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Wallaby Walkabout Tours

Launceston History Walks (with Wallaby Walkabout Tours) are completely unique experiences that are all hosted by local historian, and Tasmanian Aboriginal historian, Geoff McLean. Geoff is the only guide and there is no scripting involved as Geoff can provide historical information on a variety of topics. Geoff also has over 15 years experience in creating and guiding history tours around Launceston. His knowledge, passion and story telling are a class above others and he takes his guests behind the scenes around Launceston and in the Cataract Gorge. Guests will get to explore back allies and laneways that even locals don’t know their histories of, and the secrets they hold. There are entertaining stories of the characters who created Launceston, some them ex-convicts who went on to great success. And one of them founded Melbourne but his story is far more than that! Geoff also intertwines his personal connections to, and escapades in, Launceston where you will find out about which pubs provided ‘warnings’ of the detectives prowling pubs for underage drinkers and how they were avoided. Geoff’s tours of the Cataract Gorge provide more than ancient and contemporary history of the area but also the Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural connections to it. Guests will stand in an ancient river course and discover its history as Geoff discusses its significance to Aboriginal people. Geoff will also take guests to Giant’s Grave it its breathtaking views of the First Basin where he talks about the importance of the Gorge being a sacred place. The key element of the experiences are finding out about Tasmanian Aboriginal connections to the Gorge and being able to taste local bush foods. Guests will also be part of an ochre ceremony and make memory wreaths from Snotty Vine. To conclude the experiences guests are able to dedicate their wreaths to the spirits of the ancestors who rest forever in the Cataract Gorge by launching them into the dark waters of the First B
The origins of Launceston History Walks (with Wallaby Walkabout Tours) has its nexus going back to 2005 when local historian and current sole operator and guide began doing history walks around Launceston. His initial passion was for the history of old pubs/inns/hotels of Launceston and that interest soon developed into the more general history of Launceston itself. In addition to his passion for history and sharing knowledge Geoff also spent many years as a lecturer in Aboriginal cultures and histories at the University of Tasmania. He is now a highly regarded Tasmanian Aboriginal historian and still involved at the University of Tasmania as a tutor in courses designed to instruct prospective teachers in how to teach about Aboriginal history and general history. In 2016 Geoff identified an opportunity to combine his local history knowledge, Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural and histories knowledge, and passion for not only those but the Cataract Gorge. He began Wallaby Walkabout Tours as a means of sharing his passion and knowledge to people wanting to know more about the Cataract Gorge and the incredible Aboriginal cultural connections and histories associated with it. Geoff has become the ‘go to’ historian and tour host for schools and groups and is renowned for the experiences he provides. In 2019 Geoff identified an opportunity to expand his tours from the Cataract Gorge and provide a walking history of Launceston. That was the evolution of Launceston Walking Tours (with Wallaby Walkabout Tours). The primary history tour is the ‘Prince's to Park’ tour that begins in the wonderful and historic Prince's Square and takes in the heritage of that precinct with its incredible collection of historically significant, and visually appealing, churches and other buildings of interest. The tour then winds its way through laneways and back alleys of Launceston that takes guests on a different and behind the scenes experience of Launceston and its unique history. Hear the stories about the characters who are part of the fabric of Launceston's history. The tour finishes at the wonderful gardens and attractions of the City Park. The Cataract Gorge experiences are tailored to suit particular interests and are much more than just telling about its ancient and contemporary history. Guests will be shown local bush foods/resources and can taste some of the bush foods available (depending on seasonal availability). There is also a focus on the behind the scenes aspects of the Cataract Gorge, such as the ancient river course in the Hidden Valley and the incredible views from atop of Giant's Grave. And for those interested there is detailed information about Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural connections and histories. As Geoff is the only host and not only a local historian but also a Tasmanian Aboriginal historian what he provides are personal and unique experiences that are also. There are no scripted guides with limited knowledge posing