re at nature’s mercy,” says Wells. “But we’ve got plenty of wine and spaghetti bolognaise.” As someone who’s previously run the camp but now has a dedicated team handling it most often, Wells says he relishes every chance to return to the unique experience. “I feel privileged I get to showcase this,” he says. “It’s a chance to unplug from reality for a few days. It makes me realise exactly why I do it.”