Fly into the remote and rarely visited Tasmanian World Heritage-listed wilderness, staying in Par Avion's luxury Southwest Wilderness Camp.
By Andrew Bain
Few places on Earth will take you as far from the outside world as the Par Avion Southwest Wilderness Camp, hidden in ancient rainforest in one of the most remote corners of the vast Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. From here you'll have the chance to explore the waterways around one of Tasmania's largest bays by boat, wandering through centuries-old forest, climbing to a vast mountain view and sighting one of Australia's rarest and most beautiful birds, the orange-bellied parrot.
- Sleep in silent luxury beneath a cover of ancient Tasmanian rainforest.
- Take one of Australia's most spectacular flights, over one of the most remote wilderness areas on Earth
- Spot the rare and endangered orange-bellied parrot.
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Top things to do at Par Avion Wilderness Camp
Take a flight of fancy
There are few so remotely wild places in the world as the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The flight from Hobart takes you past some of Tasmania's most dramatic and spectacular mountains to the shores of Bathurst Harbour, a serene and rarely-visited bay in the island's southwest. Look out for glacial lakes, thickly forested mountains and the dramatic ridges of the rugged Western Arthur Range.
Spot rare parrots
From the Melaleuca airstrip, you'll take a short walk to a bird observatory created to monitor orange-bellied parrots, one of only two migratory parrot species in the world. There are thought to be only around 200 orange-bellied parrots in existence, but they're readily sighted at Melaleuca.
Explore world heritage wilderness
Chances are you won't see another person as you explore this magnificent and inaccessible area by boat each day. You'll stop to relax on empty white-sand beaches, hike to stunning views over water and mountains, and explore traces of ancient Aboriginal life such as middens (piles of shells discarded after meals) and a cave used to collect the ochre pigment used in Aboriginal painting.
Stalk through Celery Top Islands
The tiny and unspoiled Celery Top Islands are a world untouched, just a short boat ride from camp. Protected by water and isolation, the islands haven't seen bushfire for centuries, leaving them remarkably pristine. As you walk along the short trail through this unique patch of rainforest, you're entering a place as pure and original as any on Earth.
Hike to Mt Milner
Ringed with beaches and mountains, there's an extraordinary, untouched beauty to Bramble Cove, where you boat ashore to begin the short hike to low Mt Milner. From its summit, 186 metres (610 feet) above the sea, you get a drone-worthy view of the area and its web of waterways.
Relax in style
The exclusive Par Avion Wilderness Camp is sprinkled through rainforest on the shores of a lagoon tucked into a corner of Bathurst Harbour. The yurt-like timber camp huts sit off the ground and offer ultimate privacy. Each one contains a queen-sized bed (or twin beds) and views up into the canopy of the World Heritage rainforest that encases the camp. Waking to perfect lagoon reflections of Mt Rugby, the highest (744 metres or 2540 feet) and most striking of the mountains around Bathurst Harbour, is unforgettable. For three glorious days, this is your home in the wilderness.
Indulge in local tastes
The camp contains a partially open-air kitchen and dining room, set within the rainforest. Meals are included and have a strong focus on Tasmanian produce - including local salmon, cheeses, berries and olives - to satisfy those sea-air appetites, with Tasmanian wines and beers included in your stay.
How to get there
Par Avion Southwest Wilderness Camp can only be reached by light plane. Planes depart from the aerodrome at Cambridge, 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the centre of Hobart and just two kilometres (1.2 miles) from Hobart Airport. Flights land at a gravel airstrip at the abandoned tin-mining settlement of Melaleuca from where it's a short boat ride down a gorgeous river to the Wilderness Camp.