Discover The Leven River Cruise

by Michelle Kneipp Pegler

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to join a Leven River Cruise and see what was upstream?  Well I recently had an opportunity to do just that by boarding the Jus’ Leven for a Discover The Leven River Cruise in Ulverstone.

Leven River Cruise - Jus' Leven Boat
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Arriving at the Ulverstone jetty to board the Jus’ Leven river cruise boat owned by Kim Haines

Leven River Cruise: Owner Kim Haines

From the moment we stepped onto the pontoon at the boat ramp we were warmly welcomed by owner and operator Kim Haines and her daughter and helper for the day, Christie.  We settled into our seats for a “get to know you” chat, safety demo, pre-checks and then we were off… out into the blue waters of the Leven River on a picture perfect day.

Leven River Cruise - Mouth (Bass Strait)
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Cruise to the mouth of the Leven River where it joins Bass Strait

To begin with, we cruised up to where the Leven River meets the sea.  Meanwhile Kim shared stories and some history of each of the landmarks and of Ulverstone.  Turning around when we reached the mouth of the river we headed upstream while listening to more interesting information, facts and funny anecdotes along the way.

Tasmanian Wildlife: Wallabies, Fish, Birds

It was so relaxing taking in the view and spotting the wildlife and we saw lots of fish and many species of birds.  I enjoy watching birds in their natural habitat and we were rewarded with a very special treat:  a beautiful white-breasted sea eagle, which followed us along the river and then promptly dived down to retrieve a fish.  Right in front of us!  As it took the catch to its young in the nest, everyone on board was thrilled they had just witnessed this great sight.

Leven River Cruise - Sea Eagle
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Wildlife spotted during the Leven River Cruise can include a Sea Eagle

As we went further up the Leven River the water changed from blue to tea-coloured, which helped to highlight the reflections on the water along both sides.  In fact these reflections have been admired for over 100 years for the stunning mirror-effect.

Leven River Cruise - Water Reflections
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Reflections from the water of the Leven River as you cruise further from Ulverstone

You will often see this coloured water in Tasmanian waterways.  It’s due to the tannin that leeches into the water off the buttongrass plains.  About half way along the river we were introduced to Ruby: the Bennett’s wallaby that Kim is hand rearing.  Sweet little Ruby was an instant hit with everyone and she got carefully passed around for cuddles and bottle-feeding.

Leven River Cruise - Bennett's Wallaby
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A passenger on the Leven River Cruise holding Ruby, the Bennett’s wallaby

Earn Your Lunch at Leven Park Reserve

Before lunch we pulled up at the mooring area in the Leven Park Reserve.  This reserve is beautiful; an untouched area of natural bushland that has been a favourite of visitors going back as far as 100 years.  We disembarked and went over to the lunch area to get ready for our walk.


 

Our guided walk was an easy, serene and informative stroll through soaring eucalyptus, 500-year-old man ferns and beautiful tall Blackwoods with a lovely understorey of attractive ferns.  We returned along the banks of the river and back to the lunch area to chat and enjoy some refreshments, while Kim and Christie prepared our three-course meal.

Leven River Cruise - Leven Park Reserve
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Leave the Jus’ Leven at Leven Park Reserve for a nature walk through the bush

Our very filling and scrumptious lunch was served in the form of an entrée, main meal and dessert.  We all agreed we probably wouldn’t need to have dinner that night having just devoured all of the lovely food.  With our bellies full we all kicked back and shared highlights of our day, as well as funny travel stories experienced over the years.  It was time to depart this peaceful spot and start the return journey of the Leven River Cruise.

Leven River Cruise - Lunch
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Lunch, part of the 5-hour Discover the Leven River Cruise from Ulverstone

Leven River Cruise - Leven River Park
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Leven River Park for lunch on the 5-hour cruise from Ulverstone, Tasmania

Special Ulverstone Cruise & Tours

On the trip back Kim had even more history and wonderful stories to tell us as we glided along and once again took in the pretty river views.  Fantastic tour and great company adds up to a fabulous day.  This is a must to do if you are in Ulverstone and want to explore the area.  It’s a relaxing, no hassles, little-known gem of a tour.

Leven River Cruise - Jus' Leven Mooring
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Jus’ Leven cruise boat moored on the river at Leven Park Reserve

There are three unique tours to choose from to discover the Leven.  I took the 5-hour Jus’ Leven Meal and Bush Tour.  There is also the 2-hour Jus’ Leven River Tour and the 1-hour Jus’ Leven Bay Tour.  Every tour is explained on the Discover the Leven River Cruise website along with other useful information such as departure times, prices and availability, contact phone number and what to take with you etc.

Michelle Kneipp Pegler writes a blog called Leven River Farm
as well as articles like this about the north west coast of Tasmania.
She was a guest of Kim and Discover the Leven River Cruises.
If you’d like Michelle to visit you, please contact Think Tasmania.

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Map: Discover the Leven River Cruise, Tasmania…