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Hello Paddlers!

Well that’s a wrap on a fabulous Tassie summer of kayaking! Thanks to everyone who joined us on the water making this one of our best and most memorable years of kayaking.

We will continue to operate our Hobart City tour on weekends through May, enjoying the calm but cooler autumn weather. Come join us and see Hobart from a different perspective (and enjoy fresh local fish and chips).

We celebrated the season with a staff weekend of white water kayaking on the Mersey River. A great weekend was had by all (see pics below). Some of us are more at home in the ocean, but a few of our team are also pretty skilled in the white water. Tim showed us just how good he is the next day, winning the 2019 Cataract Gorge Extreme Race. Congratulations Tim. We are super proud of you.

Speaking of Cataract Gorge, besides being a Grade 4 white water course, it hosted the 2018 Australian Tourism Awards and is a beautiful Tassie icon. Find out more on the Gorge below, as well as dates for our 2019/20 expeditions, tips for paddling as you get older and the latest wombat studies.

What is our team up to during winter you might ask? Reg will be checking out some areas for new expeditions. Both Reg and Tom will be teaching kayaking and outdoor skills at TasTAFE whilst Jen is heading to the Northern Territory for a month of walking. Pip and Dan are both off to Canada for extended periods, Hannah to India, Tory is planning to sail from Tahiti back to Tassie, Damo, Coops and Mischa have a range of jobs and holidays planned and for some (Josh, Melzie, Tim and Izzy) it is heads down at Uni.

Have a great winter of paddling
Reg and Jen

Mersey Weekend

White water kayaking weekend at Mersey - Tim warmed up for the Cataract Extreme Race on a sea horse!

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2019/20 Kayaking Expeditions

SW May 2019 pics

Paddling on Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour in Southwest Tasmania

Dates for our Southwest Tasmania and Flinders Island expeditions are now available on our website. This year we also have two 5-day Southwest Expeditions over the Christmas and New Year period. Get in quick, as these dates always sell out quickly.

Reggie is currently working on a proposal for a couple of expeditions to a different location next season so stay tuned for more information in our next newsletter.

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Flinders Island - Bass Strait - 6 day paddle

Flinders May 2019

The Docks, Flinders Island

Every year Flinders amazes us more. This year the weather gods shone with glorious conditions for paddling, swimming and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. The Docks is just one area we can’t get enough of – check out the pics above taken by Loic Le Guilly and you can see why!

Part of the Flinders Island Experience is enjoying fresh local produce, with one highlight being the gourmet meal catered for by The Wharf. This year we enjoyed crayfish, oysters and Flinders Island lamb, accompanied by some fine Tassie wine of course.

We have trips scheduled for February to March next year, but they book out fast so get in quick to explore this island jewel in Tassie’s north-east. It’s only a 6-day experience but when you wind back to island time you’ll feel like you’ve stayed for weeks.

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Reg’s 10 tips for kayaking as you get older

Kayaking is a perfect activity as we get older, it is low impact and can improve your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Every year we are inspired by paddlers in their 70s (and even their 80s) on our expeditions who keep up with (and often out paddle), people half their age. Getting older doesn’t have to mean the end of kayaking and camping, it just means you have to be smarter about what you do.

Read on for Reg’s top tips for kayaking (and camping) as you get older.

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Best guide selfie for 2018/19

IMG 20190309 122927 674 2

Each year we have a little competition on who can get the best selfie. The winner is the one with the most likes on Facebook. Damo's upside down selfie smashed the competition this year. Such a great photo and deserving winner.

CONGRATULATIONS also to Frances Roberts who has won a kayaking voucher valued at $230 just for voting in our competition.

Thanks to everyone who voted and helping us decide the winner. Our guides have a lot of fun each year trying to out do each other. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next year.

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The Cataract Gorge, Launceston

Cataract Gorge

The Gorge means many things to many people. To those like Roaring 40s guide Tim, it’s a white water challenge when Hydro Tasmania boost the flows to create an adrenaline adventure. Walkers, joggers, runners and photographers roam the many paths and tracks on the edge of Launceston CBD, and there’s more to draw visitors as well as its interesting history. It’s been treasured by settlers since 1804 and by our indigenous people for thousands of years – it’s also been a tourism icon since the access along the cliffside was opened in 1907. Discover more about the Cataract Gorge here.

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5 questions for Scott Carver, UTAS Wombat Researcher

Wombat

We love seeing the many wombats ambling around the stunning landscape of Flinders Island and are always keen to learn more about the wildlife we encounter. We caught up with UTAS researcher, Dr Scott Carver, to find out more about recent bare-nosed (or common) wombat research and another topical wombat issue, mange. The full story can be found here.

1. What did your research find?
We gained a far deeper understanding of the population’s genetics with the key findings being:
a) Confirmation of three sub-species- the SE Australian mainland, Tasmanian mainland and Bass Strait Islands.
b) The healthy population on Maria Island is genetically of the Bass Strait sub-species.
c) Across Tasmania wombats more geographically distant from one another were more genetically distinct than individuals sampled nearby.
d) There are more Bass Strait wombats than previously thought – a very welcome finding.

2. Why is this research important?
It helps us manage the wombat populations, especially when translocation is being considered as the research advises against this. The other important implication is for orphaned wombats to be released as close as possible to where they came from.

3. Wombat mange has been in the news here – what exactly is it?
Mange is a disease caused by microscopic mites that burrow into the skin. Mange actually affects over 100 species worldwide, including humans (scabies). Wombats don’t cope well with the mites and suffer a slow, painful demise.

4. What impact has mange had on the wombat population in Tasmania?
There have been heavy impacts on some local populations, eg Narawntapu National Park in northern Tasmania. A severe outbreak beginning in 2010 has caused the population to crash over a number of years. There is good news however – the wombat population state wide has actually increased over the last 30 years.

5. What is being done about mange?
The current treatment regime needs repeated applications and to be honest, wombats are bad patients! As they start to improve, they become more reluctant to be treated and often change burrows. We are currently trialling a new, longer lasting, single dose treatment on wombats and hope to have the results of that soon.

6. Bonus question for wombat lovers! What’s quirky about them?
Here’s the first few Scott mentioned, read the full article for them all!

• Firstly and obviously there’s the cubic scat! (We loved this video of the cubic scat that just won the Cradle Mountain Film Fest best short film)
• Their rump is thick hardened skin (not cartilage as some think).
• They can run up to 40kmh, which is a little faster than Usain Bolt.

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