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Award Winning Cradle Mountain Huts Walk and Bay of Fires Lodge Walk Back with Experienced Tourism Operators

September 20, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

One of Tasmania’s leading private owners of tourism assets is delighted to announce that they have signed a definitive agreement with Gresham Private Equity, Sydney, to purchase the iconic Tasmanian Walking Company.

Operation-SmileThe acquisition, which includes the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk and Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, by Virgin Australia co-founders, Rob Sherrard and Brett Godfrey, will see these guided walks return to the hands of local investors. The new owners have significant industry proficiency and a desire to utilise this business as the base to further promote Australian environmental experiences.

The Tasmanian Walking Company was established in 1987 and offers two unique and award winning experiential eco-tourism operations. The distinctive Cradle Mountain Huts Walk is the first of its kind with private hut accommodation erected along the Overland Track, which makes the company the only commercial operator entrusted with providing accommodation in the Tasmanian World Heritage Area. Cradle Mountain Huts Walk and Bay of Fires Lodge Walk are two of the seven recognised ‘Great Walks of Australia’ experiences.

While this acquisition represents the owner’s first guided walks investment, they have long enjoyed a presence in the tourism industry and have a demonstrated passion for environmentally sustainable adventure travel combined with contemporary luxuries. The new owners now partner and control a stable of tourism assets including Quamby Estate, Low Head and Lake House in Tasmania and in conjunction with Sir Richard Branson, Makepeace Island in Queensland.

Rob Sherrard commented, “We continue to believe that Tasmania exhibits strong potential as a world class environmental tourism destination. Tasmania is such a wonderful state that offers a multitude of extraordinary travel experiences and we are delighted about this new venture, which represents the perfect addition to our existing portfolio of hotel properties”.

Brett Godfrey added, “Rob and I have spent a great deal of our corporate careers building or developing tourism assets that we’ve felt particularly passionate about. The Tasmanian Walking Company, has a proud history, is industry leading and has an incomparable offering that we hope will continue to raise the profile and quality of guided walks available in Australia”.

Brett continued, “The culture was key in our desire to invest. It is a very well managed business with successful environmental practices and staffed by passionate and motivated people which underpins this world class product.”

The move comes nearly 18 months after the owners re-opening of the historically significant Quamby Estate, with the base camp for the Tasmanian Walking Company located on the hotel’s property. The purchase will further strengthen Quamby Estate’s competitive position as the preferred hotel for walkers of Cradle Mountain Huts Walk and Bay of Fires Lodge Walk. Walkers will be able to spend the night at luxurious Quamby Estate, wake to the call of the wilderness, breakfast at leisure before strolling just 100 metres to the walkers’ base.

Acquiring the Tasmanian Walking Company is an important step in broader plans for growth in the tourism sector with the new owners now looking to other opportunities particularly in the guided walks market.

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