Entry Fees Apply
Directions - Located 90 minutes from Hobart, take the A6 south from the city centre until you reach Geeveston. Take a right onto Arve Rd and follow the signs all the way through the forest to the car park.
Update - Tahune has recently been devastated by the fires of January 2019 including structural damage to the Airwalk. Please visit the Tahune Adventures website for more details.
The Hike - After a morning visit to Snug Falls already under our belts the journey continued on to Tahune for a stroll on Tasmania's answer to the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. Previously owned by Sustainable Timber Tasmania and now under private ownership, there are a number of activities to enjoy here including the Airwalk, a Hang Glider experience, rafting and a couple of walks. Arriving around lunchtime it was decided we would enjoy lunch at the cafe first before embarking on our exploration of the walks and the Airwalk. The cafe offers a good range of food and there is a gift shop that has a variety of touristy items you would expect from such an establishment.
Huon Pine Walk
There are three walks you can do in the area with the short but sweet Huon Pines Walk, the Tahune Airwalk and the Swinging Bridges Walk. It is very easy to combine them all into one big loop that is a tick under 5km so that is what I did. First on the agenda was the Huon Pine Walk, a little loop taking in the temperate rainforest located next to the Huon River. We crossed the solid concrete bridge over the Huon River and made our way to the start of the loop. This section is mainly boardwalk to protect the vegetation and there is a stark difference in scenery once you enter the forest. Home to several outstanding specimens of Huon Pine, this is one of the only places you can get up close to these long living and rare (for their size) trees.
Unfortunately most of the large Huon Pines were logged over the past two centuries as the wood has some amazing properties that make it great for shipbuilding and furniture. As one of the oldest living tree species in the world (some examples can be up to 3000 years old) they certainly are magnificent to behold up close when you have that in the back of your mind. With plenty of cool ferns, moss and large stringybarks to enjoy along with one of my favourite trees in Tasmania (mainly for the name), the sassaphrass, this section is one of many highlights of the area. As you loop back around to the starting point you get views of the river through the trees and there is a spot where you can wander down and get a closer look. A huge double stringybark provides a cool feature point as you finish the walk and pop back out into the open. While only a very short walk I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in the dense temperate rainforest and seeing some mature Huon Pines up close so if you are visiting Tahune make sure you don't skip this one.
With the nice introductory walk over it was time to experience the main event and the reason most people flock here, the Airwalk. Having owned a pair of Airwalks in the 90s, this was going to be a different experience although still involving some walking. The entry to the Airwalk can be found opposite the road from the Huon Pine Walk and is up the stairs. Although everyone was keen to get to the start, there was some cool old stringybarks along the path that you just had to stop and admire because of the sheer size of them. Eventually though we made it to the entry and began our passage through the canopy of the forest along metal walkways. Similar to the Tree Top Walk in Walpole, Western Australia, a series of large metal platforms are linked by a walkway as it ascends higher and higher into the canopy so you can truly appreciate the scale of these ancient forests. Tahune has gone one step further with a cantilevered walkway extending out from one of the platforms providing some breath-taking views of the Huon River below and Pear Hill/Mount Riveaux in the distance.
Before you get to that point there is a wishing tree below where you can flick coins onto. The sawn off tree is a short distance below the platform but it's still a challenge to land a coin on the surface available. Some people had managed this feat but if you miss you can consolidate yourself that the coins that fall to the floor go to charity. The real delight though is up a little further with the cantilevered lookout. Luckily we had good weather when we visited with minimal wind and a good sprinkling of clouds in the sky. We let Elizabeth (aka Lizard Breath) and Kellie go first and after they had enjoyed it we ventured out to take our photos and soak in the views. I have to say that the experience was everything I had hoped it would be after reading about it before coming to Tasmania. It's one view I'm not going to forget any time soon and was a different experience to be thrust out from the forest and over the river. With a few people waiting their turn we headed back and finished the rest of the Airwalk before locating the signs for the Swinging Bridges Loop.