On a wet and murky Sunday morning we left Hobart initially en route to the Tahune Air Walk west of Geeveston some 55 minutes south of the City. The road south is a good 4 lane highway for the first part but disappeared into the low cloud giving the impression that it really lead nowhere. As we approached Kingston the cloud seemed to lift but the mist and drizzle continued. The road narrowed but was still quite a good reasonably wide carriageway that allowed travel at reasonable speed.
We drove on through agricultural areas and apple trees laden with fruit were evident all along the way with many small stalls selling fruit at reasonable prices. The larger centre of Huonville was reached and we moved on along the western side of the Huon River to the village of Franklin and then a short time later we pulled in to the Forest and Heritage Centre in Geeveston where we stopped to buy our tickets to the Air Walk and to make sure the facility was open given the unkind weather. It was also wet and murky in 2010 when we visited the Land of the Giants – a similar site at Walpole in Western Australia; must be the weather to do these things.
Having purchased our tickets and provided with a map of the site and directions and advice about the road into the air walk we proceed along the 28 kilometres of narrow winding road to our destination. Signs along the road indicate that “Large Trucks Use This Road” and I was glad that we were travelling on a Sunday when the “Large Trucks” were unlikely to be about; speeds were down to less than 60kph (a lot less) in many locations.
It was also evident that the forest along the way was quite thick and healthy and towered far above the road. One got the impression that we were travelling through virgin forest – then the signs became apparent – “Regrowth Forest after being clear felled in 1969” – the regrowth was quite impressive given the time frame. Some of the forests had been clear felled as late as 1983 so the management practices must have been on the mark to bring them back to the current lush state in such a short time – relatively speaking.
We arrived at the site and commenced our exploration of the site firstly moving along the path to the actual Air Walk. http://www.discovertasmania.com/attraction/tahuneforestairwalkandvisitorcentre
The Tahune Forest AirWalk Construction and Fact Sheet provides a lot of interesting information including the following – The Air Walk structure was completed and opened on 1st July 2001. From the entrance to the end it is 619 metres in length and contains over 120 tonnes of steelwork and approximately 9000 nuts and bolts. The walk has an average height of 20 metres with the Cantilever having a height of 35 metres at the tower and 37.5 metres at the end above the forest floor. My fear of heights prevented me from walking along the cantilever but I did manage to traverse the balance of the structure.
From the Air Walk we moved along the trail to the “Swinging Bridges”- two suspension structures the first traversing the Huon River and the second spanning the Picton River just above its convergence with the Huon. We enjoyed this walk and the crossing of the two swinging bouncy bridges; it was necessary to wait for a time after your arrival at your picture point before you could take a photograph without movement. After crossing both bridges there is a bout a kilometre to walk back to the visitor centre.
After about two hours in the forest we returned to the Visitor Centre and after having lunch we departed for the southern coast.