Tasmanian Landscapes

River Derwent at Goodwood

River Derwent at Goodwood

 

As reality takes strange turns of late and the news of it becomes at times unbearable, I like to take breaks to walk alone in the woods, my favorite kind of meditation and coping mechanism, focusing my senses on wildness. When the weather is foul, as it has been frequently of late, I rest occasionally from absurd headlines by reviewing digital photographs of beautiful landscapes captured while traveling. This brings a smile to my face and a glow to my psyche. I heal from the troubling developments for a while, as the images from felicitous trips bring back the heightened awareness I experienced when taking the picture. (I give thanks to my trusty Fujifilm Finepix S1 for reproducing precious moments.)

So in hopes you might feel refreshed by the vistas as well, I’m sharing with you today some landscapes from the island state of Tasmania, 240 km (150 mi) southeast of the Commonwealth of Australia. My husband and I were invited by gracious and very compatible friends to travel with them for the month of April of 2016 to both Borneo and Australia. We didn’t need to be pushed very hard to accept their immensely kind invitation! The time together turned out to be thrilling on most days, educational every day, and beyond stimulating to people who enjoy each other’s individuality while valuing exposure to a wide diversity of cultures, plants and animals.

View from Mt. Magana to the Neck and North Bruny. Bruny is small island reached by ferry south of Hobart, the capital.

View from Mt. Magana to the Neck and North Bruny. Bruny is small island reached by ferry south of Hobart, the capital.

Tasmania is known for its rugged and vast protected wilderness. At 26,410 sq. miles in area, Tasmania is about the size of the state of West Virginia and a bit bigger than Costa Rica (19,730 sq. miles), where we reside. More than six million acres (2.5 million ha) are under protected status in Tasmania; it is one of the last true wilderness regions on Earth. Because it is an island distant from the mainland, there is a great deal of endemism–unique flora and fauna. 

Led by Tonia Cochran, our superbly knowledgeable naturalist guide from Bruny Island in “Tassie”, we two couples covered as much of the countryside as we could in seven days, always enjoying birds, but also going out of our way to learn about plants and to see endemic animals. I will devote another post to them soon.

May these pictures, most with clear, clean water—ever present in and around Tasmania—be a portal of peace for you, too. And may we all strive to protect the last wild places on earth.

 

Potential platypus habitat visited near midday when unfortunately, they are in their burrows.

Potential platypus habitat visited near midday when unfortunately, they were hidden in their burrows.

 

View of Coles Bay toward The Hazards--peaks of Freycinet National Park

View of Coles Bay toward The Hazards–peaks of Freycinet National Park. 

 

 

The Hazards of Freycinet National Park in early evening. We hiked in the rocky hills and along the coast on the ocean side of the park the following day.

The Hazards of Freycinet National Park in early evening. We hiked in the rocky hills and along the coast on the ocean side of the park the following day.

 

 

The beach at Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park.

The beach at Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. Would this pristine beach have survived without development almost anywhere else?

 

The glacial Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park--the only day it rained during our 30 days of travel.

The glacial Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park–the only day it rained during our 30 days of travel.

 

Giant 1500-year old King Billy Pines at Cradle Mountain.

Giant 1500-year old King Billy Pines at Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park.

 

Inland ranch country.

Inland ranch country.

 

High elevation wetland in northern interior.

High elevation wetland in northern interior. Black Swans and Pacific Black Ducks were common there.

 

Russell Falls, set aside as Tasmania's first nature reserve and protected since 1885.

Russell Falls, set aside as Tasmania’s first nature reserve and protected since 1885.

 

Fentonbury Creek at Hamlet Downs, where we successfully saw platypuses. Coming soon in my next post!

Fentonbury Creek at Hamlet Downs, where we successfully saw platypuses. Coming soon in my next post!

 

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