Rare experiences, new horizons, life-long memories – and all in just three brilliant and unforgettable days. This 3-day exploration is an ideal way to experience the majesty of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area if your time is at a premium, or you are new to paddling or wilderness camping.
A spectacular flight deep into the World Heritage Area wilderness of southwest Tasmania - paddling to remote and beautiful destinations in protected waterways – enjoying camping with a splash of comfort at a standing camp in the rainforest – these are the highlights of our 3-Day Sea Kayak Exploration.
Depending on the weather, we fly across mountain ranges, close to the quartzite crags of Federation Peak; or along the wild and rugged South Coast, with its string of remote ocean beaches. After landing at Melaleuca airstrip, near the home where legendary pioneer of the southwest Deny King once lived, we paddle a short distance down the quiet inlet to our Forest Lagoon campsite. You’re in the wilderness – but in comfort, with spacious platform tents, a covered kitchen and dining area, and toilet facilities. After lunch, we’ll enjoy an afternoon paddle along the sheltered shores of Bathurst Harbour, visiting sandy beaches and the unique Celery Top Islands with their canopy of native pines. In the evening, a glass of wine and a fine meal of fresh Tasmanian produce ends a wonderful day.
Over a hearty breakfast, our guides will check the weather and discuss plans with the group. Options include further explorations of Bathurst Harbour – perhaps past Mt Rugby and through The Narrows to Joe Page Bay, or into the calm waters of Moulters Inlet. The coastline of the harbour is complex, so there are plenty of options for pleasant paddling in almost any weather. Depending on the conditions, we’ll explore bays and beaches, points and headlands; we’ll cross open stretches of water or hug the shore; we’ll nudge into wild and remote rivers with thickly-forested banks. After lunch ashore we’ll turn our backs to the breeze and enjoy a relaxed return trip to Forest Lagoon.
In the morning we’ll take a short paddle across the lagoon to Claytons, once the home of fisherman Clyde Clayton and his wife Win. Now deserted, the house is tucked away in a sheltered corner of Melaleuca Inlet and there are still some remains of the garden that was lovingly tended by Win. An easy walk takes us to the summit of Mt Beattie, where there’s a spectacular view overlooking the destinations we’ve explored over the previous two days. Back in camp, we’ll pack the boats and paddle back along Melaleuca Inlet to meet our plane for the return flight to Hobart.
Our kayaking experiences take place in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. We are privileged to be the only kayaking guides with permission to operate in this unique and special place and we are committed to sustainable and responsible environmental practices.
The Forest Lagoon wilderness camp is carefully designed to sit lightly on the land and have minimal impact on the environment. At the same time, the camp offers an enjoyable, sheltered and comfortable base in the wilderness. The spacious platform tents are set above the ground and have real beds! After a day’s paddling, you’ll sleep soundly. There’s a covered area where we meet for meals and group gatherings – perfect for planning the day’s exploration in the morning and discussing the highlights of the journey in the afternoon. There are also environmentally-sensitive toilet facilities. The setting is beautiful, in a remote forest clearing on the banks of Melaleuca inlet.
Click on the “Trip Essentials” button at the top of this page for a full equipment list – but basically, you need similar gear to what you would carry on a bushwalking trip – although when you travel by kayak the weight isn’t on your back.
Thermals and fleece clothing is ideal as it is light and warm. You will need walking boots or comfortable shoes for exploring ashore and a change of dry gear for the evening. A waterproof and windproof jacket, sun hat, warm hat and gloves are all essential.
And most of all – your sense of adventure!