Numerous Tassies, when attempting to explain Tasmania to me, used the example that Tasmania is about the size of Ohio. I took the time and did a pretty good job of comparing their sizes. Since many of you who are actually reading this blog have a personal relationship to Ohio, I thought you might enjoy the following in trying to visualize just how much of Tasmania is totally wild. Untouched.
That whole green area in the southwest is the second largest World Heritage Area in the southern hemisphere. It is off limits to everything. We can hope and pray that it stays that way – especially if you want to dump your carbon and get some oxygen to breathe. You can see two roads going through it. There aren’t any more. That is it. Use Google Map or Earth and check it out. If you want to explore the southwest coast of Tasmania you need a boat, kayak, or pontoon plane. The extreme outdoors folk love it. Peter has been there. You go for a week or so – packing in everything.
What is deceiving about this map is that in the non-green areas there aren’t a lot of people either. There just isn’t much development in the central and southern areas. This photo is of a typical main road. It is the height of tourist season. We are on our way to a major tourist attraction. It is very empty there. We learned a trick that really paid off later on New Zealand’s South Island – never let your petrol tank get below 1/2. It is impressive how few and far apart towns, stores, and petrol stations are.
This photo of Emily and Peter is taken just off that main yellow road at the east edge of the green area. I love to imagine us standing on the western edge of the city of Columbus and if I wanted to go to Dayton, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Athens, or Portsmouth, I would be hiking through that landscape all the way. Wasn’t there some line about how 500 years ago in Ohio the forest canopy would have been so thick that a squirrel could do all those trips without touching the ground?