Only accessible by ferry, Tasmania’s east coast hidden gem Maria Island offers magnificent walking and cycling journeys, which our students took full advantage of while there.
“I joined the East Coast Ramble group because I wanted to truly experience the Tasmanian environment,” Eliza Brunsdon said.
“It’s unbelievable. You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and all you can hear and see is nature all around you.”
Like many other students dispersed throughout Tasmania, this group was fortunate to come across an abundance of wildlife in their natural habitat, including wombats, wallabies, various birds and even a Tasmanian Devil.
“I’d never come across a Tasmania Devil, so that was a huge experience,” Mia Thorburn said.
“The flora and fauna is like nothing like we’ve ever seen before.”
They particularly appreciated “unique colour changes in the land at different times of day”.
“We found it really compelling to see the changes in colour of the land throughout the day,” Tea-Anna Murrin said.
“We’d come across rich greens and dark browns, then we’d come across more orange, lighter colours during our walks.
“The water is crystal clear along the shoreline and then drops into such a deep, beautiful blue.”
The group were led by IGS French Teacher and avid hiker Helene Schmit, as well as an Outdoor Education Group (OEG) leader.
While enduring a six-hour hike, Ms Schmit explained that the group worked well together to encourage one another to keep going and persist with the physical obstacles in front of them.
“It was really challenging but we were pretty proud of ourselves to make it through the hike,” Tea-Anna said.
“Madame Schmit is in such good health; she was powering along saying ‘Come on girls keep going, you can do it’.”
What lay at the highest point of their hike was a breathtaking view of the mountainscapes and coast of Tasmania, just for them.
“We all feel really fortunate to be here and be able to take part in such a unique experience,” Mia said.
“There have been so many new experiences, challenges overcome and friendships made in a week.”
In the later part of the week, the group met up with the Frecynet groups, visiting the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and the Tahune Airwalk, a walkway above the Tahune Forest Reserve on the banks of the Huon River.
Students looked down from 50m above, observing the forest up close and extending their views to the mountains of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
For their extended piece of work, students were to share a voice recording and photo montage to convey their understanding of the interaction between nature, art, and people in Tasmania. Below are some examples of students’ works: