Graham McLean, TWE's proprietor, and our Tour Guides and Drivers, are experienced bushwalkers and trekkers, with long-standing ties to Tasmania. They seek to share their love of the extraordinary diversity of Tasmania's unique wilderness areas with other Australians and visitors to our country by offering guided bushwalks for small groups to Tasmania's National Parks throughout the year, supported by complementary accommodation and transport services.
Our tour guides are all suitably qualified academically and by experience, and all hold First Aid and Food Handling qualifications.
They have been specially selected because of their:
Graham's association with Tasmania began during the 1950s as a young teenager when he hitchhiked around the island camping and using YHA Hostels.
His love for Tasmania's national parks was further influenced by Sir Edmund Hillary with whom he was fortunate to spend a week at a mountaineering camp in 1960, snowed-in during a blizzard at Mt Field National Park.
In the late 1990s he resumed his acquaintance with Tasmania after walking many of Victoria's iconic walks (Victorian Alps, Grampians and Wilson's Promontory).
Although he has walked all routes offered by TWE his experience also extends to other Tasmanian and overseas destinations such as the fabled Routeburn Track in New Zealand and the arduous Kokoda Trail in New Guinea.
He has trekked in Patagonia on the Paine Circuit and around el Chaltén (Monte Fitzroy), in East Africa on Mt Kenya, the Crater Highlands and Mt Kilimanjaro. He has since revisited New Zealand where he trekked around Mt Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park, and in Iceland on a variety of tracks in their wilderness regions including the Laugavegur Trail. More adventures have been in Kamchatka (Far Eastern Siberia) where he trekked in a variety of destinations which included active volcanoes and grizzly bears, and most recently he’s trekked in Canada on Vancouver Island and Newfoundland (Gros Morne National Park and the East Coast Trail) as well as in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
He is qualified in Tour Guiding and Outdoor Recreation, with Remote Area First Aid and Food Handling qualifications.
Before qualifying as an Eco Adventure Guide, Trevor ran his own landscaping business for 25 years.
He writes: “As a seventeen year old I was introduced to some overseas visitors who had come to Tassie to take part in the protest against the damming of the Franklin River. I was born here and had done nothing to understand or appreciate what was at risk of being lost. I joined these people and played a very small part in the blockade, but came away educated by the overwhelming beauty of the area and the passion of the people involved.
This protest was successful in saving a true pristine wilderness area. Tasmania has world class forests and coastlines that are still under threat from inappropriate and unsustainable practices. Sustainable, eco-friendly tourism is the answer to looking after these magnificent areas, for people to enjoy, explore and admire for generations to come. Just by visiting us and having a unique, fun experience on your holiday here you will help to preserve this great little island.”
Alex has been interested in life in the outdoors since growing up in the highlands of the Andes in South America. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecotourism while working as a guide and mountaineer on the volcanoes of Ecuador. Serendipity and random moments brought him to Tasmania where he has now settled with his young family, and has broadened his interest in the tourism and hospitality industry. His passions are music, rock climbing and Tasmanian beer.
Madeleine somehow finds time to combine a scientific career (she's an Oceanographer with a PhD in Physical Oceanography), motherhood (three children), rock climbing, kayaking and even competitive ocean swimming with bushwalking and tour guiding! She qualified as a guide in 2006 and has led many tours for us since then. Her clients appreciate her passionate interest and expertise in all things natural, and her care and attention to their needs when touring with us. In all her activities, she brings with her a passionate and committed interest in the environment and issues of sustainability.
John has discovered life after the Public Service as a tour guide! He has had a lifetime interest in leading bushwalks that has ranged from ‘peak-bagging’ to ambling along admiring the wildflowers - more leaning towards the latter nowadays. This interest has spawned some 1400 media articles in a regular newspaper column, and a rather higher number of bushwalks.
"I believe that bushwalking is so good for you both physically and mentally: it’s all good when you’re out there," John said.
While Tasmania has been his main area of interest, he has bushwalked in every Australian State and Territory, and participated in overseas treks in New Zealand, PNG, Nepal, Kashmir, Peru, Chile and Norway.
He formally represented bushwalkers on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Consultative Committee, and was part of the furniture at the Nomenclature Board of Tasmania.
Stefan is one of our most experienced senior guides.
He writes: “I was born in Germany and have lived in Australia for over 30 years, 21 of them in Tasmania, where I have hiked extensively over the years and am very passionate about the place.
I have been working as a professional guide in Tasmania for six years, after qualifying at TAFE Tasmania as an Eco Adventure Guide (Certificates III and IV). In my spare time I try to venture further afield and have hiked in places like Patagonia, Asia, Europe and the rest of [mainland] Australia.”
“Inger, out where the wild things grow”
Inger is a passionate environmentalist with a particular interest in our State’s unique flora and fauna. She lives on the outskirts of New Norfolk in the Derwent Valley on a semi-rural property where she enjoys vegie and fruit gardening. Born and raised in Denmark, she became an Australian citizen after moving to the Derwent Valley in 2002.
