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Tasmania is a small island filled with natural wonders, truly unique food and wine and a landscape world like no other. It’s almost as if someone how shrunk all of Australia, removed the negativity and placed it all happily into Tasmania. There’s arid areas of desert, beautiful beaches, hidden wetlands, majestic mountains and wombats. Not to forget the mystery of the Tasmania Tiger, the delicate Tasmania devil and oh the hundreds of other unqiue wildlife that call this small island home.

It was a no brainer to me when the Helsinki Foundation reached out and asked would I like to be apart of a project to take care of Tasmania and learn more about land conservation.

An Adventure in Land Conservation

It’s 4am and my alarm is screaming at me. Demanding that I remove myself from the warmth and comfort of my bed. It’s autumn in Australia and the mornings present you with an unwelcome freshness and chill to awake the senses. I don’t even have the option to slam my phone into snooze mode. So instead of enjoying the warmth of my bed I do like any other adult and fall out of bed and into the shower. This painful awakening is followed by a rush to the airport to catch a 6:05am flight to Hobart. Not surprisingly my favourite coffee spot is swarmed with weary travellers, frustrated families and some true corporate jerks. A suit doesn’t make you any better then the rest of us. Thankfully my regular status as a lovely, welcoming customer over rides any suit and a staff members notices me amongst the heaving crowd. To the extreme disappointment of the suits who pushed in front of me and my fellow backpacker crew, a coffee and croissant is hand delivered to me, complete with smiles and a jovial moment between all.

Now armed with coffee and croissant, maybe the two most important C’s of this trip so far, I stroll down to my boarding gate. It’s a motely crew of passengers waiting to board our Jetstar flight to Hobart. The suit crew are here, giving me and my new hiking boots the evil eye as they sip on soy decaf half strength double shot extra hot lattes (ok maybe I made that part up but they look like those kind of people). All this gives me a smile as I walk on board and watch the suit crew have their bags weighed, measured and rejected.

It’s a short flight across the Tasman sea and before I know it we’re descending into Hobart and a blue bird day. It’s as if the travel gods are smiling at me. It’s a wonderfully warm 6c on arrival and I’m ever so grateful for my down jacket as I’m waiting for the scientists to pick me up and take me on an adventure high in the hills beyond Hobart.

Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird
Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird

Why am I in Tasmania freezing my arse off waiting for some random scientist to pick me up from an airport?

To find my inner peace? To explore a new area? To get away from the ever so demanding little dogs for a day? Well these might all be contributing factors but the honest truth is that I have recently been announced as the Australian Ambassador for the Helsinki Foundation. A land conservation not-for-profit organisation. We’ll go into more about the foundation and how you can be involved later. For now we’re about to embark on a nearly three hour epic journey up the East Coast of Tasmania, through the highlands and into the mountains.

Getting My Scientist Shoes On.

A huge thank you needs to be given to Janet and Tim from DPIWE for allowing me to join them on this scientific expedition. As we rolled on through the hills both Tim and Janet constantly chatted and dropped rather impressive facts and figures about the history, ecology, wildlife and culture of the areas. I felt as if I was in my own personal Nat Geo documentary featuring me and the coffee lovers. This experience was only increased to a whole new level once we got to the Helsinki Foundation’s block of land. A mere 120 hectares in the Tasmania wilderness.

Finding Greatness in a Greenspace

After miles of winding roads, unique landscapes, a coffee stop and a whole lot of talking we finally turn off the road into a small lane way. Eagerly awaiting our arrival is a Bennett wallaby. I can’t help but find myself lost in the deep brown eyes of this adorable wallaby as it cautiously awaits our next move. There’s no fear in it’s eyes as we approach. Before we know it, there’s a cheeky grin and it bounces away before I can grab my camera and get some happy wildlife snaps. I’m so thrilled at seeing a wallaby. It’s a small reassurance that yes this was the right area to protect.

Our small team continues the drive through the property and discovers even more rare and wonderful wildlife. Like this most rare specimen Vagabonded Busatitus Greatest.

