Tasmania & the Tarkine

I'm in Tasmania right now, and last night we went to see Chris Bell talk about his fabulous new book on a very special place in Tasmania - the Tarkine.

Chris is an extremely accomplished photographer ( a peer of the late Peter Dombrovskis ). Chris has published several really beautiful books on Tasmania (I own 'Primal Places', which I can highly recommend). Anyway, Chris knew I was coming to the talk and he very kindly invited us round for some tea at his home on Mount Wellington. He was so generous with his time and showed us some really nice hiking suggestions for us to do while we are here in Tasmania.

Anyway, I'd really like to talk about Chris' book about the Tarkine. The Tarkine is a pristine and rugged wilderness area in north west Tasmania. It encompasses coastline, forest, rivers and mountains with surprising diversity, not only in geology, but in photographic potential. At one stage of Chris' talk, he mentioned how he was accompanied by a Tasmanian Devil on one of his beach walks. He suggested that in the future, this kind of encounter may be a rare thing. I'm hoping to see some Tasmanian Devils myself (yes, they really do exist - but they are fighting a battle against serious loss of population due to a contagious form of mouth cancer).

There was quite a discussion about the region of Tasmania during the book launch and it was interesting for me to hear such strongly voiced opinion and objection to the amount of (over 50!) mining permits that have been applied for, by mining companies who wish to start tearing up sections of such a really special landscape. I often like to think that the careless mistakes of the past with regards to special regions of the world is now a thing of the past, but as the speaker declared last night, the Tarkine should have a preservation status, but instead, there is abundant misuse and damage to the area.

If you'd like to know more about the conservation aspirations for the Tarkine, then you can find out more here. Chris' book is a valuable record of the region and if you'd like to know more about his book, then please do follow this link.