Hobart Off The Beaten Path Tips by iandsmith Top 5 Page for this destination
Hobart Off The Beaten Path: 23 reviews and 31 photos
Should you be looking for something different to do on a day trip, you could do worse than do a loop out through Bothwell, an historic village north west of Hobart, then cut across to the Heritage Highway and back to Hobart.
Bothwell is an interesting old town, dating back to the 1800's and features Australia's oldest golf course as well as some fine Georgian architecture.
The Big Stump
The thing about the Airwalk is that it's changed the area dramatically. Before, those who loved the forest used to visit with few others taking the time. Today, it's a totally different crowd and there are thousands more of them.
They've come not so much to see the trees but to get the thrill of going along a 20 metre high boardwalk (actually, metalwalk). The climax (pic 1) is the seemingly unsupported section at the last lookout. Only about half who arrive at the start will actally go out to the end; the swaying motion tends to put many off for some reason.
I sometimes lament that it's no longer the purists who come here but then I think that at least it does get the person who wouldn't normally come into a forest here and, hopefully, some of it will rub off on them and their children and we'll have new generation who appreciate the real Australian bush.
It's located 28 kilometres from Geeveston and you'll have no trouble finding it.
On the way in you'll pass other walks such as Zig-zag Track, Keogh's Creek Track, the Look In, the Big Tree and, if you really want to go out of your way, try and find The Big Stump. These are what used to attract people here but, co-incidentally, less people visit them now than used to before.
As the main entrance to Tahune you can buy your AirWalk tickets here, as well as local crafts and wood products. The bistro serves local fare, hot meals and great coffee. For those who prefer to have a barbecue, the Bluestone Shelter and barbecue sites are close by. A new attraction at the Centre is Southern Forest Threads, a spectacular hand-made quilt, presented to Forestry Tasmania as a memento of its strong ties with the Huon Valley community. Twenty-two women took part in the project, including the Southern Spinners and Craft group and the Huon Valley Quilters, contributing more than 700 hours of labour.
This 597m walk amongst the trees gets you 20m above the ground. The highlight is the cantilever that is 48m above the river level, providing fantastic views of the forests and the junction of the Picton and Huon Rivers.
Admission fees (2009):
Adults - $22.00
Looks big, is big
Again, unlike many others, I am putting this in my top 10 of things to see in Tasmania. This superb forest has trees of such significance that I used the "monuments" classification for them, and why not? Hundreds of years old, towering up to 99 metres, these surpass many of man's great achievements by just surviving.
This walkway reaches the tree, and I urge you to look at its girth at this point, 20 metres above the ground! Yet still it looks huge. The reason for that is because it is one of the largest flowering trees (and hardwood) in the world. It has shrunk to 85 metres since I first saw it but contains an estimated 360 tonnes of timber though the sign at the site tells you 406 tonnes. They are using a more up-to-date measuring technique these days.
A tragedy happened in 2003. The biggest tree in Australia was killed when they were logging the area (taking down several other giants) and a concerned forestry worker tipped off the greenies about this magnificent tree. In the forestry workers wisdom, while backburning to clear the area recently felled, the tree, by now named "El Grande" caught fire and was killed. Another 80 metre giant over 400 years old bit the dust.
These unfortunate random acts have had a positive side however that I find extraordinary. They have spawned a register of significant trees and, in 2000, the tallest was deemed to be the Styx Bigger Tree. Since then, 34 have been listed as being taller!
The current record holder is named Centurion(see other tips for pictures).
In the Tahune there are many walks and you would do well to allow yourself a day in this area. These days the big attraction is the Tahune Air Walk and I have a separate tip for that.
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