Tag Archives: The Sunday Tasmanian

Dangerous rivers

The Derwent is ranked No.8 in the country’s top 10 most dangerous inland waterways, with 12 victims since 2001,’ said David Beniuk in his article “Don’t run the risk in rivers”, published in The Sunday Tasmanian yesterday.

He explained that ‘Tasmanians are being reminded of the dangers of their beautiful, but potentially deadly rivers in a national campaign.’

The Royal Life Saving Society says ‘We are a state that absolutely loves our waterways … But our inland waterways, in terms of drowning fatalities, are really where it’s happening in Tasmania. The perception is that the still waters of a river are calm and are safe. But it’s what we don’t see and don’t know, things like ice cold water, snags, things like tree branches as well as river currents, that often get people without notice.’

Beniuk reports that ‘The state registered the highest per capita rate in the country, with men over 55 at risk.’  He noted a number of things we can do which offer protection: ‘wearing a regularly serviced life jacket, avoiding alcohol, never swimming alone, knowing the area, telling people where and when you’re going and learning first aid.’ In addition, ‘checking weather conditions and the Maritime and Safety Tasmania website were also important.’

This article was timely; over the weekend a friend urged me to stay with my decision not to canoe/kayak down the Derwent River.  As I mentioned in a recent post, a strong fit male family friend canoed down a short section and had never been so frightened.  I got the message then.

Inspiring tourism

Stephanie Williams’ article ‘The heartfelt journey to a better world’ was published in The Sunday Tasmanian newspaper on 12/12/14. I cannot locate a free copy online for you to access, however because her ideas resonated with me, I feel compelled to share them.

Dr Susanne Becken, Professor of Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University, Australia has coined the expression ‘inspired tourism’.  I like these words because they conjure up the idea of a richer and more meaningful travel experience.  One that can lift people’s spirit and extend the limits they might have set for themselves.  The concept of ‘inspired tourism’ opens the way for both traveller and local residents to have value and vitality added into their lives.

When Williams’s article talked about community conscious travellers, it is clear increasing numbers of people are changing the way they holiday.  While more Aussie travellers want authentic experiences, there is increasing acceptance that along with ‘an insatiable appetite for discovering the world comes a responsibility to respect and protect the places we travel to.’

My take on these ideas includes the notion that travelling locally and becoming a tourist in your own town or city, by using public transport, should become a mainstream travel option. To do so is easy on resources, has minimal impact on the environment and most importantly allows the traveller to see more and understand more of their local situation. Until I started walking along the Derwent River, I had no idea about so many of the communities, the landscape and the history of places through which I have passed. And yet I have lived in Hobart for many years. My walk along the Derwent River has been, and promises to continue to be, inspiring.