We’ve been stepping through the ancient Tarkine forests these last weeks, discovering the places reminiscent of Gondwana Land. Tasmania has some of the few remaining forests on Earth which breath quietly and tell the tale of this ancient continent. One split apart giving birth to the ark that is Australia. It is relatively easy to find a true wilderness here in the wild Tarkine, in the remote NW of Tasmania. It is a place where ancient trees loom over you, one where you can see strange water falls that appear to have been built by a childish hand, a playful spirit stacking building block upon building block in columns, to create something that is natures own version of lego-land.
There are sink holes, some as large as the great estates. They dive into the water table creating lakes with few feed rivers and no outflow. Platypus live here, along with wombats, devils and other wild creatures. This is their natural domain, not ours.
The Arthur Pieman Conservation Reserve is the ocean side of these ancient forests, and bears the full brunt of the wild, oscillating Roaring 40’s winds. It is a wilderness that is breathtaking, and a demanding place to live. At Arthur River you will find the main camping area’s found in this region. Some suited to caravans, others more suited to campers, trailers and tents, but here the nocturnal Tasmanian Devil will often venture into camp. He is not tame… not even tamable and he can make a mean after dinner guest but one that is something of a treasure to entertain.
It is a true wilderness after all and you are the foreign object in these parts. I would highly recommend the necessary visit to the Rangers outpost at Arthur River, not only to arrange your camping permits but also the very necessary 4×4 track permits. They will give you maps, advice and the pic’s on the “wall of carnage” a well worth taking the time to look over. There you will find evidence of machines and men who lost the challenge of the tracks and beach. Those sinkholes don’t only emerge in the forests but are notorious, stretching right down the wild coast and quicksand is one of the greatest threats to the beach runners.
It’s a beautiful country… stunning beyond description but never forget that it is a dangerous land. The fishing is often good, though it is a brave soul who will stand out there with the wild surf, much safer to brave the wild rivers.
Taking time to explore the beauty of the forests though is the pleasure of this place. Seek out the creatures, discover the history and comune the old men of the forest whose nobly knees are a true curiosity to behold.
Jan is a Traveller and an Author. You can find out more about her books on travel on the page dedicated to Oldies at Large, where you will also find a list of her blog postings in topic.
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