Southwest Wilderness – day tour

Southwest wilderness: day tour

Tasmania’s magnificent south west wilderness

The coastlines, landscapes, and waterways of the Southwest National Park provide some of the most majestic scenery you can see anywhere in the world.

And given its rugged terrain and remote location, very few people have the opportunity to visit and enjoy this largely untouched region.

But you can discover and explore the grandeur and spirit of the Tasmanian wilderness on our Southwest Wilderness day tour.

You’ll have exclusive access into the heart of the region with our fully-packaged experience – providing you with a feature-rich yet relaxed taste of true wilderness.

At Par Avion, our pilots and wilderness guides have been sharing this experience with our guests for over thirty years.

We love this place, and on our fully-guided day tour you’ll benefit from our special insights and extensive experience as a tourism and aviation operator here.

Your day with us is all inclusive – just bring a camera, a jacket, and a hat. Everything else is arranged for you including your return scenic flights between Hobart and Bathurst Harbour aerodrome, your guided boat tour around the waterways, plus a selection of guided short walks. Enjoy great coffee and refreshments, and a gourmet lunch featuring delicious Tasmanian food and wine.

You’ll enjoy a comfortable boat ride from Melaleuca, down through the winding waterways of the inlet, and out into the magnificence of Bathurst Harbour.

There’s a great selection of short walks too – including visits to local historic and wildlife sites, scenic lookouts, and nature walks. All walks are easy and most are on flat ground or raised boardwalks.

In the air, the amazing scenic views begin right away on your journey. You’ll have a window seat view as we cross Hobart and the River Derwent, wing our way down through the Channel region past Bruny Island, then turn west to track along the rugged south coast and into Bathurst Harbour Aerodrome at Melaleuca.

And the scenery on your return flight to Hobart is even more captivating. We head inland over the spectacular Arthur Range, including Federation Peak. We take-in Mount Picton and The Huon Valley, then return to Hobart via Mount Wellington for a birds-eye view of the beautiful capital of Tasmania before landing back at Cambridge.

Get a taste of this experience on video ...

Trip itinerary

This is our standard itinerary. There are sometimes variations to the itinerary to suit weather conditions and the number of guests on any given day. Times shown are approximate only.

Click each item for more detail

Check-in at Hobart/Cambridge Aerodrome - 8:00 am
We’ll check you in before you meet your pilot and guide for the day. They will provide a briefing for the experience and get you ready to board the aircraft.
Depart Hobart/Cambridge Aerodrome
Our tour begins with a spectacular scenic flight to the Southwest National Park. Following the coast, past Bruny Island to Cockle Creek, we’ll fly along the tough South Coast Track with its wild beaches, thick rainforests and mountain ranges. During the flight, we take in Precipitous Bluff, Mt La Perouse, Ironbound Range and remote Maatsuyker Island. We’ll also fly over the ancestral home of the Needwonnee people who lived in the Louisa Bay area for thousands of years.
Arrival at Bathurst Harbour Aerodrome
Melaleuca sights
Time now to explore Melaleuca on foot, including the Orange Belly Parrot bird hide and the Deny King Museum. We’ll enjoy some morning tea here with hot coffee and tea.
Take the Needwonee Walk
An easy stroll from Melaleuca airstrip through nearby forest and along the edge of Melaleuca inlet and lagoon. This is a site of significant Aboriginal heritage.
Boat cruise to Bathurst Harbour
The majesty of Bathurst Harbour awaits. But before we get there you’ll enjoy the peaceful delight of cruising along Melaleuca Inlet as it winds its way into the wilderness. You’ll witness the incredible sight of Mt Rugby standing tall over the region, and the awe-inspiring sight of this vast inland harbour.
Gourmet lunch
After exploring the harbour, we’ll stop at one of the Celery Top Islands for lunch on the beach. Enjoy a gourmet lunch of Tasmanian produce, with local wine. coffee, tea, and some sweet treats to finish.
More to time explore
We’ll stop at Clayton’s Corner – a historic site on Melaleuca Inlet; or disembark at one of the shore-stops of interest around the harbour or Bathurst Narrows. There’ll be time to take in the scenery and take an optional short walk. (These activities are dependent on the weather and time available on each trip.)
Return to Melaleuca
We’ll return to the boat and make our way back towards Melaleuca. As we cruise along the inlet, you’ll have time to absorb the untouched plains and hills surrounding the waterway, and breathe-in the cleanest air in the world.
Depart Bathurst Harbour Aerodrome
We’ll return to Hobart by aircraft with spectacular aerial views of Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour. As we travel inland, we’ll pass the rugged Western Arthur Range, world famous Federation Peak, Mt Picton, the Hartz Mountain National Park, and the Huon Valley.
Arrive at Hobart/Cambridge Aerodrome - 4:30 pm
Time to say goodbye to your pilot and fellow guests. As you head home, you’ll find yourself reflecting on the experience and the incredible place that is the Southwest National Park.

