6 trips where the journey is better than the destination
You don’t have to be a full-time traveller to know that the cliche “the journey is more important than the destination’ rings true not just with travel – but life itself. Many bucket list adventures focus on that end goal; summiting that mountain, getting that view, ticking the ‘seen it’ box. Here, we focus on some of the most memorable journeys in Tasmania. Those trips where the daily sights, experiences, sounds and tastes of a destination leave you with long-lasting, fond memories of your destination. These journeys focus on personal accomplishment, meaningful experiences, and experiencing the ever-changing landscapes of remote Tasmania.
While Bruny Island is a spectacular destination in its own right, it’s how you explore this island that reveals its true magic. The fertile lands and rich natural diversity of this remote region is home to some of the island’s most wild and rugged landscapes – as well as a burgeoning gourmet food and wine scene that must be tasted to be believed. This active exploration of Bruny Island and the south will wheel you to some of the region’s most delicious food experiences, including a ‘drive through’ oyster bar, whiskey tasting, sheep’s milk cheese sampling, a boutique chocolate factory as well as visits to wine and cider producers. Burning off the calories will be a piece of cake as you explore Bruny Island’s best vantage points by bike and foot for spectacular views back over the island and southern Tasmania before boarding a wildlife cruise to spot dolphins, seals and a plethora of seabirds. Back on the mainland the southern Tasmania highlights continue with visits to the Tahune Airwalk and Hastings Cave, the largest dolomite cave in the southern hemisphere. As we head even further south we’ll stop for a walk in the Hartz Mountains National Park before heading for the most southern point in Australia, Cockle Creek, from where we can set out to South Cape Bay – the final section of the famous South Coast Track.
Over three days, explore the best bits of the Tasman Peninsula and along some of the most striking parts of the Tasman National Park coast. The Three Capes Walk visits some of Tasmania’s highest sea cliffs, towering 300metres above the Southern ocean, with chances to view the seals, penguins, dolphins and whales that live off the coast. Day one takes us to the magnificent Cape Hauy, where the impressive coastal sea cliffs found along the walk provide a permanent air of drama to our explorations and are home to many rare sea-birds. In the afternoon we enjoy a fascinating tour at the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site, and spend the evening at unique accommodation right in the heart of the Peninsula. After a scrumptious breakfast we trek to Cape Raoul, one of Tasmania’s finest day walks. This beautiful track weaves across headlands of coastal heath to see one of the world’s most gnarly big-wave surf breaks: Shipsterns Bluff. On our last day we experience the award winning Tasman Island Cruise; a journey exploring sea caves, blowholes and the tallest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere, including the chance to view the dramatic Cape Pillar from the sea, the best vantage point to appreciate its colossal sea cliffs.
The Overland Track is one of the top treks in Australia, let alone Tasmania, and it’s no wonder with 65km of stunning ever-changing scenery. The Overland Track is packed full of beautiful and varied colours and textures from the diverse plant life that lives in this World Heritage listed park. Journey past golden buttongrass plains and alpine moorlands, through towering rainforests, and along serene lakes, with side trips to raging waterfalls, craggy summits and majestic lookouts. What’s more, the track completely transforms from summer to winter, where the once gold and green colours of the warmer months turn into a dazzling white winter wonderland. With mountains around you at every turn, their beauty and rugged character give the landscape a unique and breathtaking look.
Trek the untouched beaches, mountains ranges, pristine rivers and towering rainforests of the remote South Coast Track wilderness. This nine day trek involves tackling the muddy terrain, sometimes difficult weather and the truly wild landscape – across remote walking tracks, sometimes across river crossings, muddy moors and steep ascents. You can expect to carry a full pack of up to 20 kg’s, walking 10-15 kms each day, and while challenging, the rewards of complete and utter remote, pristine wilderness makes it all worthwhile- not to mention the feeling of elation and pride as you finish the trek!
The best part about rafting the Franlin River, is there isn’t a bad part! People that come down the Franklin River can expect a completely unique and exciting experience like no other. This magical, remote location really is a magical place of extreme beauty and power and has a habit of affecting people in a very significant way. After driving just over 200km west of Hobart, paddlers put in on the Collingwood River and after a short paddle reach the junction of the Franklin and face more than 120km of wild river, huge rapids, peaceful pools, ancient rainforests and deep gorges. When you’re paddling on the Franklin, the rest of the world becomes irrelevant, the only things that matter are the immediate challenges of the river. These challenges are serious: once committed, whatever happens, whether flood or drought, the paddler must accept and deal with the consequences until eventually they paddle out on the still waters of the Lower Gordon River and Macquarie Harbour. The extreme remoteness means that there is little margin for error and giving up is never an option.
Despite these challenges, a full length descent of the Franklin is surprisingly accessible. From December to March each summer, some of Australia’s most experienced river guides share the challenge of the Franklin with their teams of paddlers. Experienced and novice adventurers alike consider rafting the Franklin one of life’s must-have experiences. It is not possible to just ‘consume’ a Franklin experience, every paddler must participate. Whether client or guide, everyone is in the same boat (excuse the pun), making this group journey all the more memorable.
It’s the ultimate journey across Tasmania, so of course the Great Tasmanian Traverse makes the list! The Great Tasmanian Traverse is a unique annual adventure combining Tasmanian and World Expeditions’ five most popular trips into an epic five-week expedition. Travelling by foot, raft, light plane and yacht, we cover Tasmania from the quiet rural communities of the North to the wild and isolated reaches of the South, completing the Coast to Cradle Trail, Overland Track, Frenchmans Cap Trek, Franklin River Rafting and South Coast Track. Starting out on the sandy beaches of Penguin, our first six days are spent on the Coast to Cradle Trail, trekking through spectacular valleys and canyons and gradually rising up to the highlands. From here we join the iconic Overland Track, climbing the craggy peaks of Cradle Mountain and Mt Ossa and discovering a diverse range of landscapes from glacial lakes and cascading waterfalls to ancient rainforests, alpine heaths and fields of buttongrass. Leaving behind the dolerite landscape of the Overland, we trek into quartzite country on the Frenchmans Cap Trek, aiming to climb to the summit of this impressive quartz peak. Next we swap our hiking boots for wetsuits and spend eight days rafting the deep valleys, gorges and rapids of the wild Franklin River, enjoying some of Australia’s most spectacular river country. From the end of the Franklin we cruise by yacht down the length of the Gordon River to Strahan, where we’ll board a light aircraft to fly over the West Coast and into the Southwest World Heritage Area. The final leg of this journey treks the challenging South Coast Track, a rugged and rewarding trail that weaves over and around mountains, beaches and rivers to Cockle Creek, Tassie’s most southern township, with our epic traverse finishing up in the beautiful capital city of Hobart.
Over 39 days, cover Tasmania’s finest hiking trails, summit its highest and most iconic peaks, enjoy an incredible variety of landscapes and encounter the history, flora and fauna of the region. Between each leg of the traverse we have two or three nights in comfortable accommodation to relax, reflect on the journey so far and recharge for the next section of our adventure. This inspiring traverse will give you a thorough understanding and appreciation of what makes this magnificent state so special, and why it is known to have some of the best trekking in the world.