Freycinet National Park

The Freycinet Peninsula (map) is one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania, which I think makes it one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Nearly all of the Peninsula, plus some nearby coastal areas, is National Park. There are access roads, camping grounds and day-use areas within the park but nothing else man-made apart from a network of walking tracks.

I admit that beauty is somewhat subjective but it’s hard to resist the claims of scenery like this:

Freycinet peaks
Freycinet from Honeymoon Bay
Hazards Bay beach view
Hazards Bay, Freycinet NP

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kunanyi – Mount Wellington

The pinnacle

The mountain rises to 1271 metres, dominating the skyline of most of Hobart. It has officially been “kunanyi / Mount Wellington” since 2013 and locals are beginning to call it simply “kunanyi” so perhaps this is a good approach to restoring indigenous names elsewhere.

Whatever we call it, it’s always ten degrees cooler than the city but the spectacular views and unique landscape make it a high priority for me when I’m in Tasmania.

Bruny Island from kunanyi
Looking South from the pinnacle. The long beach in the distance is Bruny Island’s isthmus

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Tasmania was beautiful last month

Russell Falls, Mt Field NP
Russell Falls, Mt Field NP

We spent most of the last month in Tasmania and it was beautiful.

That’s both a  reason for the recent gap in blog posts and a promise of what’s to come.

The plan is that this post will outline our trip and that subsequent posts will deal with particular places we visited, and that I will add links from this page to the new posts as I go.

That’s what I did with our Cobbold Gorge trip six months ago, and it seemed to work well then.

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The story of Plastic Free July

Plastic Free coverPlastic Free is a warmly personal narrative by the founder of Plastic Free July, a sustainability initiative which began less than ten years ago, almost by accident, in Perth.

Prince-Ruiz was working at the time as a community educator in waste management so she was well equipped to support the programme when it unexpectedly took off – and that was all it needed.

Her emphasis was always on community, on shared learning, and on doing what’s possible right now rather than aiming higher and missing the goal. It made Plastic Free July an achievable and therefore engaging challenge, which then became a gateway to engagement with other sustainability issues – avoiding other single-use products, reducing food waste, joining food co-ops, and so on.
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Citizen Science – iNaturalist

The internet and digital photography have opened up wonderful opportunities for ordinary people to get involved in citizen science as observers of the natural world. Online meeting places and forums come and go but the best at the moment seems to be iNaturalist – https://www.inaturalist.org.

It’s a global project and the numbers are huge: 54 million observations by 1.4 million observers from nearly every country in the world when I looked recently. That presents a management problem, of course, which is solved by having countries run independent branches, e.g. https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/

Anyone at all can browse the content of the site but people have to sign up to participate. When that’s done (at no cost and very little trouble) they can upload their observations, help with identifying others’ observations, and join the discussion forums.  It’s a big and complex site but not too difficult to negotiate because it is exceptionally well planned and because there is no need to use most of its functions until you want to. (I have to admit there are some that I haven’t bothered with in the year I have been a member.)

And ordinary people can make very useful contributions to the project, especially if they (we) are outside the big cities.

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