Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Roo with a view

Story and photos Tim Dub

Roo with a viewCraig Williams has a simple formula for the tours he runs from Scottsdale north-east Tasmania: take a group in a luxury 4WD (or they can tag-a-long in their own vehicle) through rapidly-changing forest types, throw in a few wombat or platypus sightings on the way, progress to a serious 4WD track above the treeline at 700 metres, continue to the top of a secluded mountain, cook a bush-tucker meal from his own recipes while the party enjoys a beer or a glass of wine and takes in the view across all of north-east Tasmania, serve up a gourmet feast - and accompany all this with a quick-fire commentary of bush knowledge, local appreciation and pithy wise cracks.

Perhaps his formula is less simple than Craig makes it appear, but it works.

Craig, in fact, is one of the attractions. Imagine Crocodile Dundee, Troy Dann and Leslie Nielson (of Airplane fame) rolled into one and you start to get an idea of what Craig Williams is like.

He operates in turbo mode. His grandfather, father and one of his brothers were, or are, forest rangers in an area dominated by farming and forestry. Craig deviated from the family tradition by training as a butcher and for several years was a landscape gardener.

Roo with a viewHe is an accomplished painter, chef, raconteur and bushman. But you can never be completely certain whether he is serious. "I've never used a compass - wouldn't know how," he insists.

"When you've spent as much time in the bush as I have, you read the signs. You can detect a concentration of leaves on the north-eastern side of a trunk as the leaves try to catch the sun."

His most fascinating attribute is one that seems to arise from the very nature of the man himself and one suspects is a rare quality that cant be learnt or taught: he has an unusual affinity with wildlife.

How else could someone guarantee a sighting of a platypus in the wild, 100 percent of the time - no failures? Story end

Full story: Issue 23, June / July 2002

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