About Takayna / Tarkine

About takayna/Tarkine

The takayna/Tarkine wilderness region is located in the north-west of Tasmania. The area encompasses approximately 447,000 hectares of wilderness including the southern hemisphere’s largest single tract of temperate rain forest, a wild coastline with an extraordinary wealth of Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, and habitat for over 50 threatened species.


Over 90% of the natural values in takayna / Tarkine are largely intact. A living example of one of the most primitive vegetation formations on Earth. Providing a unique window into our planet’s ancient past, the cool temperate rain-forests in takayna were once widespread across the ancient super continent Gondwana. Some of the best-preserved plant fossil sites in the world, dating back 65 million years. Magnesite karst systems of caves and pinnacles considered internationally rare. There are groves of some the tallest hardwood trees around, numerous wild rivers, and spectacular mountain ranges.

takayna / Tarkine is now gaining international recognition for the its’ outstanding beauty, natural and cultural values and the important position it holds for the future of our planet. Until the early 2000s  the forests of Tarkine were inaccessible for walking tours. Tarkine Trails facilitates immersive small group walking experiences in this ancient wilderness. It is our privilege and passion to be part of showcasing this unique place to our visitors.

Why ‘takayna’?

You may see us refer to the Tarkine as ‘takayna/Tarkine’. ‘takayna’ (tah kye nah) is the palawa kani name for this region. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre says:

takayna (tah kye nah) is recorded as the name of the people from the Sandy Cape-Pieman River area.

It is an acceptable practice to use the same word for a place as for the people of that place. Other words for a place are the same as the word for ‘the nation at that place’; some examples are nungu and yingina.

So we revive takayna for the Tarkine area, and also for the people of that area.

There are no other names recorded for this place or its people.

The English spelling ‘Tarkine’ has been used since the 1980s as the place name for an area of more than 447,000 hectares between the Arthur and Pieman Rivers. Conservationists chose that word with Aboriginal approval to name the area, based on one spelling variant of the name of the Aboriginal people from the Sandy Cape/Pieman River area – ‘Tarkiner’.

Out of respect for the original inhabitants of the land, we refer to it by takayna first, and Tarkine second, where possible.

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