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Tassie’s Diverse West Coast & the Tarkine

Nestled in the southern waters of Australia, Tasmania is a geographical gem with unique environmental and geological qualities that can help to sustain a cleaner future for Tasmanians and our planet.

The island’s diverse geography, ranging from rugged mountain peaks to lush rainforests and wild coastal beauty has an abundance of natural resources.

Tasmania’s temperate climate, high rainfall and exposure to “The Roaring Forties” winds supports diverse ecosystems and aids the ability of the island to support an environmentally sustainable population.

Tasmania has a landmass of 6,840,100 hectares with 3,030km of coastline that supports a growing population of over 572,780* people.

* as at June 2023
Source ABS

Tasmania has 19 national parks totalling 1,515,957 hectares, protecting the natural and cultural values of these areas while providing for ecologically sustainable recreation.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area takes up almost 21% of the State with the highest level of protection. Saving our most pristine environments for future generations.

Source: Tasmania.com

In addition, 609,988 hectares of Tasmania’s landmass is Conservation areas in 411 Reserves, protected areas of land predominantly in a natural state. The sustainable use of natural resources may be permitted, such as mining, special species timber harvesting or hunting.

*as at June 30,2021

Source: Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service

Another 736,877 hectares of Tasmania’s landmass is held in 376 other reserves, areas and site types that have a broad range of conservation values. Including Aboriginal sites, historic sites, recreation areas, game, nature, regional and state reserves.

These reserves represent 10.7% of the State’s land mass managed for its conservation values but also acknowledges the multi-use land management needed to foster a sustainable society.

* as at June 30, 2021

The West Coast

The wild West Coast of Tasmania has many rich and diverse aspects to it. Strong Aboriginal heritage, colonial convict past, mining rich geology, stunning natural environments, wild oceans and resilient locals to highlight a few.

The Tarkine area spans around 439,000 hectares of Tasmania’s West Coast. The Tarkine name was first adopted in the 1990’s and recognises the Tarkiner Aboriginal people who inhabited the Sandy Cape region of the West Coast for around 40,000 years.

It contains landscapes of high cultural and environmental value that are protected by a series of National Parks, Conservation Areas & other state managed reserves as well as compliance and standards required by the the EPBC Act.

And at the same time supports a significant amount of infrastructure. Including 2400km of roads, 40km of high voltage transmission lines, 2 hydro power stations, railways & pipelines.

Infrastructure that has supported 173 sites of historic or current mineral extraction.

Solving global challenges for a brighter future needs critical minerals, creative thinking & a willingness to work together.

Getting the balance right is essential. The West Coast of Tasmania is striking that balance. The stunning photos you see of this area are examples of the coexistence of a diverse range of needs including culture, recreation, industry and ecology. When communities work together they can achieve great outcomes both locally and for the planet as a whole. 

See for Yourself

Explore the interactive map below to see how the diverse environment on the west coast of Tasmania has been utilised to sustainably produce the minerals our society needs.

(use the < icon on the right side of map to open up layers)

  • Data on current reserved numbers and population last cross checked January 22, 2024

Read more in-depth articles

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