Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, abbreviated to TWWHA, is a World Heritage Site in Tasmania, Australia.[1][2] It is one of the largest conservation areas in Australia, covering 15,800 km2 (6,100 sq mi), or almost 25% of Tasmania. It is also one of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world, and includes the South West Wilderness.

Tasmanian Wilderness
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lake Judd from Mount Eliza, Southwest National Park
LocationTasmania, Australia
CriteriaCultural: iii, iv, vi, vii; natural: viii, ix, x
Reference181
Inscription1982 (6th Session)
Extensions1989
Area1,584,233 ha (15,842.33 km2)
Coordinates42.5957°S 146.1729°E / -42.5957; 146.1729
Map showing the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The main industry of the TWWHA is tourism, yet the region has a lack of development partially due to the juxtaposition of development with the idea of pristine nature. There is no permanent habitation in the area save for small parts on the periphery. The region is known for activities such as bushwalking, whitewater rafting, and climbing.

The Tasmanian Wilderness qualifies for 7 out of the 10 classification criteria evaluated for World Heritage. Along with Mount Tai in China, it is the highest measurement attained for World Heritage Site status on Earth.[3]

The TWWHA was first placed on the World Heritage List in 1982 under joint arrangements between the federal government of Australia and the Tasmanian government during the Franklin Dam controversy, and expanded in 1989 following the Helsham Inquiry, a decision to protect a eucalypt forest from logging. Due to the subpar planning and management of the area during the 1990s, a management plan was drawn up and promulgated in 1992, further replaced by a new management plan in 1999. In 2014, the Abbott Government proposed de-listing the Tasmanian Wilderness as a World Heritage Site so as to allow the logging of trees within the protected area. This was rejected by the World Heritage Committee the same year. In 2016, the Tasmanian government withdrew the bid to allow logging in the Tasmanian Wilderness after a UNESCO report opposed the idea.


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