World Expeditions has received approval to proceed with its application to erect semi-permanent Puffer Pod camps in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The Tasmanian Government has given World Expeditions the green light to enter into the reserve approval process and proceed with lease and license negotiations for the construction of five puffer pods on The Overland Track and one in The Walls of Jerusalem National Park.
The Puffer Pods have been designed by Neeson Murcutt Architects, who designed the company’s award-winning, semi-permanent eco-campsites on the Larapinta Trail in the NT, which have since gone on to win the coveted Ecotourism Brolga Award in 2016 and 2017.
The proposed Puffer Pod camps will be located within areas zoned ‘recreation’ near existing public campsites on the Overland Track and at Wild Dog Camp in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park and will draw on amenities such as toilets provided by existing National Parks facilities.
According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, sustainability sits at the core of World Expeditions’ adventure operations and the Pods have been designed for minimal impact on the environment while delivering greater comforts for trekkers on these two world class walks.
The planned Pod camps are stylish, communal cold weather tents made from state of the art down inner fabric providing comfortable, environmentally sensitive amenities for trekkers,” Ms Badyari said. “They will be demounted at the conclusion of the walking season to allow for the ground to regenerate.”
As well as providing a greater level of camping comfort, the pods will allow trekkers to reduce the weight they carry from around 17-18kg typical of self sufficient trekking in this environment, down to around only 10kg.
“Reducing the amount trekkers have to carry is key to making the trails more accessible to a wider walking market and allowing more people to enjoy our national parks and the trekking experience,” says Ms Badyari.
Another important element is that the Pod camps will allow trekkers to enjoy upgraded sleeping arrangements with standing camps that include camp beds, mattress and pillows and a more spacious sleeping environment than a lightweight tent.
“While our applications do require further assessment, this initial approval is very welcome,” Ms Badyari said. “The Puffer Pods are a great example of a tourism model within Australian National Parks that meets strict sustainability criteria, is non permanent infrastructure and that delivers on the demand for comfort trekking without any reliance on helicopter client transportation”, says Badyari.
This is an exciting development for World Expeditions, which has earned a reputation as operators of some of the most sought after walking holidays in Australia through its Tasmanian Expeditions and Australian Walking Holidays brands.