She writes: “…Since moving to Tassie I have bushwalked extensively around the state and seen with my own eyes much unique wilderness that is not found anywhere else on earth. Sadly, I have also seen the devastating moonscapes left behind after clearfell logging. I recognise the responsibility we have to be accountable stewards of these special places. The world is extremely lucky that there is still such unique biodiversity and we must do all in our power to preserve it, because once gone it will never come back, to the detriment of all living species.”
Kate, a working mother of two and a passionate bushwalker, as well as leading our tours, still finds time in her busy life to volunteer with the State Emergency Service and the Scouts. She is a qualified Eco Adventure Guide (Certificate III) and has been a Tour Leader now since 2006.
Her clients appreciate her infectious good humour, her enthusiasm and her genuine concern for them when on tour - traits that have endeared her to them and have added immensely to their enjoyment of their experience with us. She is a great advocate for Tasmania's natural wilderness environment, and is committed to its preservation for future generations to share and enjoy.
Greg, (with a PhD in “a bit of everything … fisheries crises in particular and understanding societal dysfunctions and sustainability failure in general”), has a varied background that includes remote area logistics and tourism, academia, and government natural resource science and management. His passions include bushwalking, trout fishing, travel, reading and good conversation.
He writes: "I feel that guiding and driving with TWE is more like therapy than work and I really enjoy the interaction with our many interesting clients."
Born in Tasmania, Heidi loves showing off the island to visitors. A nurse in her other life she feels that guiding is her more important work as it gives her the chance to enhance people's experiences and appreciation of our amazing state. Heidi says that studying eco-guiding (Certificate III & IV) is THE best thing she's ever done and believes that a guide can add to a visitor's knowledge of how unique and important our wilderness, landscape and history is.
Joe's love of the outdoors has led him to accomplish a certificate in tourism, enabling him to participate in extended walking tours. He enjoys sharing the beauty of this enchanting island with others who appreciate the hidden treasures that can be accessed with each step that is taken.
Ken has been enjoying the outdoors since attending a primary school camp in Lamington NP many years ago. An active bushwalker, he explored the rugged Scenic Rim of SE Queensland and trips to Nepal, India, France, Iceland, New Zealand and Tasmania. His 25 year career in medical science finished four years ago with a tree change to Tasmania enrolling in a Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation in Hobart. Ken has a passion for the Tasmanian wilderness and especially enjoys getting out on long, rugged and remote trips. In his spare time he likes to climb rock and ice and hang out with PJ, his Jack Russell Terrier.
Billie is a recent addition to Tasmania Wilderness Experience’s team and brings with her an extensive knowledge of bushwalking in Tasmania. She has travelled widely and seen some amazing places (Canada, USA, Africa, South America, and Antarctica) but there is no place like home in her opinion. Tassie offers such wonderful diverse walking opportunities and if you are looking for a true wilderness experience, this is the place.
Billie thoroughly enjoys any opportunity to share her Island home. Originally born and raised in Brisbane (Queensland), her life in the past 40 years has been in the southern regions of Australia with Tassie being her pick of places to live. Billie currently lives in a beautiful seaside town of Penguin on the North West Coast and gets out into the great outdoors at every opportunity. She enjoys extended bushwalking, day walks, kayaking and abseiling. Another passion of Billie’s is flying. She has been a pilot for over 30 years and owns her own aircraft in partnership with her twin sister.
Maureen was born and raised in Tasmania and went to school in Sheffield. It was from here she first climbed Mt Roland as a 10-year old and subsequently first walked the Overland Track as a 16-year old. She joined the North West Walking Club in 1985 and became a regular walk leader for the club in 1990. After joining the State Emergency Service (SES) Search and Rescue team in 2001 she has since been deployed on many successful rescues in remote areas, and then became the Unit Manager of the Wynyard SES.
Not only has she climbed all the main mountains in Tasmania, she’s also hiked extensively in mainland Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada, Switzerland and Italy. To add to her adventure experiences, she’s crewed on a yacht sailing across the South Pacific from Panama to Tonga and still continues her kayaking and bike riding activities (as if hiking wasn’t enough to keep her occupied!).
Maureen guides for us regularly and our clients appreciate her care and enthusiasm.
Vale Glen: 1951 - 2014. You are sorely missed.
Glen, a former Survival Training Officer, Antarctica, and Station Leader, ANARE Macquarie Island, was one of our most senior guides with over 40 years of bushwalking experience in all seasons in Tasmania. His CV included impressive testimonials from the State’s Search and Rescue Organisation for assistance with many searches for missing bushwalkers, and is coupled with extended alpine mountaineering expeditions in New Zealand and Europe. He had also trekked extensively in both Nepal and India, and brought all his life experiences with him when guiding our clients.