Gone to Seed in Tasmania
I’ve joined eight walkers on a botany-themed version of the Overland Track run by Tasmanian Walking Company, the only operator with private huts on the 65km trail. The Overland, on Palawa country, is best known for Cradle Mountain in the north, Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt Ossa, and Australia’s deepest freshwater lake, Lake St Clair. But these are the big, quantifiable things; landmarks to point at from a distance. Our walk is all about the microcosms blooming around our feet. As our guide, Vito Macolino, says: “I thought I was staring at the ground a lot in the last few seasons but it turns out I’m not.”
Special-interest walks have surged in popularity, commonly focused on art, food, photography or architecture. But the most exciting aspect of this trip is not everything I learn about Tasmania’s endemic alpine plants, but participating in an active
scientific expedition to collect seeds that are healthy and genetically diverse. In short: helping.