Press Releases and Editorials from Australia

Great Paddling Awaits in Exotic Tasmania:
Navigate the Waters of Paradise
(January 4 ,2002)

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia – November 2001: Off the southern coast of mainland Australia awaits the temperate island of Tasmania, boasting dramatic coastlines, sparkling lakes, rambling rivers and some of the best paddling adventures on planet Earth! As skies turn gray in North America, those in the land Down Under pull on their life-vests, preparing for another summer of adventurous water sport. Home to the purest water in the world, Tasmania is recognized as a haven for enviro-friendly adventure travelers who enjoy kayaking and rafting.

RAFTING THE RAPIDS OF TASMANIA’S WILDERNESS RIVERS

For the truly daring rafter, Mother Nature’s finest handiwork is breathtaking to behold along the banks of the Franklin River. Cavernous gorges and overhanging cliffs pose a dramatic backdrop for rafters tumbling down the torrents past the towering trees of Tasmanian temperate rainforest. The descent down one of the world's last major wild rivers, demands strength, fitness and commitment. Touted as Australia’s best outdoor adventure, paddlers on the Franklin are sure to feel the rush of adrenaline as they navigate the Great Ravine, with its cluster of awesome rapids. For those whose blood pressure rises at the thought of nine challenging days in a rubber float, a shorter four-day voyage on the lower Franklin offers a wonderful taste of wilderness rafting.

Travelers with only one day to spare, can head just outside Tasmania’s capital city of Hobart and float gently down the Picton River into the Huon River. This day trip leads rafters through the Huon forest where trees measuring more than 300 feet tall have been found. Calm water rafting trips are also available on the Derwent, and North Esk rivers.

Rafting companies offering adventures in Tasmania include:

Tasmanian Expeditions: Four-Day Lower Franklin River Rafting Tour
On this challenging four-day rafting expedition on the Lower Franklin, experience a memorable blend of wilderness and adventure. Leaving Hobart by bus, guests are transferred to four-wheel drive before making the strenuous climb down to the river. Gorges, with their deep pools of dark water, surrounded by overhanging rainforest contrasts with the meandering lower reaches of the river, with its pebble beaches and majestic forests. Rafters eventually meet up with the Gordon River and paddle the final few kilometers to Sir John's Falls. When rafting has concluded, guests board the 60-foot yacht, Stormbreaker, and cruise across to Strahan, where a bus returns the group to Hobart early in the evening.

Fares: Four-Day adventure is $US 560 per person. Rate includes experienced guides, camping and rafting equipment, first aid and safety equipment, all meals, transfers to and from Hobart and park fees. A nine-day itinerary is also available for $US 834 per person.

Reservations required: 011-61-3-6334-3477 or www.tas-ex.com.

Peregrine: Seven Days on the Upper Franklin and Hiking Adventure to Frenchman’s Cap
This seven-day expedition encompasses the upper mighty Franklin river, which is generally more challenging than the lower component, with its larger and more frequent rapids, surging up through tremendous gorges. Hiking fans will love the assent to Frenchman's Cap, showcasing views of Tasmania's great Southwest usually only visible by aircraft.

Fares: $US 720 per person. Price includes all accommodation, meals, ground transport, safety equipment, walking or rafting gear.

Reservations required: Call your local travel agent or visit http://www.peregrine.net.au.

World Expeditions: Nine Days on the Mighty Franklin
This challenging adventure on the Franklin River carves through over 120 kilometers of pristine wilderness, revealing deep gorges, quiet pools and magnificent cool temperate rainforest.

Experienced guides lead rafters through the raging waters during the day to delightful forest camps in the evening. From the steep quartzite gorges of the Upper Franklin to the calm lower reaches of ancient limestone reef and rainforest country, paddlers become part of a small crew who have successfully faced the challenges that remote wilderness brings.

Fares: $US 954 per person. Price includes roundtrip transport from Hobart; expert wilderness guides; all entrance and camping fees; camping equipment including swags, sleeping mats, cooking and eating utensils; all meals from lunch on day one to lunch on the final day; all group and safety equipment (helmets, kayaks, paddles and lifejackets); group first aid kit and emergency telephone.

Paddling Tasmania/3

Reservations required: For departure dates visit www.worldexpeditions.com.au. In North America, call 1(415) 989 2212 or email contactus@weadventures.com.

Rafting Tasmania: Day Trips On The Derwent, Picton, or North Esk Rivers
Rafting Tasmania tours range from gentle flows through farmland to thundering whitewater – with all equipment supplied. Great itineraries include:

Derwent River: A gentle trip, suitable for all ages. Glide past hop fields, willow trees, and farmland with the excitement provided by rapids at Broken and Railway bridges.
Picton River: Moderate rapids alternate with stretches of mirror- calm water lined with myrtles, leatherwoods and Huon pines.
North Esk: An exciting river for experienced whitewater enthusiasts. Tight maneuvers around large boulders and thundering whitewater.
Fares: Per person full-day rafting $US 64. Reservations required: 011-61-3-6239-1080 or email: raftingtas@tasadventures.com.

KAYAKING WHERE THE PLATYPUS PLAY

The bays, inlets and estuaries of Tasmania are a kayaker’s paradise. From sheltered waters to exposed crossings and off shore islands, the wealth of fresh water and sea kayaking options is surprising.

Outfitters throughout the island hire professional kayak guides who are happy to instruct novice paddlers in the art of water navigation and offer safety instructions, before leading them out on their water adventure. Be it a day trip around Hobart’s docks or a multi-day expedition to Bathurst Harbour in the wild Southwest National Park, kayaking is the best way to get a duck’s eye view of the Tasmanian sea and coastal scenery.

Wildlife spotting of dolphins and fairy penguins is quite common, while spotting platypus in fresh water is a challenge all its own.

