A Visionary Story – Rachel Power
The year is 2007, Facebook is in its infancy, MySpace is still the largest social networking site in the world, and Burbn - the app to eventually become Instagram - hasn't even been prototyped yet. For Rachel Power and her husband Greg they were living in Canberra unaware that they were about to embark on an adventure that would change their lives.
Greg was working at the National Library of Canberra, with his true passion lying in photography. With long service leave approved Greg came to Rachel with an audacious idea that he would remain resolute on pursuing – to travel Australia with his family photographing this beautiful country.
Having spent very little time camping in her life and with a five-year-old and three-year-old child Rachel was understandably a tad hesitant. However, Greg remained determined on pursuing this and Rachel eventually agreed.
With the combination of Greg’s fantastic photography skills and Rachel’s engaging writing ability the two decided to share their adventure, showcasing this great country to the world through the relatively new medium of blogging. This was the origins for what would become one of Australia’s first ever family travel blogs.
To help support them in this endeavour Rachel began looking into finding sponsors for the blog. The dream sponsor thought Rachel would be Canon – the company who made the majority of Greg’s equipment – but this seemed like an unlikely goal, so the search continued.
In the years leading up to this Rachel had gained experience working with a number of volunteer groups; and one valuable lesson learnt during this time for Rachel was that there really isn’t any harm in asking. With this in mind, Rachel was able to get a hold of the contact details for the PR team behind Ebay and submitted a sponsorship application. Little did she know but the team behind Ebay were also – quite unbelievably – the ones responsible for Canon. The team without prompting from the couple forwarded the application to Canon and before long Rachel was negotiating the terms for Canon to be their title sponsor.
With a sponsor secured, equipment purchased, and an unbridled sense of excitement felt by the family, they set out for a journey that would not see them return to Canberra for four months.
Once the four months came to an end and the family returned to Canberra, Rachel became pregnant with their third child and although the adventure and blog was a resounding success the two felt as though it would be unlikely they’d ever have the opportunity to do it again, so they sold the 4wd and didn’t return to the blog for nearly twelve months. Over these twelve months of dormancy the blog had actually grew in popularity, inspiring the two to consider another trip.
In 2009, an extremely rare nature event took place – the flooding of Lake Eyre. What is a typically shallow lake that rarely fills, very abruptly became the largest lake in Australia. The images coming from this event amazed both Rachel and Greg and the two agreed that the next time the lake floods they would make the trip down. To their surprise they didn’t have to wait long with the lake flooding the very next year. Staying true to their word the family began making preparations for another explorative adventure across the country. Rachel returned to their sponsors with many agreeing to be on board for this new endeavour.
The family fell in-love with exploring Australia all over again and once this trip was over the couple decided that they would spend two months every year travelling a different part of Australia.
During one of these annual journeys the family were brought to Tasmania where Rachel spoke at a tourism conference held in the state. Upon her arrival Rachel described it as being welcomed with open arms like no other place had done before. Those involved in the event were ecstatic to have her and the family there and were extremely accommodating.
Within two days spent in Tasmania Greg was sold; this is where we should live. For Rachel it was going to take a little more time to be convinced. During one of the trips in Tasmania, Founder of West Kentish accommodation Eagle Nest Retreat and recipient of an Order of Australia Medal – Des Brown, took the family around Sheffield, sharing with them everything that makes Tasmania so special. By the time this trip over Rachel agreed, Tasmania was to be their new home.
The couple came to the consensus that it was time for a change in roles; Greg was ready to stay at home and Rachel was ready to return fulltime to the work force. Once they returned to Canberra the endeavour to find a job was proving to be more of a challenge than initially anticipated but Tasmania has a funny way at finding the perfect opportunity for you. For Rachel it was discovering that the Mount Field café was on the market. During their time visiting here the family spent time at Mt Field National Park and had become the family’s favourite location. A one-hour drive from Hobart, incredible scenery, and potential for growth, it truly was the perfect opportunity. With help from some of the connections made with locals at the tourism conference Rachel and Greg were able to purchase Waterfalls Café & Gallery. Since their ownership the couple have grown the business to include accommodation, photographic tours and art gallery showcasing local art.
Rachel has been amazed by the Tasmanian culture, describing it as collaborative and greatly supportive.
“Local business owners here don’t see each other as competitors but instead as partners. They understand that by working together we can create the best possible experience for our visitors.”
Rachel is heavily involved in seeing the tourism industry grow in Tasmania, having been elected as director for Tourism Industry Council Tasmania between 2017 -2019 and is currently spear heading an ambitious development project – The Mt Field Retreat, which looks to enhance Mt Field National Park as both a pinnacle Tasmanian destination and hospitality training hub.
Read more about Rachel and other BET Visionaries by following the link below.