I prefer my water frozen. But rivers are still pretty cool … and as spring and summer comes into focus, so does water related adventure.
And Tasmania has it all: tarns, huge lakes and dams, impressive rivers, incredible coastal inlets and harbors like Port Davey on the west coast.
Here’s a few obvious thoughts about the options on offer if you’re looking for an adventure:
Paddling Lake St Clair. Here’s some notes on one of the great feshwater adventures in Australia, paddling around Lake St Clair / Leeawuleena in central Tasmania. You can combine this with some fantastic walking and climbing side trips. It’s a flatwater paddle, suitable for rigid canoes like a Canadian, but winds can cause considerable wave activity so you need to know what you’re doing.
Paddling the Franklin (of course). There are various guiding companies (such as Tasmania Adventure Holidays) that offer trips. Personally I’d just do some research, get some rafts, and go with some buddies. I’ve done the trip a couple of times and can attest to the wonder and adventure of (not really knowing) what’s coming up next (although there are some potentially deadly rapids so you at least need the river guide notes so you can plan for those bits).
A new area of adventure is canyoning around the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair national park. Cradle Mountain Canyons runs day trips.
Sea kayaking on Bathurst and Davey Harbour on the west coast. There are a number of tour operators that run trips, such as Roaring 40s. Another option is sea kayaking around the freshwater Lake Gordon.
Tasmania has seemingly endless glacial lakes and tarns. One of my absolute favourites would be Lake Rhona in the Denison Range. A dark, deep lake with a brilliant white sand beach that sits under an impressive rocky mountain called Reeds Peak. Its a minimum of a 2 day walk, but I’d recommend you take longer and enjoy the alpine terrain on the Denison Range. And the Central Plateau supposedly has around 4,000 natural lakes (I haven’t counted them). There are various ways you can traverse the fabulous lake country, my favourite is from Lake Mackenzie to the Walls of Jerusalem (some notes here). Take your time and camp by some of these amazing lakes.
Whatever you do, you just can’t go wrong in Tasmania.