Touring map

Click the map for a full-size view

Frequenty asked questions

The experience operates every day of the week (weather permitting) over the warmer months between October and April.

It is available at other times of year on a less frequent basis – subject to demand and weather permitting.

This is one of our most popular experiences, so we recommend you book at least a few weeks in advance.

In the busy summer season (October to April) we recommend booking at least one month ahead.

If you are booking for a group of four or more we recommend booking at least six weeks in advance.

We sometimes have available seats at the last minute due to cancellations.

This experience is generally more suitable for people sixteen years or over, however children are welcome under adult supervision.

Please let us know your dietary requirements when you enquire or book. We can accommodate most dietary needs.

This is a specialised, boutique tourism experience. Our groups generally range from a minimum of four up to a maximum of twenty-five on any given day.

Both flights are approximately 45 minutes – see our Trip Itinerary (above) for more detail.

We’ll take the southern scenic route around the coast in the morning, and the mountains-and-valleys scenic route in the afternoon – weather permitting.

Keep in mind you’ll have a window seat to some of the most incredible scenery you’ll ever see from the air. The time will fly-by … literally.

All boat cruises are on calm inland waters and mostly at low speed. There is a short section at medium-speed and we recommend you bring a coat to be comfortable in the breeze.

Our boats accommodate up to eleven guests each and have comfortable seats with great all-around views.

The boats have overhead sun/rain protection and pull-down side-protection if/when required.

We recommend:

  • a hat
  • a waterproof jacket
  • an extra top layer of clothing, eg jumper, windcheater
  • sunscreen
  • comfortable walking shoes
  • camera
  • water bottle

You may bring a small daypack or bag with you.

All of the walks are optional – except the walk from the airstrip at Melaleuca to the boat landing (and back). This walk is 300 metres on a level path.

Most walks are on level paths with small inclines and graded as easy to moderate. Your guide will give you more information about each walk on the day.

The Needwonee Walk is on a raised level boardwalk.

Your safety and enjoyment of this experience is our top priority. Our pilots and guides regularly assess the weather forecast and conditions in the lead-up to this experience. If the weather is not compatible for the flights to/from Melaleuca, or for your experience on the ground, we will provide you with options to reschedule your booking to another day (subject to availability), or provide you with a full refund.

Please note this is a wilderness area on the southwest coast of Tasmania. It is subject to variable and rapidly-changing weather conditions at times. We cannot guarantee ideal weather on any experience, and you should expect there may be some periods of rain, wind, and/or cool temperatures. This is all part of a true wilderness experience.

Amendments and cancellations are possible subject to our terms and conditions. We’ll be as flexible as we can to accommodate your needs.

It’s time to unplug! This remote region doesn’t have fixed-line telephone, mobile phone service, or Wi-Fi. Your guide has a satellite phone in case of emergencies.

Our pilots and guides are all trained in first-aid and carry essential first-aid supplies.

Public toilets are available at Melaleuca.

Book with confidence – read our COVID-safe information

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