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Wukalina Walk

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Wukalina Walk

takara waranta – walk with us – on this incredible four-day journey from wukalina (Mt William National Park) to larapuna (Bay of Fires).

We are palawa, the First Nations peoples of lutruwita (Tasmania), and we have always belonged to this place. Trawlwoolway Country is where our Ancestors have lived for thousands of generations. Along the way we’ll share with you our ongoing connection to Country through knowledge, story, cultural activities, bush tucka and traditional foods like muttonbird and shellfish.

There are two main days of hiking and plenty of time to sit and yarn. You’ll learn about what it means to be Aboriginal and why being on our traditional homelands is so important to us. History is an integral part of the experience, yet the walk is as much about the lives of us as palawa/pakana today.

wukalina Walk strengthens and empowers our community. When you join us you are supporting self-determination and the path towards an equitable future for everyone. 

from $2,695

Insights into your experience

wukalina Walk will deepen your understanding of our culture and our proud community here in lutruwita (Tasmania) as well as expose you to the wonders of our homelands. There is so much to see and so much to learn from this cultural landscape and we look forward to sharing some of that with you. 

On the first day your small group of up to 10 guests will be guided through bushland dominated by peppermint gum, melaleuca and banksia up to the granite summit of wukalina to get your bearings and look out towards tayaritja (the Furneaux Islands). During the walk your guides will explain how pakana communities came to be on those islands and about the ongoing practice of muttonbirding that continues there today.

As we hike towards the coast, the bushland gives way to heathland where kunzea may be flowering and the tall stems of yamina (grass trees) point skyward to where eagles cruise. Wallaby and wombat graze on the marsupial lawns. Sandy creek beds channel fresh tannin-brown water. After rain the surface of puddles on the track will shine with slicks of tea tree oil.

The coastal landscape where krakani lumi stands is yet another world. This is saltwater Country where the sky blends with the sea. Headlands of time-worn lichened rocks divide long bright beaches where birds are free to nest and shark eggs sometimes wash onto the beach attached to seaweed or kelp. A lagoon supporting choirs of frogs wraps around the back of krakani lumi.

For two nights you’ll sleep under cosy doonas and wallaby fur throws in domed-roof huts set within this coastal heathland and in earshot of the ocean. We settle into krakani lumi for two days before a long walk south along the beach to larapuna (Bay of Fires) where we spend the third night in a restored lightkeepers cottage.

Here’s a bit of insight into our language.

palawa kani is a composite language. It has been carefully constructed, over the past few decades, from words salvaged from the 14 languages originally spoken in lutruwita across the 48 family/Ancestral collectives – such as Trawlwoolway, Plangermaireener, Takayna – of our nine nations.

As palawa kani is a unique language of lutruwita, distinctive rules apply. Capital letters, which are optional, are generally only used for people’s names and the names of family/Ancestral collectives but not for place names. That’s why wukalina, larapuna and our beautiful southern mountain of kunanyi overlooking nipaluna (Hobart) aren’t capitalised, even at the beginning of sentences. We don’t use italics for palawa kani words because it’s far from a foreign language.

The words palawa and pakana both mean First Nations person or people of lutruwita. The words originally come from two different language groups and are interchangeable: palawa is a southern word while pakana is from the north of lutruwita. Each Aboriginal community member chooses how they wish to individually identify.

Now that we’ve cleared that up – and you can ask more questions on the trip – here’s what you can expect on wukalina Walk.

Itinerary:

Day One. Launceston to wukalina and krakani lumi.

Distance - 11km. Difficulty - Medium. Walk time - 4.5 hours

  • Arrive at the Elders Council of Tasmania Aboriginal Corporation on St John Street in Launceston at 8am.
  • Meet Elders, guides and other guests over a morning cuppa and freshly baked scones.
  • Enjoy the scenic drive, by minibus, from Launceston to the North East, while learning some pakana and European history.
  • The cultural walk begins when we arrive at wukalina (Mt William National Park) where there will be a Welcome to Country.
  • In two kilometres we reach the 216-metre high summit of wukalina. After lunch up there it’s time to hike towards the coast. You will have a chance to try bush tucka on the way.
  • Arrive at krakani lumi – resting place – designed and built exclusively for wukalina Walk. 
  • That evening we all take part in a Smoking Ceremony.

