Tasmania’s wild and remote outdoors has always attracted adventure seekers. Nearly a quarter of the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with secluded landscapes and native species found nowhere else on Earth. The options for immersion are endless (and social distancing does not come much easier than this).
If you’re dipping a toe back into the travelling pool, this might be a good way in: crowds are kept at a minimum and after two years spent mostly inside, you’ll have a new appreciation for the cleanest air in the world. Not to mention that Tassie has some of the best natural views in Australia.
We’ve come up with a guide to kick off your adventure trip down south.
Wild Wellness Adventures
A three-day Wild Wellness Method retreat focuses on the restorative powers of cold-water immersion, massage, breathing, yoga and personal training, utilising the Wim Hof Method.
Retreats are run at The Cove, where chalets and cabins overlook the sea near Devonport. After something a bit more energetic? Choose a walking experience on the Three Capes Tracks in partnership with the Tasmanian Walking Company.
Southern Seas Adventures
The cooler months sees thousands of humpbacks and southern right whales migrate up the Tasmanian east coast. A four-day sea kayak tour gets you in the best position to observe the whales, while also exploring the famous vertical cliffs and windswept isles of the Tasman Peninsula.
Biologist Gary Miller joins the trip and gives lectures on migratory marine life in the evenings, where you’ll stay at the luxury beachside lodge The Bolthole and enjoy delicious local produce. The paddling is for all abilities and interspersed with stops in pristine bays and coves, stretching your legs with short hikes to take advantage of the stunning views.
Bruny Island is another great option, where a four-day paddle tour takes in beaches, lagoons, sea caves and kelp forests, fuelled by the island’s finest culinary delicacies (think oysters, cheese and Tassie wine).
Abseil Gordon Dam
The Gordon Dam stands 140 metres tall and looks even higher when you’re standing on top of it, about to lower yourself down. The world’s tallest commercial abseil is a bucket-list essential for any thrillseeker, although experience is not required to tick off the challenge.
It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Hobart to the dam, near Strathgordon in the South West Wilderness, where you’ll meet your instructors and get geared up. The climb back up the 480 rungs of the service ladder can feel just as giddying, but once you’re back up top, you’re welcome to lower yourself straight back down.
Raft the Franklin River
The Franklin River is one of the most wild and remote rivers in the world – and the setting for one of the globe’s best whitewater rafting journeys. A truly intrepid adventure, you’ll be packing for eight days of exploration and exhilaration, under the expert care of experienced adventure guides. The trip takes you through the temperate rainforest of this World Heritage Area, punctuated by ancient Huon pines, craggy gorges, deep, placid pools and, of course, raging rapids. Accommodation is simple but comfortable, sleeping under tarps on warm inflatable mattresses, with tasty meals provided (you’ll need the nourishment).
The trip runs between November and April, starting and finishing in Hobart, and the requirement you’ll need is a sense of adventure.
The Floating Sauna
Discover a slice of Scandinavia in north-east Tasmania. The Lake Derby sauna is not technically floating, but you might feel light-headed (and blissed-out) after an hour in this Finnish woodfired sauna on the edge of a peaceful, forest-fringed lake.
Alternate between sweating out toxins in the heat and plunging into the cool water of the lake, sure to stimulate the endorphins and leave you feeling restored. The sauna is a short walk (or ride) from the town of Derby.
Book a private session with a sauna master, who will start you in dry heat before progressively increasing the temperature until you’re ready to take the lake plunge. Rinse and repeat.
Into the Wild
Mountain biking is very popular in Tasmania and has brought new life to towns previously reliant on mining or forestry. Into the Wild helps make your Tasmanian mountain biking adventure easy, from airport transfers and accommodation to trail transfers and shuttles. With the logistics taken care of, you’re set to fly down the freewheeling trails of Derby, St Helens, Maydena and Queenstown.
You and your bike travel on what the team call “The Rig”, a mini-van (with phone-charging docks) that tows a custom-built, lockable mountain bike trailer. Multi-day tours include complimentary bike set-up, breakfast hampers and snacks. A personal chef for a lakeside dinner in Derby can be booked as an add-on.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Tourism Tasmania. Be sure to check hours and book ahead where you can. For more information and Covid-safe travel tips for your next trip to Tasmania, visit Discover Tasmania.