6-8 minute read
When I came up with the Wild Wellness concept, I knew it could be something incredible. I knew that Tasmania was its perfect home. I knew that merging just the right medical, wellness and tourism professionals could have the power to shift lives. I knew that my own 20+ year journey to wellness could finally transform my 'own mess' into 'a message.' What I didn't know was that our premier Wild Wellness adventure would see 14 strangers become friends ... would move people to tears ... and would have my gentle natured little brother releasing the call of his spirit animal.
THREE CAPES LODGE WILD WELLNESS WALK
From the moment we come together at the Tasmanian Walking Co (TWC) headquarters, the magic unfolds. Our bond is almost instant as we hop on the bus, encouraged to share our spirit animal sound during our intros. Though apprehensive looks dart among us, these become our tribal voice.
*I've kept this story short and let other participant's words be the window into our shared experience.
No Three Capes Walk is likely to have begun in the same way. We disembark the Huon-pine trimmed private boat to submerge ourselves in the clear, cool waters of Denman's Cove. We're guided by our Wim Hof Method instructor, Piet Blokker, trained in Europe by Wim himself.
Feeling invigorated, we venture six kilometres along the coastline to our private lodge, punctuated by stops where knowledgeable TWC guides share indigenous tales in rocky coves before leading us straight to the doorstep of Crescent Lodge where our delightful host awaits. Evening sunset chats, long table dining and comfy couch journaling follows. Some share written words about what it was like to plunge into Denman's ... journal pages that will become a portal to the exhilaration they felt.
No surprises that some of us sneak up to the deck for sunrise and stumble on others. As night becomes day, some stretch, some meditate, some smile in silence. One guest and dear friend, Liza Jane, sits beside me and squeezes my hand, "this is your dream come true," she whispers. She is right. It just takes her words for me realise.
Cooked brekkie is served, fueling us for our day ahead where we walk some 5 hours together and conquer Arthur's Peak at around 300m above sea level. Getting in around mid-afternoon to Pillar Lodge means we have plenty of time for breath work with Piet. It's powerful stuff - many raising eyebrows and admitting they've never spent 40-50 minutes 'just breathing.' It's followed with a plunge pool experience that has more than one of us sharing our Spirit Animal noises to save all manner of swear words erupting. In Piet style, he helps each of us breathe through our icy fears and every one of us emerges from the water invigorated. Dinner is a delicious affair complete with alcohol-free cocktails that wouldn't look out of place in a hip Melbourne bar (btw Melbourne has Australia's first alcohol-free bar, so we were very much on trend at Crescent Lodge!)
We wake to Cape Pillar day - my personal favourite cape. It's an 18km mission. I'm amazed that the rubbish forecast is delivering a clear day. We get incredible views along the coast and out to Tasman Island. Ever talented photographer Chris stops at no lengths to capture our moments - complaining that he wasn't tall enough for one snap before being lifted onto another's shoulders.
On the return walk, we're invited to separate out for some mindful walking. It's next level amazing. I struggle not to whip out my phone to catch another beautiful photo before falling into the rhythm of nature. It's blissful. It then gently begins to rain. We follow it up with breath work and cold plunging back at the lodge before huddling in the dry room to warm up among the jackets.
That night, one guest shares of the rain ... of tears, of a solo walk, of an experience she'll never forget.
We step out with serious energy this morning and are so far ahead of schedule that most of us take the side trip out to Cape Huay. It's epic. As my step quickens to reach Fortescue Bay with a patch of sunshine punching through grey clouds, I hear squeals of delight. I know exactly who they are. The walkers in front have already taken the Fortescue dive. It's music to my ears.
We join them in the ocean as our sunshine fades. Next moment, it's bucketing down. Beside me, Liza Jane looks to the sky and says, "this is perfect. All I wanted to do was swim in the rain."
It seems everyone got something special from our Wild Wellness trip. A moment in silence. A hangover free cocktail. A new friendship. A breaking free from feeling stuck. A new path forward.
When the Spirit Animal herd asked 'when is our reunion. Next month?' on the bus trip home, I knew my work was done. Even if there was never another Wild Wellness adventure, this would be enough. That said, I can confirm Tasmania will host oh so many more Wild Wellness trips. This is only the beginning.
What other's said:
In need of a personal reset & reboot I booked the Wild Wellness Walk. This trip delivered just that, plus a whole lot more. Passionate & knowledgeable guides reconnected me to mother nature. Daily practice of the Wim Hof method invigorated & renewed. Evening journal writing guided by Alice Hansen gave everyone time to reflect & discuss ‘Connection, Care & Commitment.’ A trip that nourishes the body, mind & soul. Life changing for me.
Thank you for sharing Wild Wellness with us all, with the world, in such a respectful, explorative and generous way. Combining Tasmania’s pristine nature experiences with an inner journey of letting go through Wild Wellness was a meaningful, enriching and heart-touching experience. After 20 years of organising, hosting and coordinating workshops/retreats of a similar nature it was not only a joy to sit back and be a participant, it further allowed a profound perspective of the depth, mind-opening and potentially healing possibilities through this carefully constructed program. Gentle movement, breathwork, reflection – all held in a bubble of deep care and frequent laughter has been a deeply enriching experience. Thank you dearly, and from the heart.
Wow! What a rejuvenating experience. We were truly pampered from sunset to sunrise. The connections made to place and people have created beautiful lifelong memories and friendships. I am so grateful that this opportunity came when it did. The chance to be truly present in the moment, to journal, be mindful in such capable and caring hands has left me feeling refreshed and with a whole lot of inspiration to continue this self care into the future. I am so grateful to Alice, Piet, Tas walking Co and my fellow group members for all their efforts in making this journey such a success and source of empowerment. Here's to many more Wild Wellness adventures.
Wild Wellness is the latest antidote to modern day stresses; a wholesome script to wellness. We have released new dates & experiences for 2021/2022 including our retreats at The Cove (Oct 1-3, Mar 25-27), the next Three Capes Lodge Wild Wellness Walk, June 30-July 3, 2022 and our AF Wild Wellness @ The Cove experience with addiction specialist, Dr. Chris Davis, September 2-4, 2022. Also keep a look out for our day Fire + Ice Walk in partnership with Walk on Kunanyi.
Find out more at www.wildwellnessmethod.com where you can also sign up for our forever free online course.
Words: Alice Hansen
Images: Chris Crerar