Learn about Aboriginal history and make a true connection to the land on a guided, 4-day trek through Tasmania's stunning Bay of Fires.
By Allie Metz
The wukalina Walk offers a unique perspective on Tasmania’s Bay of Fires as you experience the region through the lens of the island state’s Aboriginal culture. Learn about the history of the palawa community and the interactions between native Tasmanians and the first settlers. You’ll also taste bush tucker and traditional foods while enjoying some of Tasmania’s finest wine. Each day will take you on a discovery of the unique natural landscape and local wildlife in the area before you retire each night to a sound sleep in luxurious accommodation.
- How to get there: Jetstar and Virgin have direct flights to Launceston from Sydney and Melbourne.
- Accommodation: Two nights in domed huts and one night in the renovated Eddystone Lighthouse keeper’s cottage
- Operating season: October to April
- Duration: 4 days/3 nights
- Distance: 35 kilometres (21.7 miles)
- Grade: Medium to hard
- Group size: 10 guests maximum
Day 1: Launceston to krakani lumi
Your morning starts with an introduction to the palawa community in Launceston. You’ll be picked up at your hotel and dropped at the Tasmanian Elders Centre where tea, coffee and snacks will be served. You’ll meet your guides, other guests and learn a little bit about the local community as you prepare your walking kit. With Tasmania’s unpredictable weather, make sure to pack layers. You’ll be able to safely store anything you don’t want to take with you at the Elder’s Centre.
Once the group is ready, head out on a scenic drive to Stumpy’s Bay in wukalina (Mt William National Park). You’ll head up to the summit of wukalina (Mt William), where you’ll have lunch while taking in the sweeping views of the area.
Head back down the mountain to start an easy trek of approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) through bush track that will lead you to the impressive camp (krakani lumi) at Cobler Rocks. If the weather is nice, reward yourself with a refreshing swim in the sea before settling into the beautiful domed huts that will be your home for the next two nights. Dinner will be shared around a communal table before guests retreat to the firepit to relax and gaze at the star-filled night sky.
Day 2: Discover palawa culture
After breakfast, join your guides around the firepit for a traditional smoking ceremony. You’ll learn about the significance of the ritual and have a chance to take part yourself.
Following the ceremony, your guides will lead you on a short walk heading north along the beach to discover signs of how indigenous Tasmanians lived. You’ll see a large shell midden covering a vast area of ground. Keep your eye out for tools among the different types of shells as your guides explain how the diet of the palawa people changed over the course of the seasons and years. You’ll get the chance to taste some native bush tucker along the way, such as sagg, a groundcover plant that has tender roots which taste like sweet peas.
Enjoy lunch back at camp with some free time to explore the area on your own, have a swim at the beach or chat to your hosts. In the afternoon the group will come together once again around the firepit for a cultural activity. You might sand and paint your own set of clapsticks or weave a reed basket with kelp collected from the beach. Tonight’s dinner will showcase some incredible native foods, such as wallaby steaks, mutton bird and doughboys.
Day 3: krakani lumi to larapuna
Be sure to eat a hearty breakfast this morning as you get set for a full day of walking. While the pace is relaxed, you’ll spend the majority of the day walking along the stunning white sands of larapuna (the Bay of Fires), with a few sections of track taking you inland. You’ll be able to see wukalina in the distance, allowing you to appreciate just how far you have come in a few days.
Your journey continues south along the various beaches and bays of the northeast coast of Tasmania, dotted with lichen-covered rock formations. The bright orange rocks make for a remarkable contrast to the vivid blues and greens of the Tasman Sea. Make sure to watch out for Elephant Rock - a large formation just off the coast that resembles a sitting elephant. Along the way you’ll hear stories of the interactions between indigenous Tasmanians and the explorers and sealers that came to the island.
The last stretch of your day’s journey will take you across impressive sand dunes, from which you will be able to spot Eddystone Lighthouse on the cliffs above the beach. You’ll make your final ascent up to the lighthouse where you can settle into your comfortable room, enjoy a hot shower and prepare for the evening’s meal.
After dinner, head out to explore the surrounding gardens by torchlight to find grazing wallabies, foraging wombats and other native animals that make their home in the area.
Day 4: larapuna and return to Launceston
This morning the focus shifts slightly as you get the chance to learn a bit about the history of Eddystone Lighthouse. You’ll have exclusive access to the building, so head up to the top to get incredible views across the whole area. Afterwards, stroll down to the beach to discover the spots where granite was mined to build the lighthouse.
After a BBQ lunch, it’s time to pack up for the drive back to Launceston. You'll make a quick stop to see the stunning Little Blue Lake before enjoying a coffee in the small town of Derby. This once sleepy little town is now being revitalised with world-class mountain biking trails.
On your arrival at the Elders Centre you’ll be greeted with sparkling wine and snacks. Say your farewells before heading off on your next adventure or settle in for a few extra days to discover Launceston.
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Australia is home to the oldest living culture on Earth and Aboriginal guides across the country will ensure a real connection to the place and a new way of seeing. Every part of Australia is Aboriginal country and every part of that country has a series of stories and experiences that are unique to that place.Add to my sales tool kit