A Rare Wild Bus: Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird

Rest assured that this rare, wild specie of bus isn’t currently residing on the Green Tier Creek plot.

Our day was spent walking around the property identifying and documenting the unique flora that calls this area home. If I hadn’t been accompanied with two scientists I could have sworn that I was in the forbidden forest over hearing Hermione casting spells as both Janet and Tim rattle of latin names for difference plant species and the regular call out for the very important sample bag. Which was my esteemed job.

The really amazing part of being up in these mountains was the abundance of wildlife. Even though the only animals spotted was a few more bennet wallabies and a rogue deer, you could hear the forest life. The whistle of the wind softly flowing through the gum trees. The constant chatter of numerous birds, the flutter by of green parrots and the tell tale sign of poop everywhere. I can’t wait to return to the Green Tier Creek property and set up some cameras so I can really see this area come to life.

After pretending to be a scientist’s assistant for the day it was time to trek back down to Hobart, via a quirky coffee shop of course! One of the great pleasures of driving through Tasmania is the little quirky historically wonderful towns. You could easily be forgiven for thinking that you were driving through the English countryside with these little towns. Many of these towns were situated in such a way that they are X amount of days march from Hobart for the Red Coats. Ah Tasmania you really are the perfect penal colony.

Upon arrival into Hobart town it’s time to get my professional face on. The now wind burnt, slightly exhausted, mildly offensivelt smelling face on and join James from the Tasmanian Land Conservercy at the ABC studio in to be interviewed on this exciting new project. If you want a good giggle at my expense go have a listen here.

Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird
Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird
 Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird
Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird

What or who is the Helsinki Foundation?

In the rawest form the Helsinki Foundation is a land conservation not for profit organisation. We’ve been involved with the foundation since they first launched in 2015. The Helsinki Foundation operates by purchasing land for conservation. Then using their bespoke digital mapping program they create very unique Greenspaces for the general public to buy Guardianship of very specific blocks of land. All funds raised via this method are used to purchase the next block of land. It’s a revolving fund.

Money goes into purchasing land, money comes in from Guardianship and reinvested in purchasing new lands. And the cycle starts all over again!

“The Foundation was established after growing concerns about the ever-increasing footprint of man upon the world, and the need to think long-term about land conservation. Land depletion is a common concern for many global citizens, but individually we lack the resources to make a large-scale impact. Recognizing the need for a collective approach, The Guardianship Project was born,” says founder and Executive Director Viivu Padden.

Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird

Can I ever visit my own Greenspace?

The really amazing part of this is that pin point specific mapping technology. You get GPS reference points. ‘Cause who knows maybe on day you’ll be like me and get to go and visit your very own Greenspace.

What Happens to the Land?

Well it’s left to do it’s thing. To grow, to develop and to play host to some very unique flora and fauna. No one person can change to land. There’s some fairly hefty legal covenants over the land.

Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird

How Land is Chosen and How You Can Be Involved.

The Green Tier Park Conservation area in Tasmania opens to collective guardianship on 5 April 2017, through the Foundation’s latest project to protect natural habitat for generations to come. This particular conservation area was identified via the Tasmanian Land Conservancy Revolving Fund, a programme in which high conservation value land is sold into the care of conservation-minded organisations and individuals.

Taking Care of Tasmania || Traveling Honeybird

The Foundation’s goal is to allow everyone to participate in nature conservation, without having to make a highly significant financial contribution. Greenspace Guardianship starts from as little as $26USD (EU and GBP are also available). You can buy one for you or a loved on over the the Helsinki Foundations Green Tier Creek page.

Are you ready to join me as a Greenspace Guardian?

Let us know in the comments below if you’re ready to join me as a Greenspace Guardian.

Jeanette

Jeanette

Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker

Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.

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Just a little FYI- this article was written in partnership with the Helsinki Foundation. Any and all views and opinions expressed are entirely my own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias. As an Ambassador for the Helsinki Foundation I am a volunteer. No funds were used to promote this article or trip. I have paid for my own travel, wine, lolly snakes and Greenspace.

