Imagine getting on a bike and heading south from St. Helens. Around the Bay on the walking trail and then over the hill on a special path heading for Diana’s Basin. A short break there maybe a snack or play along the beach and then off to Beaumaris. Stop at Surfside for lunch or stay the night there or at one of the B&B’s conveniently located nearby. Then off to Scamander. A new track along the dunes when the walker/rider can see the beach and the coastal lagoons. Scamander is another good place for a stopover. That would be a good one day trip. Maybe the next day is a stopover day to explore the Scamander area. A ride up the river along the river’s edge to Upper Scamander area (again a new track along Parks & Wildlife reserve). Perhaps a little fishing too . Or a ride to Winifred Curtis Reserve again along a trail from Dune Street which will eventually run to Falmouth. These are just a few examples of what could be done to open up the area for visitors and all of us.
There is more to this than just catering for tourists. We the locals also need activities, involvement and a better appreciation of our environment. What Derby has done has made a tremendous difference to its community and many locals and other Tasmanians come there because of the bike trails on offering.
The outcome of not doing anything constructive is also evident in the dismal statistics of increasing depression amongst all age groups often resulting in the not discussed topic of suicide. Ann and I came to Tasmania twenty five years ago. Living in Tasmania was a great decision for which I have no regrets. Since we started Eureka Farm we have never been short of activities on the farm. But the hinterland with its millions of acres of untouched forests and going on coastal walks/rides is just not reachable. So visible, pristine, accepted by us locals but rarely entered by anyone.
Every year we get many visitors from overseas as well as interstate. Many of these interstate visitors think about moving here. The dilemma often faced if they do come is ensuring that their life is fulfilling. Jobs are scarce, the work can be seasonable, some industries such as forestry, fishing and agriculture are declining or changing rapidly. The same issues apply to those residents already living here. We need to address these matters. Whilst we can’t change some circumstances we can create activity based ventures.
In summary we need to show off our iconic coastline. We need to get off the highways, slow down and simply get outside and enjoy what Tasmania’s east coast has to offer. We can only do that if it’s accessible.
I would like to hear whether my remarks strike a note with you.