The Southern Trove lies at the fringe of one of the world’s last great wilderness areas, Tasmania’s South West National Park.
Forming a major part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area, the region is remote and with few amenities. This isolation makes it a popular challenge for intrepid hikers, peak baggers, yachties and others looking for hard-core adventure.
Fortunately for the rest of us there are less physically demanding ways to experience the region without compromising on the sense of adventure.
The South Coast Track runs 85km from Melaleucca on Bathurst Harbour in the west to Cockle Creek in the east, and due to its remoteness is recommended for experienced and well-equipped hikers. Because flights in the area are weather-dependent, most walkers tackle it from west to east, flying into Melaleucca before trekking along beaches, headlands and the wild southern coast, emerging at Cockle Creek six to eight days later.
The last part of the track, from Cockle Creek to South Cape Bay is a popular day walk.
Par Avion offers one-day and three-day fully guided tours that fly to and from Melaleucca and take in Bathurst Harbour, the Port Davey Marine Reserve, Waterfall Bay and the Breaksea Islands. The day tour includes a gourmet lunch as well as the Melaleuca Museum and the Neewonnee Walk to discover the area’s ancient Aboriginal history.
The three-day, two-night tour includes accommodation in their exclusive South West Wilderness Camp, an eco-friendly standing camp with hot showers, enjoying quality Tasmanian food and wine.
Paddle your own canoe
Roaring Forties Kayaking is the only kayaking company licensed to operate in the World Heritage Area and offers three and seven day wilderness adventures based at its standing wilderness camp at Forest Lagoon. Their small groups and peaceful paddling will be bound to help you feel at one with nature.
Boutique floating hotel
If camping is not for you, then perhaps join Tasmanian Boat Charters for a four-day expedition aboard what they describe as their custom-built twenty-metre ‘boutique floating hotel’, Odalisque. A maximum of ten guests, it’s a perfect way to see the wilderness if you are eager for adventure but not keen on roughing it.
Aboard a racing yacht
Helsal IV and her sister vessel Magic Miles were designed in France to cruise the world in comfort, safety and style, combining the excitement of ocean-going yachting with luxurious comfort and gourmet meals below deck. Hobart Yachts offer charter expeditions aboard these maritime thoroughbreds, typically of six nights, seven days, with a range of sightseeing opportunities to meet available time and weather conditions.
What is a peak bagger, we hear you cry? Peak bagging is an activity in which hikers, climbers and mountaineers attempt to reach a collection of summits, published in the form of a list. In Tasmania peak baggers generally aim to climb The Abels, comprising all Tasmanian peaks over 1100m above sea level.
Take care and be prepared
Whenever heading into the wilderness, always take all recommended precautions and equipment, let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back, check the weather forecast and have a plan for what to do if you become lost or stranded.
- On, in, under and above the waterways of the Southern Trove
- 8 Things to do in Far South Tasmania
- 6 Stunning walks on Bruny Island
- Cockle Creek: Paradise at the end of the road
- 7 Tips for watching wildlife in the South
- Back to Nature: 12 spots to camp in the Trove
- Coastal Paradise: 10 Beaches of the Trove
Header image: @hikerblair/instagram
Words: Andrew Ross