Any links to websites are for your help only.

Taking Care of Tasmania

61 Comments

  1. Jean, I am interested to here of your roll with The Helsinki Foundation. I am delighted to be taking custodianship of the title of the block next to the Helsinki Foundation one at Green Tier Tasmania.
    I love that I can expand my natural history and conservation interests in this way. I am am excited to hear of so many Greenspace Guardians who will love their space also. I live in Launceston Tasmania about 2 hours drive to the land and I will enjoy to be in contact to pass on details of what is happening here. The bird song is wonderful around the hills, plateaus and gullies of the land. I am thinking to explore the technology of audio or visual recording so that we can all log in somewhere and virtually enjoy.

    Reply
    • Hi Helen,

      That’s wonderful to hear. It really is an amazing part of Tasmania. I had a lot of fun exploring the block on my visit. You’re best bet is to contact the foundation directly to further discuss your proposal.

      Reply
  2. I would like to become a guardian too. This is an excellent way to preserve nature. There are so much chaos in the world and we need to take an initiative for the future generations. I wish I have the money right now and maybe give this as a gift to my nephews.

    Reply
  3. I love the idea of these green space and conservation area ideas. The earth can really use some help these days. I would take a green space if it comes with its very own Tasmanian devil hee hee. Great post. Awesome cause !!!

    Reply
  4. Congrats on being the Australian Ambassador for the foundation! Thank you for taking me through the spaces and showing me the wildlife through your eyes! They’re doing a great job preserving the land!

    Reply
  5. This is so awesome. I have spent quite a bit of time in Tasmania and love everything about it. Thank you for all the amazing work you are doing to protect wild spaces!

    Reply
  6. Wow What an amazing opportunity! Tasmania is on my list as an avid hiker. Hope to make it there one day but for now I’m glad there are folks who are taking care of it and rightfully so!

    Reply
  7. I know so little about Tasmania…it’s good to hear that measures are being taken to protect and preserve its natural resources. I think it’s wonderful you gave of your time and means to help make Tasmania a little better! (And then share the project with us too!)

    Reply
  8. I am so grateful to know about all the green spaces in Tasmania. I would love to visit there someday!

    Reply
  9. Jean, thanks a lot for sharing info about Helsinki Foundation. Never heard about it before, but this is such a cool idea. Actually, I am trying to decide which Greenspace to get. Lapland is appealing because I spent some summers during my childhood on the southern borders of Finland. This would be sort of payback for those wonderful times. Tasmania… well, who can resist Tasmanian devil ;)?

    Reply
    • Oh do both!!! I did

      Reply
      • I came to the same conclusion. Can’t miss Tasmanian opportunity – having a reason to go there to “check my land” ha!

        Reply
  10. That is really great. Places like this needs to be preserved. Humans need to stay away from the wild and it will thrive on its own. By the way, you got a funny font for your blog 😀

    Reply
    • Funny font for a funny girl

      Reply
  11. I’ve never been to Tasmania but I would love to go. This sounds so interesting. It’s a part of the world I dont know much about but it has always interested me. I would love to be an assistant to a scientist!

    Reply
  12. What an amazing adventure! It would be my dream to present to be a scientists assistant, even if it would be just for one day! Love the photos too – great read!

    Reply
  13. I never heard of the Helsinki nFoundation before, but it seems they are doing really great work. Work that should be done more all over the world as our nature is so precious. Tasmania sounds particularly interesting because of the unique species living there. I never ever saw a wallaby before. Wish it was a bit closer to Europe 🙂

    Reply
  14. How lucky were you to be invited by the the Helsinki Foundation to be apart of a project to take care of Tasmania and learn more about land conservation. beautiful pictures and good narrative. I was in Australia for a while and I missed the opportunity of going there. Now I know what I missed. Can’t wait to visit it soon.

