Aran is the owner, director and chief guide for Tasmanian Safaris (along with many other hats).
I grew up in Tasmania just taking for granted the family holidays, camping out, wandering the bush, playing on bikes, fishing and a good old campfire to relax around at night. I didn’t really appreciate what an amazing place Tasmania was until I lived overseas. In 2002 I joined the rank of countless other young Australians, and was off to England to live and work. Luckily for me I served my time in London before moving to Leeds for work.
After an series of events that included being made a British citizen (I’m a card carrying POM/Australian), trains cancelled (someone stole the copper cable in a tunnel for scrap), aborted job interviews (never really wanted it anyway), afternoon sessions at the local pub instead (where I met people who were to become my best friends and walking companions on many an ramble) this was all in one day! but I was hooked on walking again and almost every weekend we were off for a hike.
When I returned to Tasmanian in 2007 I had decided the outdoor life was for me and I started a career guiding tours in our diverse range of landscapes. I worked in the emerging destination known as the Tarkine and helped run several photographic expeditions to the area. Knowing the Pieman river would make a unique destination for flat water paddling amongst cool temperate rain forests. I started a business using special Hobie pedal powered kayaks.
After working as a guide for Tasafari over several years, I brought into the business in 2012 combining the kayak business and renaming it Tasmanian Safaris. Tasafari was set up in 2002 as an alternative tour for backpackers and independent travelers who wanted more than a sightseeing tour. The business specialised in camping in remote areas using 4X4 vehicles. We achieved ECO certification in 2005 and have held it since. Over the years we found that as camping became more popular, there was increased competition for local free camps and some users were leaving camps in an appalling state. We have been moving to private properties and standing camps that offer exclusive use of the camps as well as basic facilities. This helps us further reduce our footprint by being able to switch to the use of more fuel efficient vans, as well as reducing the weight we carry with us in the trailers. I believe that we have now found a unique balance that offers great multi sport experiences in out of the way places, whilst still being able to share the fun around that camp fire that I took for granted in my youth.