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: 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.
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 and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.