    Reply
  15. I truly enjoyed your article as I sit and wait for a plane myself. Unfortunately I’m not headed to autumnal Tasmania, but spring in Germany. Both chilly. It sounds like the Helsinki Foundation is a admirable place to put your money and hopefully help preserve those beautiful lands. Great article.

    Reply
    • Corrine I hope you’ll join us as a Greenspace Guardian

      Reply
  16. What a wonderful initiative. Have been enamoured with T-mania for years, so will be looking into this. It’s a place worth protecting. I like how you phrased it as being the least negative state in Australia, it sure does have that vibe to it. We might be there at the same time – heading there for a road trip in early May as well!

    Reply
  17. Haven’t been on Tasmania and don’t really know much about it but after reading this I definitely want to visit. I’m a big nature lover and enjoy spending time outside the city. I’m happy to hear about there’s someone actually thinking to preserve it. Thumbs up! Great cause!

    Reply
    • It’s an amazing place to visit. We are going back in May for a road trip. So will have a totally different post about what to do there

      Reply
  18. Never thought I’d get so keen to visit Tasmania after reading a blog post! And this truly was quite a trip for you!

    Reply
  19. Lol @ the part about the bus being a rare, wild species! This was really interesting and sounded like quite the adventure. I haven’t been to Tasmania and don’t know if I will but I’ll save this in case I make it 🙂 I gotta check out those rare, wild specie buses, after all.

    Reply
    • Tasmania is an amazing place to visit. This area is great for land conservation but the rest of the island has amazing food wine and whisky

      Reply
  20. I have never heard Tasmania described this way in such prolific imagery! I felt like I was there with you. The Harry Potter reference was perfect and your underhanded humor is gold! Haha “pretending to be a scientist.” Thanks for introducing me to this organization, I’ve heard of it but never really knew what it was. Learned something today and it’s not even 8AM!

    Reply
  21. Wow what a great cause and an equally great place… It is my dream to go to Tasmania one day! Thank you for your initiative and for sharing this post!

    Reply
  22. It’s so nice to read about conservationist who are doing it right. Thanks for this comprehensive post.

    Reply
  23. Helsinki foundation and Greenspace program are great initiatives. Congratulations for being the Australian ambassador. Tasmania is a lovely place and I would like to visit it some day and join in the initiatives for conservation.

    Reply
    • Well you can buy your own Greenspace!

      Reply
  24. I’d never heard of the Helsinki Foundation but I have learnt it’s important for the world. I am sure they can be successful in Tasmania with the purchasing of land for conservation. I like your description of Tasmania, a small version of Australia without the negativity!

    Reply
    • The Foundation is doing great things in Australia and Finland

      Reply
  25. Kudos to you for getting invited to participate in the Green Space Guardian program. It sound like a great initiative. Reading about such programs raises one hopes about the power and positivity of humanity.

    Reply
  26. What a really great cause! I wouldn’t think twice if I get called up to be a part of projects such as this in my country. Tasmania is such a great place. Glad you shared this 🙂

    Reply
  27. This sounds like a great project and Tasmania looks beautiful, it’s just been added to my ‘must visit’ list!

    Reply
  28. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, your photos or your story telling.
    Tasmania sounds wonderful. I wish I had been able to go when I lived in Australia.

    Reply
  29. I’ve never been there but read awesome things about Tasmania!

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  30. The Green Space Guardian program is a perfect way to conserve the ecosystem. Congratulations on being selected as the Australian ambassador for the foundation. Tasmania is such a beautiful island, and this is really a great initiative to maintain the forest and wildlife. Best of luck for all the amazing work in the future ☺

    Reply
  31. This blog is very well written and I appreciate your efforts and thank you for letting me know about the Helsinki Foundation and the work they do. Tasmania is a beautiful place to visit 🙂

    Reply
  32. Amazing! I would love to do exactly the same thing! 🙂 Tasmania is just a fairy tale for me 🙂

    Reply
    • What’s stoping you? Become a Greenspace Guardian now!!!

