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Tasmania Pedal Buggies and A Large Collection of Wildlife

Touring out of Devonport we made the short journey to Pedal Buggies Tasmania. We were greeted on arrival by Dallas and the team and given a tour of the wide range of pedal powered buggies on offer for all ages. From single seaters and upright buggies to family and large group buggies catering for up to 16; plus limited mobility options to allow everyone to enjoy the scenic beachside trail through beautiful parkland.

Located alongside, is the must do the Beach Hut Cafe, kids and adults alike will have a great time. Whilst we enjoyed a coffee, a fan of the show brought a clipping from today’s Advocate newspaper with an article on WUDU and our Tour of Tasmania. Angie had a go on the TRIKKE – a 3 point carving scooter that emulates the action of a downhill skiing on wheels.

Next we headed a short distance to the beautiful Gunns Plains to check out Tasmania’s Largest Collection of Wildlife at Wing’s Wildlife Park. 8 Generations of the Wing Family have farmed this land and 5 Generations are working on site farming and running this fantastic Park. Accommodation in cabins and van sites are available. The Wing family have taken conservation of Tasmanian Fauna to world class levels and offer interactive experience with the Animals. Angie and Macca took the full interactive tour which included Wombats, Snakes, Tasmanian Devils, Koalas and Wombats. The Tassie Devils are what most would expect to be the main attraction but they are only a part of the experience. Lots of the animals have been brought in as injured or as young orphans, which are then rehabilitated and returned to the bush. Seeing the family and staff interact with the animals and visitors was amazing. Students travel from all over the world to spend time learning how this park operates. From single visitors to large groups from tour ships and corporate events, the team make everyone feel welcome. The restaurant offers local produce and a wide range of Paddock to Pan Meals from their own farm. This Wildlife Park is definitely on my agenda to return for a longer stay on site with my family to enjoy the Wing’s Hospitality.

Stay tuned for tomorrows adventures!

Written By
Jason Lock

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The Ultimate Support Vehicle

Hey WUDUer’s, in this post we thought we’d give you a bit of a run down on the vehicle we have utilised for our Tour of Tassie.

For this trip, we borrowed from Marks 4wd (in Melbourne) for what we think is an Ultimate Touring Vehicle and Support Vehicle for making What’s Up Downunder, keeping Angie and Macca along with the crew fed and watered plus carrying all the gear, recharging all the 240 volt equipment used to produce the show plus tow Caravans and Boats to all the locations in comfort.

Starting with the Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series Dual Cab GXL the team at Marks have transformed the workhorse. They replaced the factory 5 speed Manual Transmission with a Computer controlled 6 Speed Automatic, making it much easier to drive and the lower the revs from the V8 Diesel at cruising speed resulting in lower fuel usage. The conversion looks factory with a custom console and more cup holders to boot. There is a Towing mode selected by a switch which changes the shift points to better harness the required torque for towing.

The vehicle is also fitted with Portal Axles which dramatically lifts ground clearance, whilst being able to run a smaller suspension lift and fit the larger tyres. All of these modifications are engineered and legal across the country. Several new and used vehicles are being converted in Melbourne from all over the country, many new direct from dealers and even shipped from overseas.

Recaro adjustable lumbar seats replace the factory front bucket seats resulting in much more comfort and the crew feeling less fatigued after covering many miles. A GME UHF keeps us in touch with the crew and other road users to facilitate overtaking and updating on road conditions. Trailer brakes are taken care of with a Redarc Remote Brake Controller.

An MFI Service body on the rear houses a National Luna 60 Litre Fridge on an MSA4x4 Drop Slide to keep the crew hydrated. A Goal Zero 1250 Yeti Solar Generator is powered by 12v from the vehicle and a 90W Goal Zero Boulder 90 Panel; this unit allows us to run all our 240v Equipment on shoots plus recharge all our batteries for equipment on the go.

A Uneek 4×4 Bull Bar, which is all made in Australia, protects the front of the vehicle which houses a mounted Warn 9500lb Winch, Fyrlyt Driving Lights and the GME Aerial. An Ironman Foamcell Pro Suspension Kit easily carries the weight and improves road holding and towing, drastically reducing body roll all whilst making a comfortable ride.

Tyres are a Mickey Thompson ATZ P3 All Terrains that are quiet and provide traction in all conditions. The wet bitumen performance is outstanding and the tyres are wrapped in Dynamic Wheel Company alloys.

Carried on board are a full range of tools, spares and equipment plus a first aid kit to keep us filming in all conditions. GoPros are used to capture extra footage in the cabin and from the outside of the vehicle.

Stay tuned for our next exciting post!

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Tasmania’s South West Wilderness to Lake Pedder

Leaving the Cradle Coast, we travelled through the Great Lakes District seeing amazing sites of this truly diverse state. Arriving in the Southwest Region we were treated to a different experience. This forms part of the Tasmanian Southwest Heritage Area, this rugged area wasn’t mapped until the 1950’s and the Tasmania Hydro Commission undertook studies in the 1960’s to provide hydro electric power. They dammed it to form Lake Pedder, a 242 square kilometre lake with over 2000 beaches and 43 islands.

Lake Pedder Wilderness Lodge was our base for our stay in the area. Originally built as accommodation for the Hydro Workers, it is now a fantastic facility on the edge of the lake with accommodation from back packers to suites with powered caravan and camping sites coming soon. A fantastic chalet style dining room, bar and lounge overlooking the lake provides a great atmosphere. The food was fantastic with local produce throughout the menu. Angie and Macca enjoyed the live music, local characters, I think Angie took some of the other guests money on the pool table.

