Have just spoken on partnerships & managing change at the Cradle Coast Tourism conference in Ulverstone-must confess I’d never heard of the place, about 15 kilometres from Penguin, which I’d also never heard about.-just goes to show how much I have to learn! It’s a cute little coastal town on the edge of Bass Strait in Tasmania with bemusing shop signs promoting ‘Penguin Meals on Wheels’ & ‘Penguin Butchery! I was impressed by the rugged beauty of the coast and general friendliness of the tourism folks.
Yes, it was winter and chilly-but the warm welcome more than compensated. The organisers couldn’t have been nicer and sent me off to the Corinna Wilderness area for the weekend-a truly magnificent spot amidst tall Huen pines and beech trees. As I set off along one of the well marked walking trails, moss melted under my boots and ferns gave way to the stillness of the Pieman and Savage Rivers. Only one part of the track was excessively muddy but after a few meters in a bog, my boots now face a heater while I comfortably blog….well, I’m actually writing this off line as there’s no mobile reception, internet connection or TV -what a treat!
So too is seeing a 3000 year old Huen pine tree-standing bold and old. Nothing beats off the beaten track and I’ll be back in winter again-as don’t like the sound of tiger snakes in summer. And, there’s something magical about the forest in the off season when all you can hear is the sound of your own breath, the birds and the occasional wombat or wallaby on the path. It’s cool to be cool! (especially when you can return to a heated cabin and hearty meal)
Was at the conference dinner table with the Hon. Martin Ferguson, the federal Minister for Tourism but refrained from mentioning that I’d been at a function with my local member, Opposition Leader, The Hon. Tony Abbott the night before. I’m not one to offer political comment but only hope that politicians of all persuasions stop spouting popular platitudes about climate change-and realise the importance of getting the balance right between our natural and economic environments….that’s the only truly honourable thing to do.