Rachel Power has some very direct advice for anyone considering moving to Tasmania: Do it.
“Anyone who is looking to come to Tassie should think outside the square,” she said.
“Think about what you’d love to do not what you’ve always done.”
Ms Power, her husband Greg and their three children moved to the Apple Isle more than six years ago after falling in love with Tasmania during a nine-week holiday in the state.
Originally from Canberra, the Powers were beginning to miss the country-feel Canberra had during Rachel and Greg’s childhoods.
“It became more like Melbourne or Sydney, and, although it was nice, it wasn’t us,” Mrs Power said.
Although the family was content in Canberra and could’ve remained living there, they were inspired by a couple they met at a Sheffield tourism operators meeting.
“There was one couple who had been teachers, ran a saw mill and were now running a vineyard. It was at that stage we had a light bulb moment and thought, ‘we don’t have to do what we thought we were always going to do’,” Mrs Power said.
After being knocked back for a job in the state, Mrs Power started researching businesses that were for sale and stumbled on Mt Field Cafe.
The family were enthralled by Mt Field during their holiday, with each member charmed by different aspects of the area.
“My husband loved it because the imagery was spectacular, I loved it because the weather was perfect, and the kids loved it because there are other kids here and the creek to play in,” Mrs Power said.
It took nearly a year of full-time work to organise the business loan to purchase the cafe, but the Powers have never looked back.
“We knew when we came down we wanted to do accommodation, so that was in our five year business plan,” Mrs Power said.
Mr Power is a photographer and the couple ran a travel blog, giving them a diverse range of skills to bring to the business.
They now own and operate Waterfalls Cafe, Mountain Cafe, Great Aussie Photo Tours and Mt Field Retreat.
“It is an opportunity that I would never have had on the mainland,” Mrs Power said.
“I feel like anywhere else in Australia you don’t have the opportunity to have your voice heard as a small business operator.”
Mrs Power is also on the Tourism Industry Council board and was voted in as a councillor for the Derwent Valley Council in the recent local government elections.
She said Tasmania’s tourism industry is “kicking the butt of the rest of Australia”.
“What I’ve seen in the last three years particularly is really exciting,” Mrs Power said.