Trip Number: 13530A
Price: $5,195 (10-12)
$5,495 (or fewer)
Staff: Gene Goldberg
- Experience the variety of Tasmania
- See unique wildlife
- Meet aboriginal elders
- All lodging in hotels and cabins
- Hearty meals and all gratuities
- On-trip transportation and local naturalists
Tasmania! The very name conjures images of the other side of the world. This
wild island lies off the southern coast of the Australian mainland. Home to
aboriginals and former penal colonies, it now preserves a vast array of endemic
wildlife and a near pristine World Heritage wilderness. We’ll be exploring
sandy beaches (including the famous Wineglass Bay), high mountains (Cradle Mountain
is the second tallest and most dramatic on the island), the cool temperate rainforest,
and the rugged, rocky northwest coast. Besides the spectacular scenery, we get
to meet with aboriginal elders, cruise on the Pieman River, and have opportunities
to spot some of the unique wild animals of the Australian continent.
Photo: Gene Goldberg
Day 1: We meet this afternoon at our hotel in downtown Hobart.
We’ll have an orientation meeting, and then the afternoon is free to explore
Hobart before our welcome dinner, the first meal included in the trip. Transfers
from the airport are included.
Day 2: After breakfast we board our bus for the trip to Bicheno
and an afternoon in the Douglas Apsley National Park. Our walk along the Apsley
Gorge Circuit will take us past sheer cliffs pools and waterfalls. Another hour
on the bus brings us to Coles Bay, next to Freycinet National Park, where we
settle into our cabins for the next two nights. (Walking 3 miles, 3 hours)
Day 3: Today we walk to the world-renowned Wineglass Bay with
its pristine beach, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches
in the world. Those who wish can have a short swim. Continuing on, we come to
Hazards Beach and the Lemana Lookout. Along the way we may see wallaby, pademelon,
wombat, cockatoo, or parrot. (6 miles, 5 hours)
Day 4: Leaving Coles Bay, we head north to Binalong Bay where
we check into our new accommodations. Then it’s an afternoon walk along
the colorful Bay of Fires. The highlight of the day will be a meeting with an
aboriginal elder and a chance to learn about their eons-old culture and traditions.
(3 miles, 3 hours)
Day 5: In the morning, we walk in the foothills of the Blue
Tier, going through old-growth rainforest, including eucalypt and myrtle. We
get to see "The Big Tree," some 60 feet in girth. Then, driving into
the Blue Tier Nature Preserve, we can take one of several interesting walks
for the afternoon. Options provide views of mountains, the coast, or mining
impacts and restoration efforts. When done, we continue our drive into Launceston,
the second largest city of Tasmania. (Up to 6 miles, 8 hours)
Day 6: A three-hour drive this morning brings us to our private
cabins in the Cradle Mountain National Park. After lunch, a walk to beautiful
Dove Lake will provide a great view of the mountain. Afterwards, weather permitting,
there are options to do some canyoning or visit the Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary.
(3 miles, 3 hours)
Photo: Gene Goldberg
Day 7: Conditions permitting, those who want can try the challenging
ascent of Cradle Mountain (5,068 feet). The trail is about 7 miles long and
takes 8 hours. For those not interested, or if the weather is not good enough,
there are several less strenuous options, including visits to waterfalls, Crater
Lake, or a walk in the cabin area.
Day 8: We take a few short walks today on the drive up to
Corinna. One walk will be the King Billy Track, where we can see some of the
world’s oldest trees. Other stops along the way include the park visitor
center, the historic mining town of Waratah, and a visit to the Philosophers
Falls. Corinna was once a small community; the houses have all been converted
now to sustainable guest lodgings. (3 miles, 3 hours)
Day 9: We get an early start so we can have a private cruise
on the Pieman River aboard the Arcadia II. After dropping us at the mouth of
the river, the boat will go on its public cruise while we explore the rocky
coastline. After returning, if time allows, there are options for canoeing on
the river or short walks. (4 miles, 4 hours)
Day 10: Back on the bus we continue driving, with stops to
walk up Mt. Donaldson and/or at Balfour Track, Lake Chisholm, and Julius River
Forest Reserve. The guides will cook us a BBQ dinner at the foot of "The
Nut," a 450-foot volcanic plug on the waterfront, when we get to Stanley
for the night. (5 miles, 4 hours)
Day 11: Today a local aboriginal elder will escort us into
Preminghana, a native title area. Here he will talk to us of their environment
and the tragic history of this area. Following is a hike up Mount Cameron and
a visit to Cape Grimm on the northwest tip of Tasmania. We end with a drive
into Launceston. (4 miles, 3 hours)
Day 12: The trip ends after breakfast. Transfer to the airport
Photo: Gene Goldberg
The trip begins and ends in different cities. We start on the afternoon of
Tuesday, February 5 in Hobart. Transfers from the airport to our hotel are included.
We end on the morning of Saturday, February 16 in Launceston and again airport
transfers are included. Both airports have flights to and from Sydney and other
mainland Australia cities, as well as a few other locations. Coming from the
U.S., you are most likely to fly through Sydney or Melbourne. Airfare is not
included in the trip price. When booking your flights, remember that you must
cross the International Date Line. This means if you leave the U.S. on the 2nd,
you will arrive in Australia on the 4th, skipping a full day in flight.
