Far South Wilderness Camp
Visiting camps in Tasmania is an experience, if not for the main fact that the Island has so much history. Far South Wilderness Camp (FSWC) is a great example of this. Owned and operated by the Friends School, which was founded in 1887 and based on Quaker values.
The chosen spot for the camp is set in the most sublime coastal area with secluded bays and sleepy inlets. Set in rugged mountains and wilderness of the South West National Park World Heritage Area, and close to the now famous and beautiful D’Entrecasteaux Channel, it really is a chunk of Tasmanian paradise. In the evening, sitting around the fire pit right on the waters edge, no light pollution, just the sound of waves lapping the shore would be truly amazing for school aged campers, or anyone for that matter.
The camp has connections with a couple of famous Tasmanians (both deceased) and heroes of mine, Peter Dombrovskis (his famous published images of threatened places in Tasmania) and Olegas Truchanas, conservationist and nature photographer. They both helped build the camp and visited and used the facility on numerous occasions.
Olegas’s canvas kayak, (archaic in any ones language) proudly hangs on display in the dinning hall. With the moulded plastic indestructible kayaks that are made these days, the youth of today would have no idea what an epic it would have been, to use this to complete rivers such as the notorious Franklin River.
The main pine log dining hall is central in the camp and has massive windows that look out onto the water- very enticing. The pine log bunk houses are set out in a ‘horse-shoe like’ formation from the dinning hall. The recreation hall which is used for initiative and indoor games is magic with its Tassie Oak panelled walls. With the fire going, rain pouring down outside, you would feel very cosy in this place. Lots of historic information adorns the walls as well.
Activities are based around the water, but camps also utilise the rugged bushland to complete extended overnight walks, returning to the camp for environmental studies as well.
I was fortunate enough to stay in the separate house (very swish) bunk house across the road from the camp. It contained private facilities and a kitchen. The accommodation was a class above any camp I have stayed in before and would appeal very much to the discerning camper or fussy teachers looking for an escape from the throng of students.