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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Walk in the Tarkine Wilderness of north-west Tasmania, Australia

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Quiet and serene was my hike through the ancient cool temperate rainforest at Corinna. This is the second largest temperate rainforest in the world (the first is in the Pacific area of the United States).

Located in the north west of Tasmania, this area is known as the Tarkine Wilderness. 477,000 hectares is home to creatures and sights not seen anywhere else in the world. The uniqueness is the untouched beauty. Once there were mining towns here, but they are long gone and the forest has reclaimed its rightful place.

The Whyte River walk is 3.3kms in length and takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to traverse through this ancient cool rainforest, with superb views of the Pieman and Whyte Rivers. The cold and crisp air was so refreshing that I took deeper breaths and inhaled the pure delight.

Purpose built wooden platforms have been erected over most of the wet areas on the trek. However, bring waterproof shoes as there are still lots of marshy areas. There is a viewing platform over the river at the end of the walk. This is a grade 2 hike, which is defined as suitable for families with young children and people who may not be very fit. There are occasional steps and gentle slopes.

Moss seems to grow everywhere you look here. Tree roots rise from the path and can trip you as you walk, so I kept up a continual lookout between my footings and gazing in awe of the beauty surrounding me.

Fungi of all different colours can be found from ground level to the top of the tallest trees, depending on the season.

The rainforest is well named, as it was – well – wet and rainy. Occasionally I could hear the sound of birds calling out to each other, then the gentle sound of the river flowing nearby. The views of the river are spectacular. The trees grow right into the river. Their reflected beauty would make an awesome, yet frustrating, jigsaw puzzle.

Quietly I waited by the riverbank and was fortunate enough to see a local native come down for a drink at the waters edge.

Two trees that are only found in Tasmania grow abundantly here. The celery top pine Phylloclaus asplenifolious can live for more than 700 years. It is found in wet mixed forests and rainforests, mostly in the western highlands, and grows well alongside myrtle and sassafras trees. It gets it common name as the leaves of this tree look like those on a celery plant. Birds help spread the seeds and it is one of the first trees to return after a fire.

The Leatherwood tree Eucryphia lucida is another that is endemic to western Tasmania. The tree produces masses of white honey scented flowers. Leatherwood honey is a favourite of honey connoisseurs.

The Whyte River walk is an awesome way to connect with nature in the beautiful wilderness area of north-west Tasmania.

Happy Travels!

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1 Comment

Terese McSkimming
Terese McSkimming
Sep 17, 2021

Is there any signs left that there was once mining towns, like remnants of structures?

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