The Styx Valley of the Giants is Tassie’s home to some of the biggest trees in Australia, and the tallest flowering tree in the entire world, the Eucalyptus regnans. The Styx is home to some 90+ metre giants in the Andromeda area, as well as numerous “smaller” giants at 70+ metres throughout the valley.
The area was really put on the map after one of Tassie’s big forest protests, when the Wilderness Society teamed up with Greenpeace to establish a tree-sit 60 metres above the ground in the upper reaches of a regnans now known as Gandalf’s Staff. There are still substantial parts of the Valley being logged, but there are now 3 new or enlarged “Forest Reserves” in the area (including Gandalf’s forest!) as a result of the weight of public opinion against logging areas such as this which forced the Tassie forests issue onto the national agenda when Mark Latham duked it out with Johnnie Howard back in the 2004 election.
The Valley is also home to the wonderful rainforest lined Styx River. One of those Tassie treasures that takes you right back in time just by being there. There is a beautiful silence about the dark waters of the Styx river, and the gnarled sassafras and myrtle trees shrouding its banks. The contrast between the peacefulness of areas such as the Styx and the bitterness of the battles in these same areas over management is stark, but the increasing area of Tassie’s wilderness that is now protected is a testament to the dedication of everyone who has been touched by the specialness of these places, and been moved to call for their protection.
The Valley is accessed via Maydena and loops back to Karanja (although signs warn that this road may be locked and that you should enter and exit via Maydena).