Please make sure that your passport is valid at least six months past the end
of the trip -- a requirement of many countries. You are responsible for having
your own passport and obtaining any necessary visas or other travel papers.
Travel insurance is strongly recommended. The leader will send out newsletters
with additional travel information, and ideas of things to do in the area before
and after the trip. You are encouraged to arrive at least a day or two early
to help overcome jetlag before we begin hiking. It would also help should your
luggage be delayed in arriving -- unfortunately, not a rare occurrence.
Accommodations and Food
We will be staying at a range of accommodations. In Hobart and Launceston we
use backpackers hostels with double rooms and shared toilets. Some nights will
be in two-star hotels, and others will be in cabins with varying amenities.
These also will be double rooms; if you are traveling alone you will be paired
with someone of the same gender.
Some meals will be at restaurants, especially in the cities. In those cases
we will order from the standard menu. Bottled drinks are not included in the
trip price. Most meals will be prepared for us in the cabins by our local guides.
Group members are encouraged to lend a hand. Expect local, fresh food with a
concern for sustainable farming practices and local specialties. Vegetarians
can easily be accommodated.
Photo: Gene Goldberg
This is a hiking trip, with typical days of 3-5 miles and elevation gains
less than 1,000 feet. It is intended for the experienced hiker who is able to
walk about five hours each day. Our most difficult day is the optional ascent
of Cradle Mountain, about 7 miles, with 2,500 feet of elevation gain. Expected
daily distances and elevation gains are listed in the itinerary above, but may
have to be changed depending on group abilities, weather, trail closures, etc.
Our walking will generally be on good paths, with some very steep sections
that will be more challenging. You should expect some of the paths to be muddy.
You will be carrying a day pack only, with foul weather clothing, water, and
It is best to prepare for this trip by keeping to a regular exercise schedule
and taking frequent day hikes in hilly terrain -- preferably at altitudes similar
to the ones we will encounter. If you don’t live near hilly terrain, ask
the leader for suggestions on a conditioning program. You need to be doing aerobic
exercises at least three times a week, and, if hill- or stair-climbing with
a pack is not included in that, you should at least be doing resistance training
for your legs and core. You should be able to walk steadily on level trails
with your pack at two or more miles per hour, and slower than that uphill for
extended times without becoming overly tired.
Tasmania lies in the “Roaring Forties” where weather systems move
through frequently. Expect at least part of our trip to have windy and wet weather.
Remember, we are visiting the rainforest; it does rain. Normal temperatures
will be between the low 50s and low 70s during the day. Nighttime lows could
get down to 40 degrees. In exceptionally bad weather, we may have to change
routes -- your safety is always our highest priority.
Equipment and Clothing
No special equipment is required. You will need the gear you normally use
on day hikes. Lightweight, broken-in boots are the most important item. Besides
that, bring a day pack with your hiking essentials; including water, raingear,
and something to keep you warm should the weather turn unexpectedly. The leader
will provide a more detailed list later. Be sure you have enough extra room
for your share of the picnic lunches.
- Tasmania State Map Hema Maps
- Tasmania Atlas and Guide, Edition 2 Hema Maps
- Atkinson, Brett. Lonely Planet Tasmania (Regional Travel Guide).
- Shakespeare, Nicholas. In Tasmania.
- Reynolds, Amanda Jane. Keeping Culture: Aboriginal Tasmania. 2006.
- Flanagan, Richard. Wanting: A Novel. 2008.
- Flanagan, Richard. Goulds Book of Fish. 2002.
Photo: Gene Goldberg
Sierra Club is an environmentally focused entity. We are concerned about conservation
and sustainability of resources, both locally and globally. Our work is accomplished
by volunteers, aided by a salaried staff, encouraging grassroots involvement.
Our outings seek to empower participants toward environmentally understanding
parallel concerns at home and abroad.
Tasmania has large areas of pristine wilderness. At the same time, some very
intrusive activities, such as open pit mining, are happening in close proximity
to these wild places. Our knowledgeable local guides will be able to discuss
the conservation issues facing Tasmania and how they are being dealt with. They
will also identify and interpret the local flora and fauna. Additionally, we
have the rare opportunity to spend a few hours with some aboriginal elders and
learn about their ancient traditions and world-view.
This trip requires a $200 per-person deposit. An additional payment of $300 per person is due six months prior to trip departure. International trip prices are subject to change and are based on double-occupancy or group accommodations as described above. Single rooms may not be available or may cost more than the listed price. If you have any questions regarding double occupancy, please contact the trip leader.
See the How to Apply for an Outing
section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the
trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing
up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing
approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical
Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on
the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to
the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and
notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
The Sierra Club accurately and fairly budgets and prices our trips. However, unforeseen costs such as devaluation of the dollar compared to other currencies and fuel surcharges assessed by our international providers may necessitate adjustment in trip price. We will make every effort to mitigate and absorb these fees. If a price increase is necessary, however, you will have 14 days after announcement to cancel without penalty.
Gene Goldberg has been leading Sierra Club trips since 1990. Now retired, leading is his principle occupation. His Club trips have included backpacking in the Colorado Rockies as well as trips to Italy, Nepal, the Swiss Alps, New Zealand, and Bhutan, among others. This will be his third visit to Tasmania. He now lives in Santa Fe with his wife, Gail, and dogs, Whisky and Bailey. Visit his website at http://genesoutings.camprecipes.com/ for more information about the trips he leads, as well as some photos from past outings.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips