Preview: A Voyage Through Tasmania’s Southwest Wilderness – Part II, by Bruce Stannard

Bruce Stannard concludes his voyage to Tasmania’s Southwest Wilderness with an account of his journey up the magnificent Gordon River and its tumbling tributaries, the Franklin and the Rocky Sprent.
Photography by Kraig Carlstrom.


“See the world as it truly is, small and blue,
beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats.”
Archibald Macleish


The mighty Gordon River flows pure and clear from its source in Lake Richmond, a deep glacial basin way up on the precipitous eastern slopes of the brooding Mount King William. It plunges down from the high country in a brawling, tumbling torrent, scouring dark tannins from the boggy button grass plains to emerge as black as billy tea. It plummets in foaming cataracts through limestone gores so impenetrably deep and dark that the river was once thought to vanish into an abyss of underground tunnels and ferocious chasms no man had ever seen.

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10 Responses So Far to “A Voyage Through Tasmania’s Southwest Wilderness – Part II, by Bruce Stannard

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    Joseph R. Janutka says:

    What an amazing place and a jouney of a lifetime. Reminds me of the rainforest in SE Alaska.

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    Bill Russo says:

    Beautifully told Bruce. You have brought detail and ambience to what for me has only been experienced as a never to be forgotten day trip.

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    Sean Hogben says:

    Long way from the rooftops of Saigon in 75. Nice work Bruce.

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    Torrey Sylvester says:

    Wonderful,wonderful story showing a glimpse of a world most of us will never experience !

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    Peter Hendrickson says:

    Decades ago backpacked Cradle Mtn to S end of Lk St Clair. This sounds like another worthy voyage.

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    Chris Bell says:

    A grand, romantic story told with passion, engrossing accuracy and true emotion.

    You have captured its beauty and power.

    One question for Bruce: what is the single deciduous (?) red tree in one of the photos?

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      Bruce Stannard says:

      Chris, Sincere thanks you for your comments which I greatly appreciate coming as they do from such a distinguished writer and defender of Tasmania’s wilderness. As for the extraordinary spectacle of the crimson tree, although we were unable to go ashore to verify it, the experts, Ronnie Morrison and Garry Kerr, agreed that it was very likely to be a “distressed Celery Top Pine.” It was a reminder that in the midst of abundant Life, Death is always waiting in the wings. A tree tumbles in the forest and in its place the eternal Life Force seizes the opportunity to assert itself.

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    Paul Conboy says:

    A few more pictures of the roaring rapids and waterfalls would have been nice. Descriptions were nice but a picture….

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    Laurits Jorgensen says:

    Very very interesting and certainly worthy of being included in the bucket list.

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    Bill Saunders says:

    Beautiful and so very well written! Thank you.