The early days of January 2013 saw several areas of Tasmania, in particular the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur Area, affected by wild fires. Several tourism operations have been destroyed and others seriously affected.
During the emergency, many tourists were trapped by the fires for several days, unable to reach their next booked accommodation, return hire cars or undertake booked tours.
Most GALTA members in Tasmania have been impacted in some way, though none have been directly damaged. Paul Dimmick GALTA Tasmanian Representative has described how the fires affected his operation at Huon Bush Retreats.
“ We were on high alert all day. Being a private habitat reserve, we are surrounded by forest so we have a very tight fire response. Despite there being no fires directly threatening us, as a safety precaution, we sent everyone off site from midday til 6pm and of course prohibited fires in the campground and cabin heaters. “
“The next 5 days, the air was thick with smoke from the surrounding fires. We experienced several instances of guests not being able to get to us and some guests stayed longer as they could not get to their booked accommodation in fire affected areas. “
“There have even been cancelations for weeks in the future. This is quite unwarranted as Tasmania is now re-opened for tourism. The smoke has cleared and with few exceptions tourism is back to normal.” says Paul.
The remarkable weather created some new Australian records. The official Bureau of Meteorology weather station at Dunalley recorded the temperature at 16:22pm on Friday 4 January as 54.9 degrees !
For more information, visit: http://blog.discovertasmania.com/discoveries/tasmania-now-open-for-business/ for details.
Image: Paul Dimmick (on right) discusses strategies with firefighters