The Tarkine and the Edge of the World

by Steven Chater from Trip Plan Australia. Check out Trip Plan’s free Itinerary Planner that will help you make the most of your next road trip through regional and outback Australia.

Well, let’s get the bad news over with first – we did miss out on doing the newly opened Tarkine Drive due to the fires in north west Tasmania in January and February.

But with a bit of juggling, we experienced both the northern and southern (subject of the next blog post) parts of the magnificent Tarkine Wilderness – the biggest expanse of cool temperate rainforest in Australia (and the second largest in the world).

The Arthur River, a river that has never been logged or dammed, borders the Tarkine on the north. We experienced the beautiful rainforest on a 5 hour cruise on the M.V. George Robinson.

Road trip planner Australia - the M.V. George Robinson moored on the Arthur River

The M.V. George Robinson moored on the Arthur River

The only evidence we saw of the fires was at the start of the cruise, being some fire breaks to protect the buildings at Arthur River.

Road trip planner Australia - A little rain just added to the atmosphere on the way up the Arthur River

A little rain just added to the atmosphere on the way up the Arthur River

In fact, we got the four seasons experience with rain as we went the 14km up the river, and sunshine on the way back.

Road trip planner Australia - rainforest wilderness from the front deck of the George Robinson

Rainforest wilderness from the front deck of the George Robinson

Road trip planner Australia - Mirror reflections on the Arthur River

Mirror reflections on the Arthur River

Part of the cruise is a stop at Turks Landing for a walk through the rainforest to see its 500+ year old trees – and lunch, which attracted the locals.

Road trip planner Australia - Turks Landing lunch stop on the Arthur River

Turks Landing lunch stop

Road trip planner Australia - Pademelon at Turks Landing

Pademelon at Turks Landing

Over the 30 years that the George Robinson has been cruising, the various operators have been feeding fish to the white- breasted sea eagles that live along the river. It makes for a great photo opportunity!

Road trip planner Australia - white-breasted sea eagle targeting an easy meal

White-breasted sea eagle targeting an easy meal

Just over the one-lane bridge at Arthur River is the turn to the Edge of the World – so named by a marketing genius, and it got my attention! It is definitely worth a visit though, a very beautiful rugged shoreline that is easily accessible.

Road trip planner Australia - shoreline at the Edge of the World

Shoreline at the Edge of the World

I didn’t know what to expect after finding out about the fires that had broken out in Tasmania’s Tarkine Wilderness in January. But I am so glad that we didn’t change our trip – the day on the Arthur River will remain a wonderful memory of a very special place in Australia.

And, of course, doing the Tarkine Drive remains a reason to re-visit this beautiful area!

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Road trip planner Australia - West Tasmania trip to discover the Tarkine, Styx Valley and take in the Hamilton Show

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