No one, but no one should visit Tasmania without taking to the air and seeing the full glory and majesty of the world’s last wilderness frontier from a seaplane. Take a trip to the South West National Park, the remnants of Gondwanaland the Supercontinent, with Par Avion. Half day or day trips from Hobart include a tour around the late tin miner and conservationist Deny King's wild and remote home and his legacy - the only breeding station in the world for the tiny and desperately endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. You will cruise through the tannin-stained waters of Bathurst Harbour, and fly back over pristine, wind and surf washed beaches, vast mountain ranges capped with snow and crater lakes.
Tasmania has more coastline than any other state in Australia, and golly, what a coastline it is. What started as a hobby for local fisherman Rob Pennicott - taking friends out into the very edge of the Great Southern Ocean along Bruny Island – has turned into one of Australia’s most successful eco-adventure cruises. Daily departures from Hobart (full day) as well as from both Bruny island and Tasman Island (three hour cruises) take visitors out in custom-built yellow boats for an exhilarating ride of their lives into some of the most marine rich and dramatic coastline in Australia. If the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere with deep caves and shooting dolerite spires are not enough, you can hope to see mega pods of Dolphin, the largest Fur Seal colonies in Australia on huge rocky outcrops, superb birdlife including Albatross, Sea Eagles and clouds of Short-tailed Shearwaters, and on certain months Whale watching has now become virtually a daily experience as Southern Right, Humpback and Killer whales migrate up the coastline.
If you love seafood and you love being on water this is for you. Rob Pennicott’s latest full day luxury cruise has placed the emphasis firmly on the gourmet seafood that Tasmania is famous across Australia for. This is a small group guided tour for up to only 12 guests. Your guide knows the waters, bays and inlets intimately and the purpose built cruising vessel , an 11 metre low-emission Naiad, has been customised for your tour, enabling visitors to share in the experience of gathering oysters, mussels, abalone, crayfish, sea urchin and fish for your lunch. All washed down, of course, by award-winning Tasmanian wines, beer and cider.
Possibly Australia’s most photographed beach, Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula is only accessible by foot or by boat. While many embark on the steep 45 minute climb to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, and some of these continue their hike down, the joy of visiting it by boat is experienced by just one per cent of visitors! Beautiful and remote, a shimmering perfect arc of white sand lapped by turquoise water frequented by dolphin and whales, this may be the highlight of your visit to Tasmania’s east coast. Wineglass Bay Cruises is a fantastic four hour cruise on the Schouten Passage II along the pink granite cliffs, sleepy hidden bays and Sea Eagle nests. The chances are you will be joined by hundreds if not a thousand common and bottle-nosed dolphin, albatross and even whales. You will see (and smell!) the Australian fur seal colonies, and drop anchor for a ploughman's lunch Tassie-style in Wineglass Bay itself.
Flying into Flinders Island is an experience in itself as you leave the private terminal at Launceston airport (no queues, no security, no hassle!) and board a 29 seat plane. Taking off from Northern Tasmania, you have a stunning birdseye view over the mountains and forests, across the Bass Strait and shortly over the Furneaux Group of Islands – mountains rising out of the sea. Flinders Island Adventures has been run by James and Lindsay Luddington for over twenty years and there is probably not a cove or bay in the group that James hasn’t explored at some stage on one of his two ten metre powercat vessels from Lady Barron on Flinders Island. Enjoy one of their sea fishing packages, all rods, gear and bait provided, or take one of the many boat charters out to visit the outer islands that abound with history and unique flora and fauna.