Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

Rafting the rapids

Business, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Lucy Karafilis is one of the first to take on the rapids with new adventure tourism business, Meander Wilderness Experience.

Lucy Karafilis is one of the first to take on the rapids with new adventure tourism business, Meander Wilderness Experience.

November 2018 | Hayley Manning

A MEANDER resident has just launched an innovative river sled business and he couldn’t be happier! Meander Wilderness Experience owner, Daniel Wickham, moved to Meander with his family seven years ago.

He had been working at the Education Department for the past six and a half years but wanted to return to the small business world in a bid to show his children that there is another way of earning an income, besides working for someone else. “I have always just loved being a business owner. I have fleshed out so many potential ideas from a caravan park to a chicken farm but there were half a million things to do and a lot of money required,” he said.

Dan’s previous small business experience helped him get through the seven months of planning and many obstacles that fell his way. “I met so many amazing people and had the best fun ever.” Dan has conducted several test runs with friends, family and professional river guides, including his friend and mentor Nathan Welch, (who has paddled 6,500 km’s down the Amazon River), to ensure safety and provide a framework for the level of experience his guides should have.

After a test run, Dan received positive feedback from Nathan who said: “I think you have got something here,” and the other guides who were amazed at the “vibe on the river.” And Dan couldn’t agree more. “This is a beautiful part of the world that people would not ordinarily see.”

Photo | Mike Moores