Cruise ship passengers from the Queen Mary II docked in Hobart on 27 February have managed to experience more of Tasmania thanks to an innovative partnership between the West Coast Wilderness Railway and Par Avion.
Almost fifty passengers from the ship flew into Strahan before experiencing the historic railway trip to Queenstown and flying back to Hobart from the Queenstown airport.
“West Coast Wilderness Railway was delighted to partner with Par Avion to deliver “The Wilderness Experience” for a select number of guests on-board the cruise ship,” Railway General Manager Anthony Brown said.
“Guests not only travelled the full length of the railway from Strahan to Queenstown, experiencing the beauty and uniqueness of the journey on railway, but had the opportunity to experience a totally different perspective in order to appreciate some of the beauty and the enormity of the wilderness that the West Coast and Tasmania has to offer. We welcome guests from around the world everyday who come be part of the West Coast experience and to have guests specifically fly across Tasmania to experience our product is rewarding for all the hard work everyone has done to make the West Coast Wilderness Railway what it is today.”
The partnership has been praised by West Coast Council, “This is a great initiative by all businesses involved to ensure visitors to Tasmania can experience as much as possible in their short time here,” West Coast Mayor Phil Vickers stated. “That passengers chose to travel to the West Coast says a lot for the level of interest our region is achieving.”
The passengers were transported via five planes which enabled them to land at Strahan and Queenstown, both airports maintained by West Coast Council.
“It was great to be able to showcase the West Coast and having the airports at either end of the West Coast Wilderness Railway was a real time saver and made the trip a possibility for clients who were only in Hobart for the day,” Shannon Wells from Par Avion said.
West Coast Council’s Economic Development, Tourism and Events Coordinator will now work with the West Coast Wilderness Railway and Par Avion to further develop the partnership and explore the potential to develop other West Coast options that may appeal to cruise ship passengers.