Hello denizens of the interwebz – long time no see!
I’ve just returned from an astoundingly good month spent at Melaleuca, in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area. Tucked down in the far south west of the state, it’s accessible only on foot, by small aircraft or boat, and is one of the most stunning places I’ve had the pleasure to visit. My partner and I spent February there, volunteering on behalf of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service as camp hosts, chatting to visitors, scrubbing loos and keeping things as neat and tidy as you can reasonably expect them to be in the wild wild west.
As well as allowing us to meet a veritable plethora of excellent and interesting people, including bushwalkers, boat people, pilots, birdos, alpenhornists, peak baggers, ground scrufflers and sundry adventurers, spending a whole month in the rangers’ hut gave me the opportunity to indulge my eco-flâneur tendencies. I spent an inordinate amount of time stalking fabulous flora and fauna, often from within the rangers’ hut, binos in one hand, tea cup in the other. Sometimes, there were even scones.
Over the next month or so, I’ll be publishing an alphabetical miscellany in daily instalments, featuring some of the natural attractions of Melaleuca and the Wilderness World Heritage Area – many of them feathered, as I went on a bit of a bird bender – but also generally floral and faunal, geological, possibly hydrological, maybe even astronomical, and most definitely ecological. Stay tuned for tales of wilderness derring-do, tiny stupid birds and the occasional cheeky marsupial.
P.S. – There is much talk at present regarding the removal of the notion of “Wilderness” from the Tasmanian World Heritage Area, which strikes me as not the best idea in the world.
Details of the proposed new draft management plan for the area can be found on the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and the Environment’s website here – submissions regarding the new plan are due by March 22nd.