Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour PHOTO ESSAY Helene Young The south west corner of Tasmania has a well-earned reputation as wild, majestic and remote. With buffeting winds straight from the Southern Ocean, weather fronts roar through, bending the vegetation and whipping the waters of Port Davey and the Bathurst Channel into a white maelstrom. That same water appears like onyx on a still morning, with tannin staining the rocks and sand the colour of dark ale. The area has a rich, if tragic, Aboriginal history and since the 1800s has been home to small numbers of timber cutters, fishermen, miners, adventurers and sailors.
Leave Recherche Bay in the D’entrecasteaux Channel before dawn and you’ll drop anchor in Bramble Cove as the sun is setting. Next morning venture through Bathurst Channel, past Mt Rugby and into Bathurst Harbour. The anchorages are varied – secluded and sheltered, to small and challenging, to wide and more forgiving like Clayton’s Corner. The hikes range for easy to strenuous. Make the dinghy trip up Melaleuca Inlet and visit the volunteers at the Ranger station. And keep an eye out for the endangered Orange Bellied Parrot which migrates back for summer from Victoria.
View from Mt Milner over Kathleen Island and the north arm of Port Davey—worth the effort.
Written by women for women on the water and their families.