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Published January 17th 2017
Stroll among the giants of the forest
The long, narrow road is windy and the bitumen is rough with potholes, yet I'm at peace. Enormous trees are looming over the car, the smell of pine is wafting in the air and the temperature has dropped significantly. I am on my way to stroll among the giants of the forest at the Tahune AirWalk.
The Tahune AirWalk is a 90 minute drive south of Hobart, set amongst the lush Tahune Forest Reserve. Located on the edge of a 1.6 million hectare World Heritage Listed forest, the Tahune AirWalk offers a variety of walks of varying degrees of difficulty.
Stroll 20 to 30 metres above the forest floor amongst stringy bark, celery top pine, myrtle, sassafras and deciduous beech treetops on the Tahune AirWalk. Climbing the 112 concrete steps to reach the AirWalk was an invigorating start to the 619 metre stroll that lay ahead. The forest floor was cool and there were plenty of places to rest and immerse in nature. The steel footbridges provide a stable walkway to fully appreciate the stunning scenery.
The icon of this walk is the cantilever – sitting 50 metres above the roaring Huon River. Allow plenty of time to soak up the breathtaking views. Disabled access is available, please enquire at the Visitor Centre.
The Swinging Bridges and Huon Pine walks are also included in the price of admission. Stroll across two swinging bridges on the one-hour circuit as the powerful Huon and Picton Rivers thunder below.
Showcasing the rare Huon Pine tree, the Huon Pine walk is a leisurely meander along the Huon River and through the cool forest floor. The 20 minute circuit is part trail and part boardwalk and is suitable for prams, however due to the narrow boardwalk, it is unsuitable for wheelchairs. Informational plaques provide many insightful facts on these majestic species of tree.
The more challenging 1.5 hour return Huon Pine Track is a great way to explore the area. View the ruins of Police Constable Francis McPartlan's house. A former Irish convict, McPartlan used to hike the track to the remote Arthur Range, examining timber licences.
For adventurous travellers, the six kilometre mountain bike track will challenge intermediate to advanced riders. Visitors also have the option of soaring above the forest canopy on a 250 metre cable hang glider, reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour. The Cable Eagle Hang Glider is an additional cost.
If all that walking works up an appetite, barbeque and picnic faculties are available around the site. Alternatively, the licensed Tahune Café at the Visitor Centre showcases Tasmanian produce complemented with local wines and ciders.
The fun does not need to end when the sun sets. The forest comes alive with nocturnal inhabitants and AirWalk Lodge guests are invited to follow the night trail into this enchanted land. The forest teems with nocturnal animals. Listen out for screeching Tasmanian Devils as they amble through the trees or spot a platypus scavenging for its fare in the riverbed. The AirWalk Lodge accommodates up to 24 guests and its features include a communal lounge, television, free WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen and shared bathroom facilities. Accommodation prices include AirWalk entry.
The Tahune AirWalk opens 9am – 5pm October through to March with slightly shorter times for the remainder of the year. Dogs are welcome on the walks, providing they are on a lead.
Adult (17 and above): $28
Child (5-16): $14
Family (2 adults and 2 children): $56
Infant (under 5): Free