Walking in the Sky

Walking in the Sky

My four-year-old dreams of “walking in the sky” and lets his imagination run wild as he makes up stories about cuddling rainbows and jumping between fluffy white clouds.

So he was suitably impressed when given the chance to take a stroll 50m above ground level, intently listening to bird calls in the surrounding trees as he gazed down at the forest floor far below.

It was Archer’s first visit to Tahune Airwalk – the first visit for both our little dinosaurs – and his big brother Hudson (aged six) was equally smitten with the experience. Daddy and I had visited many years earlier, well before the boys were born. But despite our best intentions we just hadn’t had an opportunity to return. We quickly discovered that the site is great for energetic young children.

The boys loved running along the elevated metal walkway, 30m above the ground, and checking out the view from the cantilever which sits 50m above the Huon River. They also enjoyed hunting for the collection of animal sculptures dotted along the nearby Huon Pine Walk. The walk is pram and wheelchair friendly and is an easy stroll for kids.

If your kids are good walkers – as ours generally are – it’s also worth embarking on the longer Swinging Bridges Walk. I had some reservations about this walk – I thought the boys might be afraid of the two swinging bridges crossing the Huon and Picton rivers, but they loved wobbling across the narrow bridges while watching the dark, tannin-stained water rushing beneath us.

They also enjoying collecting sticks, jumping puddles, spotting colourful toadstools and resting on the various timber benches and seats along the way, some of which were cleverly crafted from damaged trees following the bushfires.

Tahune Adventures had to close for 13 months for site rehabilitation following the January 2019 bushfires and had reopened for three weeks before Covid hit and again forced the site to close. The site is now operating at full capacity, but without the usual influx of international visitors and cruise ship passengers due to the pandemic, the business is relying on the support of Tasmanians. And there are a few perks to encourage locals to make the trip to Geeveston.

The Tahune Adventure Pass allows Tasmanians to pay once and have unlimited visits to the site for 12 months. The site is also promoting itself as being dog-friendly, making it a great inclusion for those searching for new places to hang out with their pooches.
While the impact of the fires is visible, many areas of the site remain untouched by the blaze. It’s fascinating to see how quickly the bushfire-hit areas have recovered, with signage about the recovery effort and the resilience of the towering eucalypts dotted along the Airwalk.

There’s also a cable hang glider and rafting tours on offer, as well as a licensed cafe serving food and hot coffee. Plus there’s a lodge and a cabin on-site, allowing visitors to stay the night and explore the Airwalk and surrounding forest trails at a more leisurely pace.

It’s a 90-minute drive from Hobart to Tahune, but we broke up the car trip with a couple of stops along the way, including a visit to Geeveston’s Heritage Park, which is home to an expansive playground – complete with a flying fox, giant climbing net with tunnel slide, a traffic light bike path and a platypus walk (read more about the park here). We also visited the Wall of Lollies for a sweet treat, enjoyed pies from the bakery, picked up a couple of jars of jam from Harvest and Light (Hudson is a massive jam-lover) and took a closer look at the town’s colourful murals.

It may have taken us well over a decade to return to Tahune since our initial visit, but if the enthusiasm of the boys is anything to go by, I suspect we’ll be returning to the area again in the not-too-distant future.

■ Tahune Adventures, on the outskirts of Geeveston, is a 90-minute drive from Hobart. The site is open daily from 10am-4pm. Entry is $29 for adults; $14.50 for children aged 5-16 (under 5s are free); $26.10 concession; $72.50 for a family (two adults and up to three children).
■ The Airwalk and other bushwalks are included but the Eagle Hang Glider experience and Twin River rafting adventures cost extra (there is a buy-one-get-one-free deal on hang gliding during July and August).
■ Cabin accommodation is $200 per night for two adults ($34 extra per child) and includes Airwalk entry.
■ RV and caravan overnight camping is also available on site for $10 per night with the purchase of Tahune Adventures site tickets. tahuneadventures.com.au