It was over to Tasmania’s Central Highlands for another, final, wonderful wilderness experience before our trip was over.
And surprisingly this one took quite a bit of research even though it was a big news item back at the start of this century. I had remembered the kerfuffle over the Styx Valley’s trees and had always wanted to visit to see what was fought over.
The Styx does get a small mention in tourism brochures and on the internet, but it wasn’t until I visited the folks at the Wilderness Society in Hobart that I properly understood where we had to go to see the giant trees. They kindly provided me with a map and learning guide that helped greatly – thanks!
As it was, we did overshoot the turn off after Maydena to get on to the Styx Rd. The exit is not well signposted and it actually is a turn to the right and double-back under the Gordon River Road to head south. It’s a dirt road from this point but we found it in pretty good shape.
Our first stop was at the bridge that’s near the confluence of the Styx and South Styx Rivers.
A little further down the road is the Big Tree Reserve. Here you can see some of the tallest trees in the world.
There’s an easy loop walk where you come across the “Big Tree” and then the “Bigger Tree”. Absolutely wonderful. 30 minutes is suggested for the walk but do take your time – you’ll take away some great images.
The Learning Guide will tell you more, but the people who tree sat to save these trees need to be acknowledged. The two most prominent were Peter Firth, who endured a Styx winter for 51 days before being removed, and Miranda Gibson who spent 15 months on a platform in a tree just west of the Styx Valley. Respect!
Our final activity here was the nearby Styx River Ramble walk, however there are another 2 spots to take in if you have the time (Tolkien Track and Chapel Tree).
On the way back to civilisation is Russell Falls in Mount Field National Park. There are some big trees here too! And of course the beautiful waterfall – rated by many as the best in Tasmania. So it’s a “must visit”.
We’d timed our trip around this part of Tasmania to take in the annual Hamilton Show. A great half day out – and the dagwood dogs really rated!
Our final night was spent in Launceston – one of Australia’s most beautiful cities.
If you haven’t been to Launceston before, do plan some days to have a look around both the city buildings, the close by attractions like the Cataract Gorge and then the wider Tamar Valley.
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