Coastline north of the Pieman River, Tarkine wilderness, western Tasmania
Image by Peter Dombrovskis uniquely remastered for Wild Island.
Printed by master fine art printer Simon Olding on Canson Platine Fibre Rag, 100% Cotton Rag archival paper.
Giant bull kelp grows in a sheltered gulch on the rugged Tarkine coast.
The Tarkine, in Tasmania’s North West, is Australia’s largest remaining stretch of cool temperate rainforest. The region is home to twenty-eight species of threatened flora, some endemic to Tasmania and the North West. There are twenty-two threatened fauna species in the area, including the Orange-Bellied Parrot, the Tasmanian Devil and the Wedge Tailed Eagle. The landscapes of the Tarkine are diverse, including dry sclerophyll, button grass moorland, sand dune and littoral communities and grassland. Amongst the peaks and rivers are unexplored dolomite and magnesite caves, found nowhere else on the planet. The Tarkine also contains the largest basalt plateau in Tasmania still retaining it’s original, and ancient, vegetation. The rare geology and undisturbed wilderness of the Tarkine is unique and there is nothing similar left on Earth.
The Tarkine represents the world’s highest density of Australian indigenous heritage. Aboriginal occupation of this area dates back tens of thousands of years and the huge archaeological significance of the region is not widely recognised. A walk along the coast and shores of the Tarkine will reveal numerous middens, rock carvings and rock paintings, hut depressions and the artefacts of the Peerapper, Manegin and Tarkiner people. The Australian Heritage Council described the Tarkine as “one of the world’s great archaeological regions.”
Unfortunately, the Tarkine has no environmental protection and the Tasmanian Government has opened up the area to logging and mining. Mining roads have already been built; proposals for open-cut mines have been approved; and 4WD tracks that travel over sacred midden sites are unregulated and used recreationally.