Tasmania

A unique ocean current

Introduction I found the coastline of Western Australia so different to places at equal latitude on the east coast. There are rocky islands and ledges that protect the coast from the incoming swells, tropical fringing reefs and vast meadows of seagrass. There is a tropical feel to the waters so far south. The main driver …

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Helms arboretum

There is an interesting 4,000-hectare forestry reserve located just outside Esperance called the Helms Forestry Reserve. It protects one of the largest areas of sandplain heath near Esperance, known as kwongan. It is dominated by banksias, hakeas, grevilleas and woollybush.  Within this reserve is an 800-hectare arboretum named in honour of Andy Helms, a well-respected …

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Last Light Lindridge

While finalising a previous blog with Ian Ravenwood on the evolution of aerial operations on Surrey Hills, I was reminded of the tragic plane crash on Daisy Nolan Hill, near Hampshire, in 1983, which killed the sole occupier, pilot John Lindridge. I researched what I could about John and quickly discovered he had a remarkable …

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The McGowan logic – sustainable native forest logging is not acceptable for the environment, but the widespread clearing of jarrah for bauxite is

Introduction In September 2021, the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, made a shock announcement that all native forest logging would cease in 2024, at the end of the current 10-year Forest Management Plan. The decision was made without consultation with the timber industry, public, or government agencies. The reasons for the decision were to save …

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My AFH Experience

This month’s guest blog is by Leigh Titmus, who worked at Surrey Hills between 1978 and 1986. Leigh grew up as a kid in Devonport through the 1950s and 60s. His father built one of the earliest shacks at Sisters Beach, so almost every weekend, the family would head off there, and they would drive …

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Black rabbits at Parrawe

Over the years, rabbits have generated considerable interest in Tasmania. No wonder, for such a small state, it was estimated there were 40 million of them running around in 1953 just prior to the introduction of myxomatosis and large-scale poisoning using 1080. According to Richard Hilder, wild rabbits were first seen on the north-west coast near …

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The unsung and all-but-forgotten exploits of stockman Donald Campbell Atkinson

Donald Campbell Atkinson was a brilliant and expert horseman who learnt his craft on Surrey Hills during the twentieth century while grazing 2,000 head of cattle. Fortunately, his son, Lindsay, wrote a couple of unpublished memoirs which beautifully capture some of Donald’s accomplishments and amazing adventures. The first, written in 1994, was titled “A few …

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Resistance fighter, unconventional forester, family man and mentor – the life of Dick de Boer (1922-94)

This month’s guest blog is written by David de Little. In my book “Fires, Farms and Forests” I outlined the pivotal role Dick de Boer played in the development of eucalypt plantations on Surrey Hills. David was fortunate to work with Dick from 1975 to 1983 and got to know him very well. There was …

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