      Reply
  33. I recently read an article about the darker side of Tasmania, so it’s nice to find out about initiatives having a positive impact! Your first picture is absolutely stunning, wow.
    I’m ashamed to say that, as a Canadian, I know nothing about this island. I knew it was not too far from Australia but had no idea it was also used as a penal colony.

    Reply
    • It has a very dark history. But it’s amazing now to visit and see the buildings and landscape. Most of Australia was a penal colony!!

      Reply
  34. This looks absolutely amazing and your pictures are fantastic too. I would love to go to Tasmania, have you spent much time there? I would love to go and do some hiking

    Reply
    • Tasmania is such a beautiful place. We are heading back in May to do more hiking and adventures

      Reply
  35. I really regret not getting to Tasmania when I lived in Oz. The people I met from there were just so down to earth and this project and the photos just compound how in touch with the earth the little island is.
    But as it good as any place is, it seems like corporate jerks are everywhere though!

    Reply
  36. Firstly congratulations on becoming the Australian Ambassador for the Helsinki Foundation, it sounds like a great foundation. I think it is really cool that you got to go into the wildness and learn from the experts, while at the sametime help yourself. I love wallabies and where I am from in Australia I use to get to see them all the time. I went to Tasmania years ago and I forgot how beautiful it was.

    Reply
  37. WOW!! The nature in Tasmania is super gorgeous. Didnt know about it at first. Would love to take a visit someday when I come to Oz

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    • Tasmania is world renowned for its naturally beauty. You really should come and visit. Or buy yourself a Greenspace Guardianship 🙄

      Reply
  38. Hi Jean,

    I like how the land is left to its own devices. Excellent. We interfere more than enough; Nature takes care of itself just fine 😉

    Thanks for sharing the great cause 🙂

    Ryan

    Reply
    • Exactly that Ryan. It’s left to do its thing. There is minimal land management -ie back burning – if required. That is done with consultation of local governments and land care groups. Otherwise the forest is left to grow and develop as it will.

      Reply
  39. Sounds like a really cool project. I love going out into the wilderness with people who really know and love the land. Their joy at sharing and discovering the world around them is like a sip from the fountain of youth. Good for you to go out and work on preserving a little corner of the Earth for generations to come.

    Reply
  40. Such an incredible initiative you are apart of conserving our precious lands. Tasmania seems like a great place to start. I enjoy that the foundations goals is to get everyone involved in nature conservation without having to invest a large sum of money. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  41. I loved your story and i can totally relate hoe difficult it is to wake up at 4 am. You want to snooze the alarm but i can’t. You have to move on. And I love wallabies. They are so adorable. Not scared of humans. Tasmania is really a wonderful place for wildlife and aboriginal culture. Good post! Would love to read more 🙂

    Reply
  42. What a fantastic organisation – we are heading to Australia soon and how cool would it be to own a little bit of green space in Tasmania! Tasmania is somewhere we would love to explore and your pictures and descriptions only make it move higher on our must visit list! Seeing the amazing wild animals of Australia in their natural habitat must be so fantastic too!

    Reply
    • Tracy, when you come to Tasmania you are welcome to catch up and I can take you to the Helsinki Greenspace land. Get in touch via the Foundation or the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. Cheers

      Reply
  43. I love Tasmania! And this post just brings it to life. I love the idea of the Greenspace program. I bought my brother land on Mars for his birthday once, but saving the planet would be more useful than making plans to get off it haha.

    Reply
    • So true! Which is why the foundation started. To get people to take action here and not just buy an expensive piece
      Of paper

      Reply
  44. Thank you for letting me know about the Helsinki Foundation and the work they do. Conservation is important. Sadly, many green spaces get eaten up by urban development/ quarrying in Trinidad and Tobago. As a people, we seem to prefer profits over nature yet we lust over pristine nature pictures on Instagram.

    Reply
  45. I have read a lot of great things about Tasmania. But this post perfectly advocated Tasmania and all of the wonderful features it had to offer. I like how you describe this state as being Australia shrunk in size and cut out from all the negativity. It already sounds like a must-visit to me!

    Reply

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