Feature

The Tarkine

The wild west coast of Tasmania is where all air purity is calibrated.

There are some places on the planet that are best left untouched by human hands. However, as the spread of human populations expand, so does our need for new resources.

About four hours’ drive from Launceston lies the Tarkine. It is a remote and completely wild place; there is no phone connection and no electricity grid connection.

The Tarkine

Greens Leader Christine Milne says that, “our World Heritage area is a drawcard for international and local tourists... The pristine area of the Tarkine forest in Tasmania is unlike any other habitat on the planet”.
Prime Minister Abbott recently said: “We have quite enough National Parks, we have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest.”

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will consider revoking the forest’s World Heritage listing unless a clear message is sent to the pro-logging ideology currently present in the area.

The Corrina Wilderness Experience
Located on the Pieman River in the heart of the Tarkine lies an unforgettable experience at the tiny, historic town of Corrina.

A must-do activity is a kayak along the Pieman into the heart of the forest. The well-marked walking trails from here meander through different types of landscapes of the forest. Particularly interesting are all of the different types of fungi – these are the connectors of the rainforest, communicating messages underground across the forest. The scene is like a real-life Avatar film.

The healthiest wild populations of Tasmanian devils are known to exist in the Tarkine. The Devil Facial Tumor disease hasn’t affected the local populations. It’s an homage to the great work that the conservationists do in the area. But you’d have to be lucky to see a devil – unless it is an unfortunate one on the side of the road. They’re nocturnal animals, but even in the middle of the night I’m not woken by what I am told are the most incredible screams.

There’s even a platypus viewing area – and despite waiting for a good ten minutes, it’d be worth waiting for up to an hour just to catch a glimpse of these monotremes. But even ten minutes of just sitting quietly in the impenetrable tangle of the Tarkine is rewarding.

The chef at Corrina is an ex-Rockpool Michelen star rated chef, so there’s no need to deprive yourself of some of the greatest delicacies. Sustainably raised wallaby shanks are served to those willing to dare to try them – although the gorgeous, ridiculously cute pademelon are likely to give sideways looks to those who do. The problem is, it’s such a good dish that it’s worth eating more than once.

Cruising the river
We’re taken on a day cruise on one of the oldest Huon pine boats left in Tassie, The Arcadia, heritage listed in its own right. The boat gently puts along the river at a slow speed to give us time to take in the impressive view.

Our captain is a highly enthusiastic amateur botanist, and brings the old boat dangerously close to the edges of the grand river to give us the best view of the unique plants and trees.

The tannins in the water of the Pieman River are renowned for being so reflective – creating incredible photography opportunities. The endangered Huon pine thrives along the banks, and it’s twisted branches make for stunning reflections.

A few hours up the river there is a remote settlement on the coastline. Here, the landscape dramatically changes to a windswept landscape, with driftwood littering the banks of the beaches.

Embracing the environment
Christine and Craig Roeger, the managers of the Corrina Wilderness Experience, are the perfect hosts. With many years of experience in the tourism industry, the couple decided they wanted to share the wonders of this wilderness with others.

Ken Boundy is one of the Directors of Corrina. He explains the environmental initiatives taken at the responsible tourism venue. “Nature is the hero at Corinna and is honoured by the man made facilities sitting lightly on the landscape... The light footprint embraces a carbon neutral outcome using rain water and solar energy.”

“Guests are keen to learn about how we manage the destination and almost without exception support the sustainability objective. This includes taking rubbish with them as they leave the site.”

“Understanding the significance of the 60,000 year old wilderness at the southern end of the Tarkine is key to the behavior of our valued guests.”

Corrina Wilderness Experience

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