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Spirit of the Wild

Tasmania’s wild west. The natural wonder and pristine beauty of this corner of the state has remained somewhat of a mystery to many due to its remote location. Wanting to reveal this UNESCO Wilderness World Heritage Area to more people while respecting the sanctity of this remote land, RACTs Gordon River Cruises has recently launched the maiden voyage of the ‘Spirit of the Wild’, the newest vessel in their fleet of public cruises. Paying homage to local designers, builders and artisans to create the crown jewel of their fleet, Tasmanian materials were also chosen where possible. For timber, Hydrowood was the obvious choice. Born in the dark waters of the West Coast’s Lake Pieman, Hydrowood is pulled from the depths to reveal another lost treasure of Tasmania’s wild west. 

At just under thirty-four meters long, the ‘Spirit of the Wild’ catamaran was purpose-built for exploring the delicate and peaceful waters that lie within the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The exterior of the boat features a unique tannin-like finishing to reflect the boats stunning natural surroundings. A first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, a hybrid propulsion system allows muted cruising on eco-friendly electric motors while on the Gordon River, allowing the boat and its passengers to be completely immersed in nature.

High-end technology, low carbon footprint
With sustainability at the forefront of this project, state of the art technology was used to create the most environmentally sensitive river-cruising experience in a vessel of this size in Australia. The smaller engines on the vessel burn less fuel, and the latest in marine technology delivers the most efficient and low-emission cruising experience available. The selection of Hydrowood was again an obvious choice to support this initiative due to its sustainability credentials. The result of innovative harvesting processes, that salvage trees from underwater, Hydrowood is 100% certified under the SFM Environmental Solutions AFS/PEFC certificate. The timber is reclaimed from forests that would otherwise be lost to us, submerged in a hydro dam created to support energy production. Hidden beneath the waters of Lake Pieman for over twenty-five years and having roots in the region for over 100 years, Hydrowood’s timbers sit amongst the wild waters of the lake before being carefully drawn up to the water’s surface.

Luxe details & an immersion in the wild 
Hailing from the same region of Western Tasmania, Hydrowood was selectively chosen as the timber to be featured through the boats premier upper deck. Within this luxury seating area, angled leather recliners, a private viewing deck and stunning Tasmanian Hydrowood finishes all encapsulate an authentic high-end Tasmanian experience. The use of Hydrowood was a clear choice for naval architect Jeremy Spear from Spear Green Design. "It was a pleasure to be able to specify Hydrowood on Spirit of the Wild. It was such a natural fit. It looks incredible and exemplifies much of what ‘Spirit of the Wild’ stands for, with its immersion into the wild rivers and natural rugged bush of Southwest Tasmania." Just as the name ‘Spirit of the Wild’ was chosen for the vessel to reflect the west coast’s resilient and wild environment, the choice of Hydrowood also encompasses these attributes. Included in the timbers found here are some of the rarest and most sought-after timbers in the world, offering guests aboard the ‘Spirit of the Wild’ a close-up glimpse of what lies deep within the forests around them. “Myrtle is an iconic, endemic Tasmanian species, and the use of Hydrowood Myrtle added another level of narrative to a story already rich in the area’s natural wonder.” says Director of Hydrowood, Andrew Morgan.