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Remote Tasmanian tourist site connects visitors with APN Public WiFi

CUSTOMER STORIES MEDIA 31 January 2021

With a growing number of visitors looking to share their travel experiences online, Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service recognised that offering public WiFi at the remote Hastings Caves State Reserve would provide an enhanced customer experience while promoting the attraction to a wider audience.

Located in a remote corner of Tasmania, Hastings Caves State Reserve has been providing visitors with unique memories for almost a century, with experiences including a thermal springs pool, forest walks and guided tours of Newdegate Cave, the largest tourist cave in Australia. Forming part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Hastings Caves State Reserve has become a hub for the growing number of tourists that visit the far South of Tasmania. Located over 100 kilometres south of Hobart, Hastings Caves previously had no network coverage. Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service recognised that by enhancing facilities with public WiFi, they could provide a superior customer experience.
“For many people, WiFi access is an increasingly important aspect of their visitor experience. As tourists, we want to be able to connect easily from wherever we are,” explained Hastings Cave Business Manager Beth Russell.  “However, Hastings Caves is particularly remote – at best, the network coverage is extremely slow and frustrating; at worst, there is no coverage whatsoever.”
In late 2016, Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service contacted satellite broadband experts, Australian Private Networks (APN), for the solution. The Australian-owned company is a recognised expert in remote and rural communications technology, making it the smart choice for the tourist site. As Australia's largest satellite internet provider, APN has installed public WiFi solutions in some of the Australia’s most remote and harsh locations — from Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, to Mapoon in far North Queensland, where the infrastructure has been working reliably for many years.
“APN's solution ticked all the boxes for us: providing reliability, flexibility, and scalability for our growing number of visitors,” added Ms Russell.
APN recommended its public Wi-Fi solution, connected via next-generation satellite broadband connection, be placed in two locations: Hastings Visitor Centre and the caves. Built in 2001 by Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, Hastings Visitor Centre offers information, ticket sales, refreshments and souvenirs, making public WiFi a logical extension to its services. However, it was also important that visitors could get internet access at the caves, located approximately 20-minutes drive from the visitor centre. Due to the distance and terrain between the two sites, APN installed two hotspots – one at each site. 
“This was the more cost-effective solution,” says APN Chairman, Tony Bundrock. “We were looking at installing a repeater to extend the coverage of a hotspot, but the terrain between the visitor centre and the caves didn’t allow this.”
Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service opted to provide visitors with a “PIN” to gain access to the internet and a specific amount of free data, with the option to buy additional data through APN on a Pay As You Go service. Mr Bundrock says a key benefit of the solution is its high reliability; the service boasts over 98 per cent uptime, even in adverse climactic conditions.
“Our experience installing WiFi in the most remote and harsh environments around Australia means our team knows how to manage challenges to ensure a robust and reliable service,” explains Mr Bundrock.
Since offering public WiFi access, Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service has benefited from increased customer engagement at Hastings Caves.
“Thousands of visitors have been using their mobile devices to share their experiences on social media as they explore spectacular subterranean formations, relax in the thermal springs pool, or tuck into a barbecue in the lush surroundings,” Ms Russell said. “Not only is it the best type of promotion for Hastings Caves, it also delivers the customer experience tourists have come to expect from destinations.”

“Australian Private Networks is helping organisations like Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service, meet the growing demand for internet wherever people are by providing flexible satellite WiFi solutions in even the most remote parts of Australia,” added Mr Bundrock. “We’re looking forward to working with Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service to connect more destinations.”

Australian Private Networks is ready to assist organisations and bodies, like Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service, meet the growing demand for internet wherever people are by providing flexible satellite WiFi solutions, in even the most remote parts of Australia.

If your business is looking for it's own corporate or public WiFi service, contact APN's Corporate Manager, Scott Cogley, or call APN on (03) 8566 8312.


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