To the Southwest Wilderness and back with Tasmania’s only commercial seaplane operator
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of visiting Tasmania’s rugged Southwest Wilderness UNESCO World Heritage area with my family, on Above & Beyond Tasmania’s stunning De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver.
|Airline||Above & Beyond Tasmania|
|Aircraft Type||De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver|
|Route||River Derwent to Port Davey return|
We headed down to Above & Beyond’s are base right down on Hobart’s Waterfront, at Franklin Wharf, a ten minute walk from the CBD, in the late morning, and after a short safety briefing, we were onboard, and taxiing out on to the Derwent. I had the pleasure of sitting up front, allowing awesome 180 degree views.
After flying south, down the river past Sandy Bay and Taroona, we made the turn eastward, over Kingston and Blackmans Bay, before flying over the Huon Valley and passing the Hartz Mountains. It got a little bumpy as we passed over the untouched hills and mountains of the Southwest wilderness, but not too bad.
After 50 or so minutes, Bathurst Harbour came into view, and we began descending between the mountaintops, to land at Port Davey. Without another soul in sight, we taxied in to a sheltered gravel beach and waded through the knee deep, tannin stained water to the shore.
While we dried out a bit, our excellent plot for the trip, Henry, set up the picnic, a delicious salad roll, a huge charcuterie board, and a variety of drinks. We then spent the next hour or so enjoying the food and the peace and quiet, and completely untouched beauty of the wilderness.
Unfortunately, we soon had to head back to Hobart, so after actually remembering to get my GoPro to start filming this time, we taxied back out and took off over the hills. There was a little less turbulence on the return, and as we climbed out over Bathurst Harbour we spotted Melaleuca Airstrip, Par Avion’s Southwest base, and I managed to get a photo of one of their Cessna U206Gs, either -LCD or -MYS, just before touching down.
The flight back zoomed by, and we were soon descending down the Derwent, and touching back down alongside Battery Point. The taxi back in took nearly seven minutes due to the five knot marine speed limit around the docks, though it allowed some excellent views of the CSIRO’s ship, the Investigator, and the new Derwent Ferry service (if you haven’t tried it out yet, I highly recommend it, public transport is the way to go).
Overall, it was an absolutely incredible experience, Above & Beyond, really went above and beyond to create the best trip possible, and if you haven’t already, I highly recommend flying with them. They have experiences for all budgets, from a $120 taster flight, to a $600 tour and custom charters beyond that. As always, don’t forget to check out my Instagram and YouTube for more content just like this.