Come on Board and
Meet the team
On Board (previously known as Tasmanian Boat Charters) is a family-owned and operated business that has been running charters and cruises since 1998
Pieter van der Woude, founder and skipper, established On Board’s wilderness expeditions to share Tasmania’s far-flung coastal corners with those appreciative of a natural, wild world.
Pieter has had a lifetime of experience on and under Tasmania’s waters. The former Tasmanian policeman worked in diving search and rescue before spending 25 years as an abalone diver. He has also employed his boat skills to load and unload ships even further south, for the Australian Antarctic Division.
Pieter became familiar with southwest and east coast in his abalone days, before later deciding to invite visitors aboard to discover Tasmania’s playground of inlets, coves, rivers and bays aboard a sustainable, minimal-impact, floating boutique hotel.
Three custom-built boats later, On Board continues to have the privilege to share Tasmania’s most precious corners and stories with a special few.
Family ties to the business remain strong. Pieter’s daughter, Alice, has worked alongside her father since the business' first expedition cruise to the south west in 2016. Whilst growing up in Hobart, Alice enjoyed many family boating holidays to Tasmania's remote harbours, aboard the original Odalisque. As Director of Marketing & Experience, Alice is leading the design of the experience on board the new vessel, which hits the water in January 2023.
“If the legendary Deny King was the human soul of the south west, Pieter is close in line behind him. His love of the area is as vast, and as infectious, as his knowledge.”
– 40 Degrees South Magazine
Invitation to Adventure
Pieter and Alice and their family, along with the On Board team, personally welcome you on this special expedition into Tasmania's wilderness
Jump on board for an intimate and immersive experience led by locals. We know this area like the back of our hands and it brings us great joy to share these special harbours with like-minded travellers who have a taste for adventure and a desire to deeply connect with people and wild places. We invite you to share in this experience so that you may learn to cherish and care for this wilderness as much as we do, to ultimately ensure that future generations will enjoy the same privilege.
Our team at On Board
While wild landscapes make for a magnificent setting, it’s our talented and passionate team who are the heart of this unforgettable experience
From the skippers to the specialist chefs, to the hosts and the hand-picked expert guides, to our friendly customer service team at the end of the phone - it’s their intimate knowledge of Tasmania that connects people to place.
Our team members genuinely care about wilderness and wildlife, are quick to quip and love to share a story (or three).
Expert Local Guides
Our expert local guides, masters in their chosen fields fields (from Tasmanian devils to the critically-endangered orange-bellied parrot), enrich the experience with extensive knowledge of the landforms, geology, flora, fauna and cultural history. They also double as personal walking encyclopaedias.
Our guides design bespoke itineraries that immerse guests in the wilderness, lead daily guided walks and adventure boat excursions and provide daily activity briefings.
Being born storytellers, they often join guests around the dinner table to share colourful tales of the characters who shaped the region’s recent history – from romantic-but-doomed explorers to hardy Huon-pine lumberjacks, and brave crayfishers to drunken whalers. Our guides know it all. And what they don’t, they make up with a smile.
Nick Mooney is a Tasmanian conservationist, writer, wildlife expert and ecological educator with 30-plus years experience working as a biologist for the Tasmanian government. Much of this time was spent researching in Port Davey, including diving for fish and marine invertebrates, assessing mammals such as spotted-tailed quolls, and conducting bird counts, including on orange-bellied parrots and raptors. It was Nick, regarded as a local hero, who alerted the world to the fact that the Tasmanian devil might be heading for extinction due to a contagious form of facial cancer.
Peter Marmion has been a guide in Tasmania’s wild country for over 30 years. His experience includes training adventure guides, volunteering with the orange-bellied parrot recovery team, and assisting in a wide range of conservation projects including raptor research, feral cat management and bird surveying. He’s a master bushwalker, an avid yachtsman, a skilled photographer and an ex-school principal (so nothing much gets past him).
“Guide Peter Marmion’s regular visits to the southwest since the early 70s have fostered genuine passion and comprehensive knowledge.” – The Australian
Peter Mooney has dedicated his working life to the conservation, management and presentation of Tasmania’s globally renowned national parks and world heritage areas. Peter was the General Manager of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service for 12 years, starting his career as a junior ranger. He led many major initiatives for conservation and tourism, including the successful eradication of rabbits, rats and mice from the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and the development of the award-winning Three Capes Track.
David (aka Doozie) studied geology and zoology in South Africa before emigrating to lutruwita/Tasmania. After completing a PhD on the behavioural ecology of the Tasmanian devil, Doozie then worked as a Tasmanian government conservation scientist for +30 years. Projects included surveying Tasmania’s offshore islands; monitoring penguins and other seabirds on subantarctic islands and in Antarctica; working on commercial fishing boats to mitigate seabird and marine mammal bycatch; pioneering innovation in efforts to rescue stranded whales and dolphins; curating a longstanding museum exhibition Islands to Ice; and leading the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. Along the way, Doozie has written and contributed to scores of scientific publications and several natural history books, most recently in 2023 on the Thylacine and devil. Doozie is a story teller at heart, with a passion for the natural world.
On Board Chefs
Our chefs have been borrowed, begged and stolen from some of Hobart’s top restaurants
The On Board dining experience is curated by head chef Courtney Drew, formerly at the helm of North Hobart’s A’Petit Bistro.
These culinary experts are fans of fresh, sustainable dining that celebrate top local produce, including seafood freshly plucked from the ocean, artisan cheeses and meats, and farmers’ market wares. The team serves up moreish plates of fine Tasmanian fare in a relaxed atmosphere.
It’s an open kitchen policy onboard - pop in anytime to see what’s being whipped, sauteed, blanched or barbecued ahead of the next degustation.
On Board is a proud sponsor of the Raptor Refuge
Our founder Pieter van der Woude has long been an admirer of sea and wedge-tailed eagles, advocating for the protection and rehabilitation of this threatened species. “We see eagles as part of our story, regularly pointing them out to guests,” the master mariner says.
On Board supports the incredible work that the Raptor Refuge does to rehabilitate injured birds of prey so that we may continue to admire these magnificent creatures in the wild. To date, we have donated over $10,000 and continue to sponsor a $10,000 reward for anyone coming forward with information that leads to the successful conviction of someone who has killed a raptor
Our innovative boat-based experience was specifically designed to have a low impact on the environment and avoid the need for a land-based footprint. This allows guests to experience and appreciate the environment, particularly the fragile marine ecosystems of the south west, while still enjoying the full safety and comfort that any land-based lodge would provide.
We provide access to the wilderness in small groups and leave no trace of our visit. Our expeditions are led by expert crew who are trained to encourage minimal impact on the environment. Our experiences are designed to inspire a greater appreciation for the natural world. We aim to educate and excite our guests about conserving the wild places that we love for future generations.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their enduring custodianship of lutruwita (Tasmania).
We honour the uninterrupted care, protection and belonging to these islands and its skies and waterways, before the invasion and colonisation of European settlement.
As part of a tourism industry that welcomes visitors to these lands, we acknowledge our responsibility to represent to our visitors Tasmania’s deep and complex history, fully, respectfully and truthfully.
We acknowledge the Aboriginal people who continue to care for this country today. We pay our respects to their elders, past and present. We honour their stories, songs, art, and culture, and their aspirations for the future of their people and these lands.