Friday, May 8, 2015

Maria Island - Give the Devil it's Due

In 2012, fifteen Tasmania Devils were released on Maria Island, part of a captive breeding program, free from the facial tumor disease [FTD] which is threatening the survival of the species.

These fifteen Tasmanian Devils set off for Maria Island in an effort to save their species from extinction and against the odds, we are pleased to say to date, that they are thriving and breeding well.

Numbers today are estimated to be around 85 - 90 Devils.

The initial release area was in the middle of the island at French's Farm and only after a couple of months motion cameras and radio collars recorded the Devils as being widespread throughout the island.

Maria Island has a total area of 115km2 and lies 4km off Tasmania's East Coast. The Tasmanian Devil can run up to 13km/h and covers an average distance of 8.6km every night.

Due to the widespread distribution of the Tasmanian Devil on Maria Island you are likely to see a Devil on The Maria Island Guided Walk. This 4 day walk covers the length and breadth of Maria Island and you will commonly see the Tasmanian Devil in it's natural habitat.

Tasmanian Devils are listed as vulnerable, but with a captive breeding program such as this one on Maria Island, it will help to protect the species.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Outback Masterchef

The 2015 season of Masterchef premiered on TV yesterday and it had me licking my lips all night. There were some awesome dishes that wowed the judges, and some that didn't.

Are YOU a good cook? When you are out in the outdoors, what do you cook? I'm not talking BBQ's, anyone can flip a steak, I'm talking about meals on the trail, somewhere remote!

It's probably easier for you to purchase off the shelf products, namely dehydrated or freeze dry meals, just add water and your done, or do you make an effort and cook something from scratch?

When taking food on the trail, the time and the amount of fuel it takes to cook it, and the weight of the food all comes into consideration.

At Tasmanian Hikes we mostly cook our meals from scratch. We can add or omit ingredients to suit our guests dietary requirements.

If you are not cooking for guests, the choice is yours.

We have researched some dehydrated meals that are available on the market and found that Strive Food is the brand of choice for taste and fulfillment.

You are going to need a stove and have to do the research on which one to buy to suit your style of cooking.

The Trangia stove is a trusted favourite, it comes as a kit with pots and the burner and requires no maintenance, however fuel consumption is not efficient.

MSR make a variety of cooking systems that are probably the most fuel efficient.

The MSR dragonfly is our stove of choice [although a bit noisy] but it will cook your meal quickly and efficiently. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

South Coast Track Walk, Tasmania. A Photo Essay.

The South Coast Track is a unforgettable walking experience that begins at a place us locals call "the end of the world" then it traverses east along the southern coastline of Tasmania for 9 days to Cockle Creek.

This photo essay of the South Coast Track will give you an insight of this incredible walk, the challenges you face and the beauty of one of Tasmania' "Great Walks". 
The flight into Melaleuca is extraordinary. Here we fly over Point Eric with Par Avion. Point Eric is our 1st nights camp on our 9 day journey. It was also here at Point Eric that Denny King began his first Tin Mine.

As you can see it's not all rain and mud. Here we are approaching Cox's Bight on Day 1. The mountain Range in the background are the Ironbounds, which we will tackle on day three.
Day 2 we set out from Point Eric to Louisa River. It was forecast to be a very hot day today so we left quite early. The range in the background is the New Harbour Range.
Up we go! This is the start of the accent up the Ironbounds from Louisa River (we camped in the tree line) Typically the whole traverse of the range will take about 10 hours but be prepared to take longer in adverse conditions. For those lucky enough to get good weather, the views are incredible.
With the Ironbounds done & dusted plus the relaxation of a rest day we welcome the wide expanses of Prion Beach. Prion Beach is the longest beach on the walk at 5km long. In the distance is the South Cape Range, another one of our many obstacles.

At the end of Prion Beach is New River Lagoon. The camp is on the other side so we have to work out the logistics of getting us all across. The impressive massif of Precipitous Bluff looms in the background. PB sits at the end of the Southern Ranges, just beyond the extent of our Moonlight Ridge walk.
This picture was taken from the campsite of Surprise Bay, probably our favourite campsite. Here we are looking west towards the Ironbound Range. This camp is day 6 out of 9 and the South Cape Range is still to come.
The South Cape Range rises up from Granite Beach. The views from here are incredible. You can see mostly the whole length of the southern coastline down to South West Cape.
The end is near. It's a relatively easy walk out from South Cape Rivulet to Cockle Creek along Blowhole Valley and our waiting coach to Hobart.