IT'S wet, wild and dusty, and it could be an idea to hang on to your hat.
Riding Victoria's only commercial hovercraft on one of the state's biggest water storages is nothing short of a thrill.
Myrtleford carpenter Shane Wells designed and built the hovercraft, and now spends each weekend giving passengers a different view of Lake Hume.
The Enterprise, a 6m long craft, glides over water and land at speeds of up to 45km/h.
The lake is at 72 per cent capacity so there are plenty of mud flats to cross. The hovercraft leaves less pressure on the ground than a water bird, according to Shane.
"As the water level drops, there are new places to explore every week," he said.
"It's unique - it's a Kakadu in our own backyard."
Although private hovercrafts are operated by members of the Victorian hovercraft club, The Enterprise is one of two commercial craft around Australia.
The other is located at Broome, in Western Australia.
"I saw a movie 24 years ago called Territory Adventure about a two-man hovercraft belting around Kakadu," Shane said. "I decided I wanted to have one of those things to go exploring, fishing and shooting."
With little information available, Shane relied on the odd book, drew up plans and took them to a marine engineer.
"He worked out the plate thickness and welding spacings," Shane said.
The 1800cc drive engine is from a Subaru while the lift engine is a 18hp Briggs and Stratton, with a fan on the bottom to create lift.
The craft flies on a 300mm cushion of air while carrying six passengers and has been a boon for Tallangatta.