1. Previous (pre-2018) public access arrangements
Under the previous ownership of Reg Hall and his daughter Mrs Elizabeth McQuilkin, generous public access was permitted to users who sought permission to visit this significant but privately owned, historical hut.
Under the new custodianship of Daniel and Simone Hackett, an enhanced Public Access Program has been developed to ensure that bushwalkers and fishers will continue to have public access to the hut, while ensuring that the environment of the island is protected first and foremost.
2. Historical public usage levels – 3 groups per year (12 persons)
Hut journal records from the past 26 years of use at Halls Island indicate an average visitation of approximately three visitor groups per year, with an average group size of three to four persons (12 persons in total per annum). The majority of these visitors self-identified as repeat visitors with a long-term connection to the hut, or bushwalking club members. Very few identified as anglers.
3. Increased Public Access – 15 trips per year (60 persons)
Of first and foremost importance is the protection of World Heritage Values found at Halls Island, including the rare native pines that line the foreshore, along with on-island sphagnum bogs. While managing for these environmental conditions, the owners of the private hut will provide for 15 day-visits per annum to the general public, free of charge. This Access Program will facilitate access to the private hut at no charge (for groups sizes of up to four persons), and overnight stays will be considered upon request. As a further extension of this Access Program, the owners will provide full-capture toilet facilities for the benefit of public guests, and to ensure protection of the environment. The significant annual costs required to provide the public-use toilet facilities will be covered by the owners, for the benefit of the environment and public users.
The outcome of the Access Program is increased public access well-over and above any historical levels, and improved environmental outcomes for the values of Halls Island through the implementation of complete-capture toileting facilities at the cost of the owners.
To ensure the environmental integrity of the island, and maximise the experience of the visit, visitors will be required to:
a. Contact Wild Drake P/L by Email to book a suitable time to visit. This date must be approved by Wild Drake P/L to ensure that all visitors (public and private) can maximise their personal experience, and avoid multiple user groups arriving on-island concurrently.
b. Provide scanned or photocopy I.D., along with email address and phone number for a booking contact, and as a point of follow up post-trip should the need occur.
c. At all times adhere to the Halls Island Hygiene Plan and NRM South ‘Keeping It Clean’ guidelines as provided. Access routes to and from the historic hut must be adhered to in order to maintain the environment (this provision applies to commercial guests also).
d. Sign an appropriate waiver of liability and indemnity in favour of Wild Drake P/L.
e. Provide an appropriate safety / emergency action plan including provision of an EPIRB. A pro-forma plan can be provided by Wild Drake if requested.
The means of access to the TWWHA, and walking routes etc to Lake Malbena are the responsibility of the visitor. Access to Halls Island is by water only. Whilst visiting Halls Island, visitors must adhere to any directions given by the lessors, to ensure that environmental integrity, safety and the important values of Halls Island are maintained. All visitors must have a history of respectful relations with the hut owners.
Under this enhanced Visitor Access Program, the important European cultural history and natural values of Halls Island will be available to more public walkers and fishers than ever before, while also providing the opportunity to develop a new small-scale tourism business showcasing Tasmanian wild places to the world.