We acknowledge and pay respect to the Needwonnee and Ninene people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which On Board visits in Port Davey. In sharing elements of their history, heritage and culture we acknowledge the Needwonnee and Ninene people of the Southwest region and their connections to Country.
We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and emerging.
Port Davey is located approximately 125kms west of Hobart – 50 minutes flight from Tasmania’s capital city.
The dynamic and notoriously wild weather of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in Southwest Tasmania is part of what makes this remote corner so special.
Pause to feel the tranquillity of true wilderness. Port Davey, Southwest Tasmania is a natural outpost on the outer rim of Australia; next stop Antarctica. There are no roads, no towns, no phone reception, and most of the time, no humans.
This remote wilderness area is a marine nature reserve and forms part of the Southwest National Park, surrounded by the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s three times the size of Sydney Harbour and one of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet, with wild rivers, quartzite peaks and extensive waterways.
The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area encompasses a greater breadth of values than any World Heritage designated area on Earth.
The Port Davey Marine Reserve was created to protect an extraordinary underwater world. In Bathurst Harbour, a very unusual marine environment has been created by a deep layer of dark red-brown, tannin-rich fresh water, which overlies tidal saltwater. The tannins restrict sunlight penetration to the top few metres, limiting the growth of marine plants. In their place live colourful and delicate marine invertebrates, including sea pens. In the clearer marine waters of Port Davey – away from the influence of the freshwater tannins – a more typical Tasmanian underwater world exists. Diverse kelp forests and abundant fish thrive beneath the surging Southern Ocean waves.
Of 1052 sites in the world that are recognised as World Heritage Areas, Tasmania is one of only 35 sites that satisfy both cultural and natural heritage values. But even more impressively, the area satisfies seven of the ten criteria, including unique human culture and history, wilderness, plants and wildlife, and geology. Only one other site in the world (located in China) equals this number and none exceed it. There’s a lot to explore; Tasmania’s World Heritage Area comprises 1.38 million hectares or about 20 per cent of the entire state.
On the lands of the Needwonnee and Ninene people, find evidence of a long and unceded Indigenous occupation on guided walks to significant cultural living sites.
Here in nature’s playground, visitors can decipher the tracks of wallabies, quolls, wombats and Tasmanian devils, and scan sea and sky for dolphins, seals and native birdlife, including eagles, albatross, azure kingfishers, ground parrots and the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.
Peaks such as Mt Rugby (6 hours return), Mt Milner (2 hours return) and Balmoral Hill (1 hour return) offer top-of-the-world vistas of distant ranges, languid waterways and remote coastline. Less heart-testing options include walks along deserted beaches, through the rolling, prehistoric hills and to historic mining and pining (forestry) sites.