Belgian man the first person to cross Tasmania during the winter
No sun-drenched beach holidays for Louis-Philippe Loncke. The Belgian spent the months of August and September in largely inhospitable Tasmania, which is close to Australia. He is the first person ever to cross the island on foot, without additional supplies. What's more, he did it winter conditions.
For 52 days, the adventurer covered around 500 kilometres on foot, from the village of Penguin in the north to Cockle Creek in the south of the island. He had 60 kilos of material and supplies on his back, including camping gear and an inflatable boat to cross lakes and navigate rivers.
Louis-Philippe Loncke avoided the well-trodden paths, and sometimes had to wade through meters-high snow. As though the expedition was not demanding enough, he also climbed Cradle Mountain, which is 1500 meters high. He almost lost his life on a river, when his boat got stuck underwater following a collision with a tree trunk. During the expedition, Loncke lost as much as 16 kilos in bodyweight. He is now planning to write a book about his adventure.
This was not the 41 year-old Belgian's first taste of adventure. In 2008, he trekked through the Simpson desert in Australia. In 2013, he navigated along the shores of Lake Titicaca along with the Peruvian Gadiel Sánchez Rivera. Two years later, he crossed Death Valley National Park in the United States on foot, alone. In 2016, his exploits earned him the title of 'European adventurer of the year'.