Surfer in barrel of wave off shipstern bluff

The great outdoors

A day in the office can look very different depending on who you are and what you do. Here in lutruwita/Tasmania, some people make a living from adventurous nature-based occupations. Three such fortunate Tassie residents talk about what they do for fun after clocking off.

Franzi Eichler

Guide and co-owner of Franklin River Rafting

Before kids, we would visit all our friends in the industry and try out whatever they run. Like canyoning at Cradle Mountain and mountain biking in Derby. Just trying a variety of all sorts of different fun things.

It’s a really nice feeling to be a customer for once. You’re stepping out of that role and actually being guided. You can sit back, get food served, give up that responsibility and fully immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing.

This is such a spectacular place. Tassie’s wild. Tassie just feels so raw. Tassie’s got a special spot in my heart.

What I love about it the most, coming from Europe, is the remoteness. Its wilderness. None of that is left where I’m from. Everywhere, in Austria, there’s phone reception, roads, houses, infrastructure. I especially love the alpine environment here.

I have adventures away with a group of girls. We click really well. If you do stuff together it’s so important you have the right mix of humans. We’ll try to walk the Overland Track this winter but other than that they’re all smaller adventures.

As a family we walk a lot. We hike a lot. We do a fair bit up at the Hartz area. We haven’t managed the top just yet but walked Pelverata Falls the other day.

Franzi Eichler

Stu Gibson

Freelance photographer

I still have a love for surfing but I don’t do it as much anymore, but what I do like doing now is kitesurfing. That’s my main water sport. I do it at home – at Cremorne or South Arm – but my favourite spot is Scamander on the East Coast. Or Bicheno.

Mountain biking, though, takes up most of my fun time. There are so many trails around Tassie these days. My favourite park is Maydena. There’s a mix of hardcore trails but also stuff for families and lots of green trails.

Derby is more beautiful and I love the huge rock formations there but Maydena just ticks a lot of boxes for me. Plus it’s a huge mountain so there’s just so much different terrain.

I love Tassie’s clean fresh air, beautiful landscapes, and that you can go to places where there’s no-one around. Those are few and far between around the world these days. I like the open spaces and no people. You can go anywhere and it feels clean and wild.

I’m always coming and going from Bicheno. We just chased some surf there today. Not that it’s a wild adventure but we also chased some surf at Eaglehawk Neck this morning so I’ve gone from one end of the state to the other. I really want to get back to the West Coast. My partner has got a shack at Granville Harbour so that’s the next little trip I’m going on.

Stu Gibson

Chris Symonds

Athlete, world champion sailor and Sailability Tasmania mentor

I just did a wonderful trip on Greens Point Beach down at Marrawah with my daughter and wife. Thanks to the NDIS I have a nice 4WD wheelchair. This scooter also took me up to the top of the Nut at Stanley, which was very special. The person in the shop said they’d never seen a wheelchair go up there.

I also did Cradle Mountain where we went down to the little boathouse. There were steps to get there but we made that happen.

My X8, made by Magic Mobility, opens up a whole lot of opportunities. I live by the beach in Wynyard and now I can just jump in the chair and go down the beach to have a drink or just some time to myself by the waves. I have Kennedy’s disease and I come back to being able-bodied with the scooter. I can do stuff that everybody else can do and that’s really important for my mental health.

In Tassie, I just love the shortness of distance to go to such different and diverse places. It’s so easy to get around. We’re very lucky where we live. I just love the West Coast. I love the beaches. There are some lovely ones in the Rocky Cape area. I did Guide Falls and Dip Falls recently. Our waterfalls are pretty spectacular in the winter. All different and unique, and many are accessible. The X8 allows me to do that.

Chris Symonds