Day Two. Time on the coast.

Distance - less than 5km. Difficulty - Easy to Medium. Walk time - 2 hours

  • After a relaxed breakfast you will learn a lot about this important land and sea Country on a guided walk along the beach and then barefoot through a living cultural landscape (we prefer not to use the archaeological term midden).
  • Look out for wildlife native to the area such as prupilathina (wombat), payathanima (wallaby), Forester kangaroo and sea eagle.
  • Lunch will be served back at krakani lumi.
  • The afternoon is a time to take part in cultural activities such as weaving, clapstick making and shell stringing.
  • Dinner includes traditional foods such as muttonbird, wallaby and doughboys.

Day Three. krakani lumi to larapuna.

Distance - 17km. Difficulty - Medium to hard. Walk time - 6 hours

  • Today is our longest day of walking with a guided hike south to larapuna (Bay of Fires).
  • We follow the waterline of the beaches and walk over rocky headlands. The hike is easily broken up with stories, interpretations and more opportunities to sample bush tucka.
  • Arrive at the Aboriginal-leased land of larapuna (Eddystone Point lighthouse precinct). 
  • At dusk and dawn wildlife often grazes on the lawns around this cosy lightkeepers cottage accommodation.

Day Four. larapuna to Launceston.

  • Take a guided tour of larapuna and surrounds including exclusive access to Eddystone Lighthouse. Only 129 steps and you’re at the top.
  • Participate in cultural activities with guides and Elders.
  • Lunch is served before we get on the mini-bus. 
  • We return to Launceston via Derby at approximately 4:30pm.
  • Enjoy nibbles and bubbly back at the Elders Council in Launceston. 

 

Inclusions

Aboriginal guide
Accomodation
All meals
First aid
Gear

You should bring

Camera
Clothes
Hat
Sunscreen
Walking shoes
Water bottle
Wet gear

Loading schedule...

Things to know

wukalina Walk departs Launceston from 30 September 2021 to 23 April 2022. Throughout the season we offer a number of guaranteed departures regardless of guest numbers. 

Additional trips will be regularly scheduled depending on demand and these can be guaranteed to go ahead once a minimum of four walkers are confirmed. 

We recommend that guests booked on wukalina Walk arrive in Launceston the night before departure. We all meet up at 8.00am on the first day of the walk at the Elders Council in Launceston. 

On the last day of the walk we arrive back at the Elders at around 4:30pm but there can be unforeseen delays so we would advise flights are not booked to depart prior to 7:00pm.

Rates
September 2021 to April 2023
Per person twin share $2,695.00
Single supplement $2,021.00
Children (age 12-18): price as per adult. No children under 12.

We offer special private departures all year round so please contact us about that anytime. Why not get together a group of 10 friends or family or members of a club and book an exclusive departure. We offer a 20% discount for groups of ten.

Price includes:

  • pick up and return from designated collection and return points in Launceston 
  • transport to wukalina (Mt William National Park) and return from larapuna (Bay of Fires)
  • twin/double share accommodation for three nights
  • all meals and snacks
  • Tasmanian wine/mineral water/juice offered each evening
  • national park passes
  • use of 40lt Backpack, Gore-tex jacket, gaiters and a water bottle (if guests elect not to bring their own) for the duration of walk
  • two qualified palawa guides for groups of six guests or more or one guide for groups of five or less 
  • time with a palawa Elder and/or a craftperson/artist.

Meeting point

The transfer meeting point is the Elders Council of Tasmania Aboriginal Corporation at 163 St John Street, Launceston 7250. The Elders is a seven-minute walk from the city centre and a 20-minute drive from Launceston airport. Pickup is available from selected Launceston hotels and you can confirm this directly with us at least 72 hours prior to departure. There is free street parking near the Elders if you need to leave your vehicle there for a few days.

Location

The walk takes place at wukalina (Mt William National Park) and larapuna (Bay of Fires). This part of the North East of lutruwita (Tasmania) is 2.5 hours from Launceston, 4.5 hours from Hobart and 1.5 hours from St Helens.

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