One of Tasmania’s newest guided walk experiences is on track to open early next year.
It will not only showcase the natural assets of the area, but connect its participants to the culture of the palawa, the Tasmanian Aboriginal population.
The wukalina walk will take in three nights and four days in the state’s North East, around Eddystone Point (larapuna) and Mount William (wukalina).
Proponent Clyde Mansell has been working on the project for more than seven years.
The walk departs, Mr Mansell said, from Launceston, and buses its participants (up to 10 at a time) into larapuna.
They’ll walk along the North-East coastline into krakani lumi, the first camp where they’ll spend two nights.
“It’ll be a full-on cultural immersion, in terms of learning about our belief system, and our connection to country,” Mr Mansell said.
Construction is well underway at krakani lumi: dome-shaped accommodation pods are being nestled sensitively into the coastal scrub. A communal building is also nearing completion.
The third night will be spent at luwa, which is the renovated lighthouse keeper’s residence.
Tasmania’s walking tourism industry is booming – it’s not uncommon for the Three Capes and Overland tracks to have bookings months in advance – Mr Mansell hopes wukalina walk will offer an added level of experience for its guests.
“We can share how our culture has survived for 40,000 years, including two ice ages, and our connection to the landscape, even though it has changed,” Mr Mansell said.
“We can show how deep the culture is. Even though our culture has changed, this project is all about giving people the story of our community.”
Mr Mansell said it also provided a foundation for future generations of Tasmanian Aboriginals to build on.
We can show how deep the culture is.Clyde Mansell, wukalina walk
When the walk is up and running, Mr Mansell said it will provide financials that will be reinvested in the community, to go towards training and development of people.
The wukalina walk is due to open in January 2018, and will operate from November to April.