Tasmania’s forests are renowned for featuring some of the world’s most diverse and spectacular temperate wilderness areas, with national parks such as Freycinet and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair providing naturally breathtaking sights.
But the island state is not just home to a sample of the most beautiful trees imaginable – it is also the place to find the tallest hardwoods on the planet.
In the north-west of Hobart lies the Styx Valley and Australia’s largest collection of the highest-standing hardwood trees you can find. Here, three of the biggest five worldwide stretch proudly in the Andromeda stand.
The number one ranking, though, goes to a tree nicknamed Centurian – which was discovered in 2008 in state forest in the Arve Valley near Geeveston, roughly 60 km south-west of Hobart.
No other standing hardwood in the world has been measured above 100 metres, but you will have to wait a few months to visit it as spring sees the area closed due to nesting eagles.
For sheer volume, it is impossible to go past the Andromeda stand, where you can gaze up at more than a dozen specimens of over 90 metres.
Three-time Australian tree-climbing champion Tom Greenwood comes here to haul himself up to their lofty peaks. With the aid of a high-powered crossbow, he fires five arrows attached to tracer lines into a canopy, hoping they will attach to a sturdy branch.
Greenwood, who has a degree in forestry, advises visitors to marvel at these wonderful gifts from nature rather than dream of climbing them as he does.
“A lot of things can go wrong,” he told The Weekend Australian on Saturday (September 3).
“Getting an arrow up is only the first step.”
To get up close and personal to the forest’s wonders requires a journey of about 90 km from Tasmania’s capital, Hobart. Accommodation is available in nearby Maydena, allowing visitors to comfortably settle into this great escape.
Lake Parangana © by PVT INC