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Travel Tip

8 Wild and Mild Adventures

Kathryn Leahy
​If being bold in the outdoors is your thing, a little winter chill won’t get in the way of a great outdoor adventure. Encircled by 5400 km of coastline, Tasmania is home to the Aurora Australis, the Roaring 40s, sparkly pink granite mountains, the tallest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere, more than four hundred caves and thousands of highland lakes. It’s a land forged by explorers, pioneers, convicts and bushmen, yet it’s not just for hardy adventurers. If it’s life-changing adventure you seek, you’ll want to unleash the chef within as much as you want to climb up a cliff. Here are nine island adventures for the adventurous (and the not so adventurous).

Reach great heights

Tasmania packs a bunch of white-knuckle adventures into a small space. From short and sporty to big and wild; spectacular sea cliffs to challenging mountains. While others explore marked tracks, why not extend your skills on Tassie’s spectacular climbs. Need instruction from the experts? Rock Climbing Tasmania can show you how to use equipment, stay safe and develop technique. Starting with short climbs on kunanyi / Mt Wellington, they’ll help you progress to longer climbs on a host of Tassie crags.

A rock climber climbing the candlestick on the Tasman Peninsula
Garry Phillips
Rock Climbing in Tasmania

Drop over the edge

Ready for the Gordon Dam challenge? Journey through the Tasmanian south-west wilderness and straight over the edge of Gordon Dam – with ropes, of course. Climb the railing and before you can say ‘Geronimo’ you’ll be well into your 140 metre descent – the longest commercial abseil in the Southern Hemisphere. The Dam itself is concave, which means abseilers will not touch the wall for most of the journey down.

Fly away

For a day you’ll never forget, it’s hard to match a helicopter flight over the Cradle Mountain World Heritage Area. See areas of the park you would never see when hiking – Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake, Crater Lake and Fury Gorge. The beauty of a helicopter is you can touch down almost anywhere, perhaps travel to a snow covered mountain, arrange a romantic picnic on top of a mountain peak overlooking alpine lakes, or fly to a deserted wild west coast beach.

Scenic flight over Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
John L Coombes
Flying over Cradle Mountain

Take to the tracks

If you’ve heard about Tassie’s recent rise to become a mountain biking mecca, the first place you’ll want to go to is a little town called Derby. Didn’t bring your bike? No drama, you can hire one or just head out on the Blue Derby Pods ride – a three-day, soft-adventure mountain biking experience based from your private accommodation – a pod nestled amidst the trails. Rough it on the tracks by day and indulge by a roaring fire at night with local produce prepared by your guides and paired with Tassie’s best wines and craft beers.

A mountain biker riding through the bush at Derby in northeast Tasmania
Flow Mountain Bike
Mountain Biking at Derby

Go coastal

Bruny Island Cruises is a three-hour wilderness cruise along Bruny Island’s rugged south-eastern coast. The custom-built yellow boats will take you up close to deep sea caves and through the narrow gap between soaring cliffs and The Monument. Feel the power of nature at the point where the Tasman Sea meets the mighty Southern Ocean. Albatross, dolphins, seals and even migrating whales are just a few of the abundant wildlife calling the coastline of Bruny Island home.

A wilderness cruise boat in the ocean dolphins jumping at the bow
Joe Shemesh
Bruny Island Cruises

Take the path less travelled

Orange cliffs that rise from white sandy beaches with turquoise seas will surely make your eyes pop, but seeing it all on a quad bike will get your heart racing. Keep pace with your guide on dirt tracks that lead to remote beaches few people have discovered. With four big rubber tyres beneath, accelerate up the sandy paths, navigate boulder-filled valleys and drop into an abandoned mining cottage before reaching the coast and your afternoon tea stop, with views of turquoise waves and bright orange granite boulders – a signature east coast view.

Quad biking in the bush
Tim Trevaskis
All4Adventure Quad Bike Tours, Freycinet

Cruise the wilderness

Adventure doesn’t have to mean crazy, wind-in-your-hair madness. A cruise down the Gordon River often rewards with mirror-calm reflections of World Heritage Area rainforest. You’ll journey across Macquarie Harbour (six times the size of Sydney Harbour) through Hells Gates, aptly named by convicts on their way to Sarah Island. Gordon River Cruises and World Heritage Cruises can take you down this ancient waterway.

boat cruise on the river
Rob Burnett
Entrance Island Lighthouse - Gordon River Cruise

Farm life for a day

Dream of throwing it all in for a place far from spreadsheets and meetings? Farming dreams are a modern seduction. Plucking fresh vegetables from the garden. Walking through lush meadows. Cavorting with piglets. In your heart, you’re a farmer. Appease your yearnings to live off the land with a day at Fat Pig Farm. Get your hands dirty on a farm-to-fork tour. Harvest produce bursting with flavour. Bring it all back to the kitchen and get stuck in to a hands-on workshop, followed by a feast.

A man carving pork at a farm based cooking workshop in southern Tasmania
Alice Hansen
Matthew Evans, Fat Pig Farm

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For more information to help you plan your trip to Tassie, feed your curious at our other helpful site, Discover Tasmania

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