It’s a funny old way to start a work day, being invited last minute on a flight. To be honest, I don’t even know its destination. But I say yes anyway, arriving at 8.10am as instructed. Peering up from my latte, I see the plane float into view.
I know the morning will involve a seaplane and a boat, but that’s about all. We each are invited aboard the snug six-seater as Jethro, a former fighter-pilot, begins to explain the journey. I smile. It’s the stuff of movies- seamlessly transitioning from seaplane to yacht.
But it’s also the stuff of Hobart’s latest tourism offering. Blending Tasmanian Air Adventures with Hobart Yachts sounds a compatible partnership. But to be whisked from capital city to remote D’Entrecasteaux cove quicker than one can adjust to the silence of untouched surrounds - that’s a match made in Tasmanian heaven.
As the anticipation builds, we smoothly lift from the River Derwent into the air. Trees of the Botanical garden grow small as we follow a gentle arc and head south. Down below a blanket of diamonds dance across the water, as if promising we will reach the 28 degrees promised.
Our mystery flight turns out to be a whopping five minutes. We’re experiencing just a snippet of the full-day experience, with Ralph’s Bay our destination. Lowering in anticipation of our watery runway, the yacht comes into view. It’s rather idyllic.
Well it’s not just rather idyllic, it’s the type of destination that makes you want to whip out a paintbrush and capture it. The secluded bay is nestled between Tranmere and South Arm peninsulas and as the plane door is swung open a delicious waft of salty breeze hits us.
The movie part of this experience for me is more like an awkward clamber onto a rubber dinghy, but Jethro holds out a hand and makes me at least feel like Angelina for a moment. In moments we are aboard the luxury yacht tucking into plump Tassie strawberries and treats from Daci&Daci, the local artisan bakery. It’s the type of work morning that’s difficult to top.
As we venture out of Ralph’s Bay, it manages to get a smidgen better though. The motor is cut and the sails billow into action. We’re even offered a chance to helm- and are free to wander the deck while the friendly crew members share a few tales of the remote South West.
Although this is just a taster of the full experience, the sea and air combination works a treat. It offers an entirely different perspective of Hobart. You can view the watery backyards of historic Battery Point, see Mount Wellington from the air, and find yourself transported from a bustling dock to a remote bay in minutes.
The full day runs from 9am to 4.30pm, with prices starting at $285 for groups of 12. Groups can opt to sail and return by seaplane, or divide the group and have some sail while others fly. Check the website for details and combination options.
The team is happy to put together any combination and destination package that works for you, so dream up your own movie scene and let them organise the plane, yacht and gourmet Tasmanian fare. Not many people can say they’ve eaten smoked Tassie salmon in a cove off Tassie- not even Angelina.
Words & images: Alice Hansen
Your launch pad for exploring Tasmania like a local.