Alpine Tasmania – An Introduction

  • Photographs by P. Dombrovskis
  • Illustrations by Georgina Davis and Jo Eberhard.

Tasmania is renowned for its natural beauty and wild landscapes. Some of the best of both wild and settled Tasmania is its high country. This high country cannot rival the mountains of most other lands for elevation. Even Mount Kosciusko (2229 m), the highest point in the flamess of the vast island of Australia, exceeds Mount Ossa by 611 metres, and comparisons with Mount Cook, Mount Whitney, the Swiss Alps or Mount Everest are best avoided in the company of those addicted to relative relief.

However, the Tasmanian mountains have an intimacy of scale, and a variety of colour and texture, that more than compensates for their lack of stature. They possess an unusual alpine vegetation, largely dominated by floriferous or coniferous shrubs. The flora has strong affinities with those of the other southern lands, yet about half the alpine flora species are confined to Tasmania.

This book celebrates the Tasmanian high country in three ways. It provides an account of contemporary knowledge of the ecology, focusing on those areas in which tree growth is absent. It provides a guide to the major plant communities of the vegetation type and, finally, it helps to identify the vascular plant species of the alpine zone, which number more than four hundred.

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