Wild Pedder – Wild boys in short shorts
"We’d like to see this business inspire others. There are other young people setting up business here, but there is scope for so much more"
Before Wild Pedder, Lou Balcombe was a civil engineer working in Hobart while Cody McCracken was busy in his Victorian environmental management role. With a shared love of the outdoors and looking for outlets beyond the office, it was a serendipitous meeting between the two, who were working as guides for the Tasmanian Walking Company, that led to their Wild Pedder venture being born.
“We were both up at the Bay of Fires, coming back from a four-day walking trip with a bus load of elated guests when we realised we could do this ourselves,” says Lou.
And so came Wild Pedder, a four day wilderness experience in Tasmania’s incredible Southwest National Park.
As Lou describes the Wild Pedder experience, “It’s real adventure, an opportunity to connect with Tasmania’s wild places with a couple of likely lads.”
Developing and launching the Wild Pedder product presented a great opportunity along with some challenges. Pilot trips, web development, contingency plans for wild weather, accommodation options, marketing, kayak hire, transport, menus and coordinating visiting journalists are just some of the things the duo had to master in the lead up to Wild Pedder’s inaugural trip in November 2016.
So far the hard work and preparation has been well rewarded. Wild Pedder is midway through a successful first season with strong forward bookings and good national media exposure.
“We’ve launched at a great time,” says Cody. “There’s a lot of confidence in the Tasmanian tourism industry. This style of product is so strong here in Tasmania and well proven over time.”
“By virtue of Tasmania’s south west environment we offer incredible diversity,” adds Cody. “The geology, the activities, the variance in challenge and terrain, the weather. We can go from a blizzard up at Mount Field [National Park] on day one, conditions we’re primed and prepared for, to basking in sunshine up Mount Eliza.”
The duo also knew that they had to differentiate themselves from other market offerings. This includes wearing fashionably short shorts as their mainstay uniform. This signature touch is proving a hit!
“We’d like to see this business inspire others. There are other young people setting up business here, but there is scope for so much more,” concludes Cody. “We are always willing to sit and have a cuppa with those keen to begin new ventures like us.
“We work closely with TasTAFE working with adventure guides and we also help run training for the Tasmanian Walking Company.”
What’s more these boys are doing what they love. Their New Year’s break was spent on a multi-day kayaking adventure on Tasmania’s East Coast – not far removed from their everyday work life.