Angie managed to set Macca up with an Abseil over the nearby Gordon Dam Wall. Aardvark Adventures, which is Tasmania’s premier adventure company with over 30 years’ experience in adventure tourism, runs abseils down the dam wall. Abseiling the Gordon Dam has been included in the Top 10 Adrenaline activities in the world today.

This is the highest commercial abseil in the world at 140 meters. Macca and Ben the cameraman faced their fears and abseiled down the dam wall. Lots of locals and the staff from the Lodge travelled out. It was worth with it for the scenery plus seeing Macca and Ben tackle this.

Phil and his team from Aardvark Adventures run a variety of adventure activities in the area also including canoeing and corporate events plus many school groups. Many sporting teams come to assist in team building and training.

Have you tackled a fear recently?

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Jason Lock

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Exploring Tasmania

Our tow rig for our Tasmania Adventure is a modified Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series from Marks 4wd. This rig gets attention everywhere it goes. Designed to be the Ultimate tourer it can carry all our gear, keep our 240v equipment charged and be the chuck wagon to keep our crew hydrated and fed. Already a popular choice for touring Australia, the team at Marks has fitted a 6 speed Automatic Gear Box which transforms the vehicle. Land Cruiser 6 Speed Conversion has information on this.

Once word got around that we were on the Island with Mark’s Land Cruiser, we were invited to a meet up of these vehicles so the owners could check it out. It was great to see their rigs and to show off our tow rig.

The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania has been on my radar for many years as a must visit whilst in Launceston. As well as a great display of Vehicles with Tasmanian heritage there are race vehicles and a tribute to the Legends of Tasmanian Motorsport.

Back in Devonport, we spied another significant Tasmanian Motorsport Vehicle. The local Toyota Dealer owned by the Gowan Family, had a Toyota Celica built in the late 70’s to take on the Sports Sedan Competition on display in their showroom. Having been sold 35 years ago to another racer, the Gowan family have bought it back and restored it to its former glory.

Once Angie and the rest of the crew arrived we got back to work filming the show and headed over to Island Campers in Penguin to have a tour of their production facility of Tasmanian built Slide on Campers and Caravans. You will see features on these in the show.

We had heard so much about Seven Sheds Brewery in Railton we had to head over for a tour and a tasting. Macca couldn’t wait to get into the tasting.

We are looking forward to exploring more of the surrounds of Devonport over the coming days.

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Jason Lock

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Chocolate, Art, Ciders & A Good Old BBQ

We started the day with Breakfast in Latrobe at the House of Anvers Chocolate Factory, located just a short drive from Devonport. Lots of travellers start their journey arriving from a night sailing off the Spirit of Tasmania with breakfast here. Large parking to cater for caravans or motor homes and even a charging station for Electric Vehicles is provided. After Angie, Macca and the crew feasted on breakfast we were treated to a tour of the Museum, Igor the owner has been collecting chocolate related items since he was 12 years old. The chocolate factory has large windows to see how it is made. Then Angie and Macca tried their hand at making chocolate. Angie did a stunning job and Macca was relegated to the corner. All the crew left with purchases from the gift shop.

The town of Sheffield first had murals painted on a building in 1986, since then it has become a world renowned destination for artists and known as Tasmania’s Outdoor Art Gallery. The whole town has embraced the murals and most buildings have a mural. Allow a lot of time to walk around and appreciate the art plus some great shops.

Set amongst apple orchards between Latrobe and Devonport is Spreyton Fresh and Spreyton Cider Co. Renowned for years as a family owned company producing 100% Tasmanian Apple Juice. Now they also produce a range of Ciders and Ginger Beers available through their Cellar Door.  An informative tasting session taught Angie and Macca a lot they didn’t know about Cider and Ginger Beer, even higher taxes on alcohol content. They even have bands performing with a great undercover area with views of the orchard.

After a busy day touring around the area, we headed back to the Discovery Devonport Holiday Park. Macca put on a BBQ for the crew and we were surprised when Lynda and Wal; the Hema Nomad Explorers pulled up to stay after hearing we were in town. Many stories were told about their travels and adventures since the last time we had caught up with them.

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Travelling to Tasmania

On a glorious Melbourne Summer Morning; Macca, some of the crew and myself met in Port Melbourne to board the Spirit of Tasmania. Macca received plenty of waves and comments from fans whilst being directed by the friendly staff to the security check. The vehicles were inspected and checked for gas bottles, fuel and any dangerous substances that may be stored separate to the vehicles and vans on the journey. You are also asked to dispose of any fruits you are carrying, to keep Tasmania free of some of the pests we have on the big island.

The staff and the loading process really help with what could be a daunting task of manoeuvring your vehicle and van onto the parking garages. We saw some great touring set ups including an Australian made OKA set up for touring.

We spent an enjoyable time on the rear deck heading out of Port Phillip Bay looking at the sights surrounding us, lots of boaties enjoying the weather and talking to a lot of fans who loved having a photo taken with Macca.

The refurbished Spirit of Tasmania provided a wide choice of refreshments and buffet meals, lots of activities for all ages from face painting, live music, a full cinema plus lounges.

Before we knew it we could see the coast, so we ventured out onto the deck to watch our arrival to Devonport. We were then called to the parking garage to pick up our cars and were greeted by the staff who guided us off the ship.

Once we had our wheels firmly set on the road, we headed to the Discovery Parks – Devonport to wait the arrival of the rest of the crew. The park is really well laid out with easy to manoeuvre sites for the tired traveller and a lot of cabins, plus a seaside view.

Looking forward to showing you more of Tasmania over the rest of our Trip.

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Jason Lock

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