Ten Tales of Tassie — Please Excuse My Droning

Part Five A in a series of ten

I interrupt this series of broadcasts, to bring news of an alien invasion. If you have read Part Five of my blog about Tasmania, you will see that I painted a pretty picture of an idyllic beach with sky blue seas and ocean blue skies and almond coloured sand that melted beneath you. Can’t picture it? Okay, I will illustrate….

Now do you follow me? Okay. What I omitted from my original story, which I shouldn’t have done, is the fact that this paradise beach that I walked up, down and around mountain to find was only a short-lived Eden. Twenty minutes into my relaxation, my peace was shattered by an Identified Flying Object.

As the days have gone on, I have increasingly felt that this needs highlighting as we as a society, need to think now about the ground rules we want to set for the use of this Twenty First Century problem — drones.

So imagine lying on this beach, half naked. You’ve got your eyes closed and all you can see is the orange glow of sun on the inside of your eyelids. The water is still and all you can hear is the occasional wave as it gently slaps the sand.

Then you hear the collective buzz of a hundred flies. You look up and see nothing…. then over the dunes comes this drone, followed moments later by this forty year old man squealing with delight like a ten year old. He’s excited and equally frustrated that he can’t undress and use the controls to fly his toy at the same time. So he puts the console down and concentrates on the former and I think “Glad that’s stopped — that was annoying.”

Moments later the humming restarts, more excitedly than before, the pilot is stripped to his bathers and his wife is in the sea, stroking her hair and pursing her lips like she’s in a Duran Duran video.

The drone is dancing around her and….. did it really just go and focus on her cleavage before zooming up high and getting an aerial shot? oh p-l-e-e-e-a-s-e!

One by one, the two or three groups of people that had gathered on the beach start to get up and walk away.

I sit and contemplate whether I have cause to be annoyed or is it just that I didn’t think of it first? I think back to the moments prior, when I walked over the sand dune and saw this spectacular beach set out before me and it would be amazing to have caught that on camera so that I could relive it and show others what I saw.

But then I ponder my right to privacy and the people around me and I think what right has this fucking muppet got to fly his boytoy over my head on a beach? Despite having, or maybe because I have a body that people are not going to drool over, why would Gonzo think that it’s okay? Would he think nothing of it if I walked up to him on a beach, stood over him, filming him? Obviously not — then why is it different that his camera has wings?

I emailed my annoyance to Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife and received a sympathetic reply, saying that my experience was not isolated and that their policies were currently under review but that my and others’ feedback will help to shape the policy in the future.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for this couple who might be hovering their camera in a place near you.


In five years’ time, this post may seem so outdated and birdsong and the flicker of crickets will be replaced by the constant whirr of an army of drones above our heads delivering everything from aspirin to zinc or maybe, just maybe, we will have the foresight to realise that there is a time and place for everything…..

Drones aside, Hazards Beach is a beautiful place to go….