Take a walk on the wild side
NOT only does Simon Kleinig capture the recent European history of Frenchmans Cap, and its surrounding wilderness, but also the ancient history of the area and its importance to the Aboriginal people who passed through the land.
For anyone with an interest in Tasmania’s history or wild places, this book weaves a detailed, chronological account tracing many of the significant ( recorded) forays, in this region.
The majority of the book traces the European history of exploration into the wilderness surrounding Frenchmans Cap.
Focusing on the pursuit by a succession of explorers and adventurers to discover something that would bring them wealth.
This desire to ‘‘ strike it rich’’ is the motivation that fuelled continued exploration of the region, despite many reports making it clear that farming or mineral assets did not exist in the area.
The author’s passion for Frenchmans is palpable.
Throughout the book there are chapters recounting the battles to save and protect this piece of wilderness.
Kleinig recounts the flooding of Lake Pedder and his despair at its eventual loss and the fight to save the Franklin River and his euphoria when it is saved.
It also celebrates the sometimes eccentric characters who have ventured into Tasmania over the past 200 years.
On many occasions these adventurers put themselves in difficult and life- threatening situations just to be able to say ‘‘ I’ve done that’’.
For anyone who has made the trip into Frenchmans Cap, or has viewed the white quartzite peak as they drive the Lyell Highway to Queenstown, and wondered about the land surrounding one of Tasmania’s most impressive mountains, Kleinig’s book provides rich and vivid details of the valleys, plains and rivers that lie in the shadows of Frenchmans Cap.