Eastward to the enchanted myrtles

Over the bridge

The next morning, we went off again to pick up Adrielle and Robin from Launcheston airport and then to go with them to the Northeast corner of Tasmania. That bridge we had to cross certainly did look more reliable before the big flood damages only days and weeks before.

Tasmanian country road in the morning

Tasmania today has mainly 3 types of landscape: about one third is farmland, another third is National parks, the last third is unprotected wilderness and forrests. But sometimes, even the thoroughly civilized farmlands look a bit like from a more peaceful time.

farmlands in Tasmania roadside Tasmania
adventurous road conditions

After leaving Launceston, we came back into the woodlands. Most of the times, the road conditions were good, but later, approaching the Blue tier, they became more and more interesting. They weren't only steep and bended, they also had suffered from flood damages. Our brave camper was certainly not built for that and sometimes we all went pretty quiet before Suzy headed for the next obstacle. But we were absolutly happy with their both capabilities: she and the car were a perfect couple going anywhere we wanted to.

walk through the tree ferns

When coming across an information "See the myrtle walk!" we decided to do exactly that. It was a short walk with rich impressions and a lot of informations about that old and now slowly vanishing group of plants. It begins with a part of the track though the even elder tree ferns. Their trunks with the rough surface that keeps moisture and nutrients are a perfect base for smaller plants like mosses and herbaceous ferns.

ferns growing on a fern
tree growing ontop of another one

But it's not only the tree ferns providing a life start for others. Here, we also found two modern trees growing ontop of each other, not having a visible problem with each other. Then, we approached the area with the old Myrtle beeches. In fact, they are no real myrtles, the Nothofagus group is pretty special, but they provide a good example for a group that left it's best time behind - along with ferns and others

myrtle tree base
myrtle beech trunk
myrtle beech trunk with epiphytes

Very seldom, the appearance and history of a living being comes so close together. Looking at this old specimen, most people would shrink in respect. Most of them, but not everyone. Myrtle beeches only grow up to 40 to 50 metres and it takes them a long time to do so. Still, the chainsaw may come around at any time. This is no National park and forrestry Tasmania claims any tree that grows outside the National park borders - inside the parks, there is no valuable timber anyway. To get legal protection, an Australian tree needs to grow 85 metres and more - something most people on the planet will never see. Something, that exists now in an one-digit-number in Tasmania.


Tasmanian opinion
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