There are many people in the Tamar Valley region who embody the words community minded and back it up with real life actions, one such person is Craig Hawkins of Beauty Point.
Craig’s passion, alongside his wife Rachelle, is running the internationally renowned Seahorse World at the Beauty Point Wharf. Both scientists, Craig and Rachelle purchased the seahorse farm part of the business in 2002 before acquiring the main tourist centre in 2010. There, visitors can hold a seahorse in the palm of their hand and explore the many mysteries of the ocean!
Dedicated to seahorse breeding, education and conservation, Seahorse World export these unique sea creatures far and wide to countries such as the USA, Canada, the Netherlands and Italy, as well as Japan, China and other Asian nations. As one of the leading tourist attractions in the Tamar Valley, the team at Seahorse World works hard to not only promote local businesses, but the entire region and Tasmania as a whole to local, national and international markets.
Craig and Rachelle have worked very hard to build the business up and of course the COVID-19 pandemic presented a brand-new set of challenges, staff numbers have dropped from 28 pre-covid to 18 at present, though things appear to be returning to normal now with a strong influx of Mainland and Tasmanian tourists reported.
Also onsite, is the Seahorse World gift shop with a huge range of souvenirs and gift items to remember your visit and the excellent Cormorant Café on the Pier, which opened in 2019, featuring great coffee and all-day lunches. The Cormorant features some of the best views of the Tamar Valley and is highly recommended.
Craig and Rachelle, proud parents of 6, are also heavily involved with local sport, Rachelle more so with Northern Rangers soccer club who have junior teams in Beaconsfield, and Craig who still pulls on the pads for Beauty Point Cricket Club!
There are also some very talented musicians in the Hawkins family, especially Rachelle, a talented singer who has performed at recent Christmas Carol events at Exeter Showgrounds!
Craig, also a committed Christian, was keen to show me around his Creation Discovery Centre. The centre provides a look into the biblical account of the world’s existence, one designed by a ‘Masterful Creator’ says Craig who added that ‘much of the scientific evidence has been misinterpreted.’
The centre has had plenty of interested people come through from school excursions, home-schooled kids, Christians of various denominations, some science- minded, some atheists, even people of other religions and sceptics – among others. Regardless of the variety of beliefs held by society, the centre presents their evidence for the biblical account of creation in a respectful and scientific way, and as Craig points out ‘people should come with an open mind.’
The centre is open 6 days Monday to Saturday from 10am until 3pm with an opportunity to ask questions to Craig, or his team of dedicated staff.
Alongside the centre, Craigs other big passion is The Point Baptist Church which Craig and Rachelle run each Sunday evening.
The Church runs a service upstairs at the Seahorse World building each Sunday at 5 pm with visitors always welcome. Coffee, tea and refreshments are provided.
Craig is a big supporter of helping others, especially other businesses in the region. Despite his success, he is a friendly, humble man with a great love for family, community and faith, and has a real passion for the Tamar Valley area.