“Drop by before the cruise and I’ll make you a cuppa.”
An offer like that isn’t one to be missed, so we were greeted by Kaye at the Arthur River Reflections Cruise office half an hour before our departure. Once we got to chatting, I was so glad we’d taken the time to drop in, as it soon became obvious what an amazing couple Rob and Kaye are.
To say Rob is passionate would be a true disservice to him; he’s beyond passionate, having dedicated a large portion of his life to building his business in Arthur River, Tasmania. Rob’s cruise business wasn’t just a quick and easy thing to create, indeed, the accommodation section of the business came first, but that wasn’t easy either.
When Rob first set about creating a tourism venture in his community, there was not yet power to the southern side of the Arthur River, where his block of land was located. This didn’t stop him, and when council advised they couldn’t supply power until there was a commercial venture in place, he set about building that venture with generator power and hand tools. That business is now the Arthur River accommodation operated with pride by this lovely couple.
Rob’s tour boat also didn’t start its life as a tour boat. Nope, after carefully selecting a tri-hull fishing boat, designed for its stability he set about renovating it and transforming it into a multi-level tour boat, so he could provide an amazing river cruise experience to his passengers. It doesn’t stop there; Rob also built his own landing jetty, rainforest walk and undercover area to host lunch for his guests.
Rob’s character and passion help to make the cruise a very special experience when you realise dedication that the owner has put into creating it. Rob’s local knowledge is built through living many years in the area, and a true love for the wilderness and the wildlife of the Tarkine Region.
AR Reflections Family Friendly Tasmanian Cruise.
The magic of the Tarkine Region is already weaving its way into our souls as we board the M.V. Reflections. The tour boat sits on the quiet shore of the Arthur River with the ocean beating it’s rough waves to the right, a distinct contradiction to the peaceful river waters. The mouth of the river opens to the ocean at times, and when the rain comes, the waters come with it, dragging fallen and uprooted trees to their resting place on the beach shoreline.
“It gets a whole lot rougher than that, it’s a quiet day today” Rob tells us he steers the boat in the direction of the ocean, taking us for a closer look before turning the boat around and heading for our peaceful journey up the Arthur River. The kids are excited, and after a safety run down they are allowed to head to the top deck of the boat for the perfect view.
It’s quite amazing how much the scenery can change during a 15 kilometre cruise. The river’s edge is lined with beautiful trees and vegetation, although Rob’s local knowledge let’s us in on the secrets of the types of trees, bird life and little stories about tornadoes and other natural events that have occurred over the years.
As we meander along the Arthur River for the next 15 kilometres, the stillness and beauty leaves you with little choice but to relax, and settle into the soothing spirit of our gorgeous surrounds.
We travel to the fork of the Arthur and Frankland rivers, before returning to undertake Rob’s exclusive lunch and rain forest walk to Warra Falls. The entire jetty, undercover lunch area and walk were created with Rob’s own hard work, this man is something special for sure!
Lunch in the Tarkine
We disembark M.V. Reflections and are treated to a beautiful lunch. Wine, soft drink, a range of fruits, cheeses, sandwiches and beautiful home baked sweets. There’s a happy banter among our fellow passengers and we’re all swept away by the tranquility of our surrounds.
Special guests for lunch were several extremely cute Tasmanian Pademelons, Rob packs them their own special lunch so they don’t miss out when he visits.
Tarkine Rainforest Walk
The excitement and learning opportunities of the day don’t end there, after lunch and refreshments, it’s time for the rainforest walk which, again, is enhanced by Rob’s passion in sharing what he knows and loves of Tasmania.
We carry albums each filled with photos, information and numbers which align with numbers Rob has placed along the walk. This allows us to take part in a self-paced walk while learning and discovering the amazing Tasmanian Tarkine Region.
The return trip is just as beautifully relaxing and gives you an opportunity to grab some more amazing photos, especially when the wind is quiet, and the reflections provide double the beauty of the stunning Tarkine. You can definitely see why this is the Arthur River Reflections cruise!
AR Reflections Cruise Highlight
One of the greatest joys of this slow, peaceful, breathtaking journey on the waters of the Arthur River is the fun you’ll be a part of with the resident Sea Eagles who have made the region their home.
Rob gives them a treat of fish and in return they provide an amazing view as they swoop quickly into the water and carry away their treat. I love this photo, and if you look at the foot of the eagle, you’ll see it’s fishy reward held safely, waiting for us to continue our journey so it can eat in peace. The nests we saw were huge, and we even spotted a baby sitting up in the trees being watched over by it’s Dad!
So if you’re looking for things to do in Tasmania with kids, then Arthur River Cruises by AR Reflections offer the perfect chance for the kids to see some beautiful wildlife and discover the untouched wilderness that is Tasmania’s Tarkine. The entire experience lasts around 5-6 hours, so our advice would be to pack a drink and snacks for the boat, and for really young children take some toys or activities.