The bush sauna
23 November 13
Yes, it’s a sauna, almost in the middle of nowhere, on private property, available for use by anyone and with payment by donation! I heard about the Tasmanian bush sauna much earlier this year and was excited to finally see it for myself.
Stormlea Road on the Tasman Peninsula is the route you take to reach the Cape Raoul Walking Track. At the road’s end, there’s a paddock adjacent to the carpark where a private property accepts campers for $5/night and freely provides amenities in a generous gesture designed to preserve pristine condition of this part of the south Tasmanian wilderness.
Andy is the owner of Raoul Bay Retreat which also offers bed-and-breakfast accommodation and a self-contained cottage for $130/night. He’s built all the buildings on the property himself, fashioning bricks on-site for the main house. He has a knack for beautifully finishing his work, and when I went up to the house to buy honey and talk to him, I caught him sanding and painting an interior ceiling.
The Cape Raoul Walking Track has been here for a while, but it hasn’t been properly serviced, and so when Andy bought the property, he was dismayed to find toilet waste littering the bushes. Knowing that it would take officialdom a long time to respond to a call for amenities, Andy offered his own house toilet to walkers — putting up signs advertising that anyone was welcome to come up to the house to use the facilities.
But that still didn’t stop the appearance of toilet paper in the bush. So Andy has built a toilet for the public’s use — with his own time, energy and money — and merely asks for donations from users. It’s beautiful, too. Check it out.
And with today being cold, blustery, with light rain, it’s the perfect time to get warm and dry in the sauna! I still find it hard to believe that this beautiful place exists out here, and it’s available for use by travellers like ourselves!
I love the fact that Andy is motivated by more than just economic returns. I love that he offers his beautiful, hand-fashioned amenities for donation only. I love that all this is available in a remote part of Tasmania, and I love that I can now share the story of this attraction with other travellers.
Andy deserves to have his donation boxes filled with thankful gifts. So go, have a sauna, make a donation and spread the word that something fantastic is available at the bottom of the Tasman Peninsula for those who want to share in the fun!