Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


Cradle Mountain

1,700 years of climate history in Tasmania’s King Billy Pine

This is a fantastic story. Anyone who has walked in the mountains of central and western Tasmania is probably familiar with the King Billy Pine (Athrotaxis selaginoides). Individual trees can live for more than 1,00 years. It is one of the conifers that are endemic to Tasmania and exists only within a very limited range of habitat. Fire threatens the species (one third of its habitat was burnt in the twentieth century), and climate change is expected to increase the severity of fire seasons in future.

The following article outlines a research project that used core samples from King Billy trees to develop a better understanding of climate in Tasmania in previous centuries. It is available here.

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Alpine haven of Daisy Dell gets logging reprieve

Many people who have been into Cradle Valley will have driven past Daisy Dell, on the Middlesex Plains, just to the north and east of the park entry. This is great news: an area earmarked for clear-felling is set to be protected from logging and development forever after a Tasmanian Land Conservancy fundraising campaign. It was originally published in the Sunday Tasmanian on the weekend of Dec 3 & 4, 2016. The journalist is Helen Kempton.

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Tourism in national parks. When is enough enough?

Mountain Journal has previously covered the release of a proposed Master Plan for the Cradle Valley section of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, which was developed by the Cradle Coast Authority. We highlighted some of the positive aspects of the proposal here.

However, a cornerstone of the proposal is a cable car, which would run from a new tourist centre to the north of the park boundary to Crater Lake. The Authority says ‘the Cable Car is the core element of the Cradle Mountain concept.’

A recent article by Nicholas Sawyer in The Mercury provides some thoughtful views about the proposal for a cable car and the broader issue of how tourism interacts with our national parks.

Continue reading “Tourism in national parks. When is enough enough?”

The ‘Cradle Mountain Visitor Experience Master Plan’

Mountain Journal recently reported on the new master plan that was being developed to improve the ‘tourism experience’ at the north end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. Yes, I’m a grumpy old bushwalker who goes to Cradle Valley because it’s the access point for miles of terrain, rocky mountains, alpine moors and fantastic walking, rather than because I expect a ‘world class tourism experience’ in a national park.

But I do understand that many people expect first class facilities and that’s where the sheer numbers of visitors are. With Cradle Valley visitation declining, it was deemed that something had to be done, and so we have the release of the new master plan for the area, developed by the Cradle Coast Authority, which hopes to increase visitor numbers by 60,000 to 80,000 a year.

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Cradle Mountain plan to increase tourism

An announcement about a new tourism plan for northern Tasmania has raised the possibility of there being new developments adjacent to the Cradle Mountain National Park.

The Examiner reports that:

AN ‘‘EDGY’’ plan to upgrade Cradle Mountain tourist facilities aims to have a similar effect on tourism numbers in Northern Tasmania as the launch of the Spirit of Tasmania.

The master plan, formed over six months and spearheaded by the Cradle Coast Authority, is expected to be launched late this week after stakeholders are briefed.

Continue reading “Cradle Mountain plan to increase tourism”

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