The Styx Valley Big Tree Reserve is near Maydena 100km north-west of Hobart. The reserve is adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site. The area of wet eucalypt forest has been reserved to protect the world’s tallest flowering plants Eucalyptus regnans. A boardwalk has been constructed through the forest. Little light penetrates to ground level which is carpeted by mosses, lichens and Soft Tree Fern Dicksonia antarctica. The middle layer trees include Southern Sassafras Atherosperma moschatum and Myrtle Beech Nothofagus cunninghamii. Towering above are Mountain Ash Eucalyptus regnans believed to be 400 years old and growing to a height of nearly 90 metres.
Lunch was extended because of a flat, front tyre on the bus. We had extra time in bright sunshine on the banks of Styx River. The vegetation along the river is rainforest dominated by Myrtle Beech. Myrtle Orange Fungus Cyttaria gunni grows only on Myrtle Beech and is a traditional Aboriginal food. The endemic Tasmanian Thornbill was seen near the river.