Freycinet Adventures: Three-Day Freycinet Kayak Adventure Tour
This outfitter was the first to offer a sea kayak tour at Freycinet, one of the best ways to experience the essence of sea kayaking while discovering one of Tasmania's most magnificent coastal national parks. Padding three to four hours each day, guests explore the tranquil Freycinet Peninsula and witness the beauty of the coastal wilderness. Overnights at secluded wilderness camps allow plenty of time to stretch your legs and explore by foot as well. Meals are generous, and feature the best in fresh local produce. Tours include transportation from Hobart, and no previous paddling experience is necessary.

Fares: $US 351 per person. For reservations or additional itineraries call: 011-61-3-6257-0500 or visit www.tasadventures.com/freycinetadventures.

Roaring 40's Ocean Kayaking: One and Two-Day Tours Galore
For reservations to any of the Roaring 40's Ocean Kayaking Adventures described below call 011 61 3 6267 5000 or visit www.Roaring40skayaking.com.au

D'Entrecasteaux Day Kayaking Tours
If you’re looking to escape Hobart, then it’s time to explore the sheltered coves and waterways of Bruny Island and the D'Entrecasteux Channel. Departing from Kettering, all kayakers spend some time getting acquainted with the boats and related gear before venturing across the channel to Bruny Island. As you paddle south along the wooded shores keep a good lookout for fairy penguins, sea eagles, dolphins and seals before stopping for a BBQ lunch on a secluded island. When the afternoon sea breeze beckons, surf the small waves back to Kettering, visiting an Atlantic salmon farm on the way. Using modern single and double sea kayaks, the D'Entrecasteux Channel area is ideal for first time kayakers.

Fares: $US 56 per person. Price includes return transport from Hobart, BBQ Lunch, refreshments & snacks, all equipment needed for kayaking including paddling jackets, neoprene booties and dry bags.

Two-Day South West Sea Kayaking Exploration Tour
Short on time, but still looking for a True Wilderness Sea Kayaking adventure? With only two days available, Roaring 40’s Ocean Kayaking can help visitors explore the remotest region in Tassie. After flying into the heart of the South West, paddlers set out for Bathurst Harbour, visit the untouched Celery Top Islands for lunch before paddling the "narrows" to get to the campsite. Day two is spent exploring the foothills of Mt. Rugby and neighboring inlets before heading back to Melaleuca for the return flight to Hobart.

Fares: $US 680 per person. Price includes scenic flight, all kayaking equipment, camping equipment (except sleeping bags and mats) and food.

Paddling Tasmania/5

Walk on Water in South West Tasmania, Six/Eight-Day Trips Available
In the heart of Tasmania's South West World Heritage Wilderness lies a magnificent waterway, backed by rugged mountains and sweeping button grass plains -- Australia's ultimate sea kayaking destination, Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour! In "Feathercraft" Sea Kayaks – the type used by paddling expeditions in the frozen Arctic – visitors journey through an ancient, untouched remnant of old Gondwanaland.

Fares: $US 720 per person for 6-day trip; $US 823 per person for 8-day trip. Price includes transfers from Hobart Airport or Hotels to Kettering, accommodation for 1 night at the Oyster Cove Inn, Kettering, flights into and out of the South West, 6/8 days Sea Kayaking in South West Tasmania and all camp meals.

Blackaby's Sea Kayaks
For reservations to either of Blackaby's Sea Kayaks’s tours described below call 011 61 3 6267 1508 or visit www.blackabyseakayaks.com.au/.

Hobart Sunset Paddle
Hobart waterfront sunset sea kayaking is a great way to spend the evening, get a taste of sea kayaking and have a meal, fish and chips or wood-fired pizza, by kayak! Trips run on an as needed basis.

Fares: $US 22 per person. Price includes equipment rental.

Port Arthur & Tasman Peninsula Three-Day B&B Sea Kayaking Getaway
Experience the scenic wonders and convict history of the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur on a three-day gourmet paddling getaway. Explore beautifully weathered sandstone cliff formations and paddle into the depths of an 18-meter sea cave before touring the Coal Mines Historic Site – where the “bad criminals” of Port Arthur were sentenced to hard labor. View local fur seals from the colony at the Hippolyte Rocks, before hiking Dolomieu Point for scenic vistas or taking a plunge into Canoe Bay and snorkelling around a shipwreck!

Gourmet lunches and dinners and savory wines are par for the course, with nightly meals at Eaglehawk Café, with overnights at the four star Cascades Convict Out-station, circa 1841.

Fares: This three day trip is $US 453 per person. Rates are based on double occupancy. Price includes equipment (including diving wetsuit if needed), a seaplane tour from Port Arthur to Fortescue Bay along the sea cliffs to Tasman Island, accommodations and meals. Return transport to/from Hobart and Hobart airport shuttle service is available.

For additional information on travel to Tasmania, visit www.discovertasmania.com or contact your travel planner to book your vacation, complete with a rafting or kayaking adventure.

March 9-11, 2002
Cradle to Coast

This three-day, 340km endurance event featuring running, cycling and kayaking leads participants from Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park to the finish line in Hobart. North American Participants welcome.
Telephone: 011 61 3 6265 8783; Email: mslb@primus.com
http://www.threepeaks.org.au/tasultra/c2c/c2c_home.htm

October 2002
Freycinet Challenge

A two-day endurance course on the spectacular east coast incorporates lagoon and sea kayaking, running and cycling. North American Participants welcome.
Telephone: 011 61 3 6248 9049;
Email: tasultraevents@tasmail.com
www.threepeaks.org.au/tasultra/freycinet/frey_challenge_home.htm

NOTE: All fares are estimated in US dollars based on the press time exchange rate of $AD 1 = $US .65

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