I am about to tell you of the time I first visited Tasmania and of the lasting impression that hit me in less than twelve hours on the island. We were travelling towards Smithton, not far from Stanley on the north west coast of Tasmania. It was a dark, and rainy afternoon but there was still time to catch a glimpse of our first big tree in the Dip River Forest Reserve near Mawbanna.
Dip River Forest Reserve: Big Tree
Dip Falls is an impressive waterfall in the Dip River Forest Reserve, and after visiting we took the short walk through the dripping canopy before arriving at the incredible Big Tree. This giant of the forest is an estimated 400 years old. It’s height has reduced to a mere 62m from a probable 90m plus. Around the tree is a platform so that the visitor can appreciate the 17m girth.
I was looking at the top of this towering big tree and could feel the tears running down my cheeks. The emotion could only be from my fear of man cutting the giant down. Since that day, I have seen many similar trees and my emotions have always been the same.
This Land is My Land
Now don’t you start thinking that I’m an extremist! Yes, I have lots of Dylan, Baez and Seeger… but I’d never been on a protest march until one particular Saturday when the wife went shopping in Hobart.
Local gardening guru and TV presenter Peter Cundall was addressing a crowd of people outside Parliament House on the issues of logging in The Blue Tier and the Tarkine region. I found myself in agreement with what he was saying and joined the protest march through the city streets to the Forestry Tasmania building.
Two young ladies dressed as ravens did their dance on the tray of the logging truck; forestry workers peacefully defended their position and I went to Knopwoods for a few pints of the best while reflecting on what I had done and who I was doing it for.