The wukalina walk (part one of three)
I recently was given the opportunity to join several other people on a special walk in the Mount William National Park in far north east Tasmania. The wukalina walk is a three day guided walking experience owned and operated by Tasmania’s aboriginal community.
The wukalina walk is focussed on the coastal area near Mount William, or as it is known in palawa kani, wukalina. Accommodation for two nights is in a purpose-built standing camp known as krakani lumi (resting place), while the final night is spent at the beautifully renovated lighthouse keeper’s cottage at larapuna / Eddystone Point.
The walk is normally undertaken during the warmer months, and carries a premium price, so I was delighted to join a special midwinter visit so the operators could undertake some promotional filming. My role, with three other guests, was to be extras, or as Alfred Hitchcock is said to have called actors, ‘warm props’.
We did a shortened version of the walk, spending just two nights and missing a lengthy walk south down the coast to the lighthouse, but it was no less impressive for that, and the care and hospitality of our hosts and guides was outstanding.
Rather than offer a blow-by-blow account of what we did, I am going to let my photos tell the story, highlighting various aspects, activities and locations.
wukalina / Mount William
Mount William is less of a mountain, more of a small hill at just 240 feet high – our guides advised that locals refer to it as ‘Bill’s Hill’. But it is the highest point in the surrounding landscape and on a clear day offers views across NE Tasmania.
The coastal hinterland is marked by small trees, grasslands and in particular grasstrees, or Xanthorrea, as well as Banksia marginata. We were fortunate with the weather; the days we were out were sunny and still and the low winter sun bathed the landscape in a flattering, gentle glow.
The standing camp at krakani lumi has creature comforts, including a repeater than brings mobile phone coverage for those who cannot be without it. Prior to its installation, our guides said that people had to climb this rock in order to get any signal.
The area is rich in endemic species of both flora and fauna. My slow reactions mean I’m better (if far from perfect) at capturing the plant life. I’ve identified a couple of key species and hope that my botanically-literate friends might help with identification of others.