Make a splash: Tasmania's best water experiences
Set sail aboard Tasmania’s largest tall ship, Windeward Bound along Hobart’s Derwent River. This three- hour tour begins and ends at Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Pier. Tickets include lunch with bottomless tea, coffee or Milo, as well as a platter of Tasmanian fruit and cheese to share with your fellow shipmates.
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys have been showing off the abundant wildlife and extraordinary geology of Tasmania’s south-eastern coastline to locals and visitors since 1999. Depending on the season and the particular boat tour, you might spot migrating whales off Bruny Island, sea birds on Betsey Island or seals and dolphins around Tasman Island. Pennicott is also a partner in the Three Capes Track hike on the Tasman Peninsula, taking hikers on an eco-cruise from Port Arthur to the start of the walk.
Kayaking is an amazing way to get to know Tasmania. Roaring 40s Kayaking offers half- and full-day trips on the river exploring Hobart’s waterfront or, at sea, along the base of Tasman Peninsula’s 200-metre-high fluted sea cliffs. If you’re feeling even more adventurous and have the time, they also run multi-day wilderness expeditions around Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey, part of the state’s remote Wilderness World Heritage Area and home to some 500 species of invertebrates such as sea anemones, along with rock lobsters and abalone.
Complete saturation is fully guaranteed with Cradle Mountain Canyons. The company’s three tours are all within the spectacular Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Options range from the half-day Lost World Canyon tour – suitable for children as young as eight – to a full day of tackling the huge waterfalls and cliffs of Machinery Creek, with plenty of abseiling and rock scrambling involved.
Sail and Walk
For multi-day sailing combined with serious leg stretching, try a Wineglass Bay Sail Walk. Lady Eugenie will be your floating base camp for a four- or six-day itinerary on Tasmania’s east coast. By day you’ll hike Maria Island, Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island then return, with your guides, to a 23-metre classic sailboat for gourmet meals and a comfortable night’s sleep. Jumping off the boat for a swim, especially first thing in the morning, is heavily encouraged but not enforced.
The river wild
If you’re looking for extreme watery adventure in the Tasmanian wilderness, it doesn’t get much more intense than rafting the Franklin River. Experienced and reputable companies such as Franklin River Rafting and Water by Nature Tasmania regularly guide trips down this incredibly beautiful wild river. Rafting experience isn’t necessary, but a good level of fitness and a love of the outdoors are required.
Finally, cool off in a lake while you’re in Tasmania – it’s enriching for the soul.