8 Nights at the Sumac Defenders Camp – Tania Wilby

Arrive in camp to find Kasey has returned from NSW and is planning on moving to Tassie, lucky Sumac camp. Clair has also returned and has been spending quite along time on and off here, she has a friend with her Dave a Canadian who is living up north Queensland, Clair will be missed when she leaves Tassie.

The weather is heating up and we take it in turns to go swimming at the Arthur river at the bridge, which is only a 5 minute drive or a 15 mintue walk down the steep track just near camp. Also we take turns to visit the rainforest and our newly named creek called the defenders creek, we had a few names picked out but most have already been taken.

A family of 4 call in and share their lunch with us after returning from a walk to Defenders Creek.

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Four nights at Sumac camp. A snapshot. – by Tania Johnson

I pick Esther up from Devonport, a young German woman who is exploring Tassie wilderness.  Late in 2018, Esther and her friend Kasey called into the camp by accident on their travels to the Tarkine.  Esther took up carving and whittling the dead myrtle tree left by the logging industry to rot.


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1017th person arrested at the Franklin blockade visits our Sumac blockade


Mrs Rafferty was the 1017th person to be arrested at the Franklin blockade and visited our Sumac blockade leaving us all an encouraging message of support and defiance.


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Media Release: Tasmanian Premier can be the Tarkine Santa or Christmas Grinch

Conservationists have been camped in a Tarkine threatened rainforest for the past three months and have today sent Premier Hodgman a Christmas card offering him the opportunity to be a world leader on environmental and climate action in 2019. 

“We are calling on the Tasmanian Premier to protect takayna / Tarkine and be the Tarkine Santa, though we are afraid he will be the Tarkine Christmas Grinch and leave it to the logging industry who want to destroy the carbon rich native forests and ancient rainforests around Tasmania, including in the Tarkine,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.


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Sumac camp life can get very busy! – Tania Johnson

Sumac camp life can get very busy, with the tourist season well on its way we have had many visitors drop by into camp, the welcome sign "come in for a cuppa" and the banner across the entrance of the road brings people into camp.


A tour van arrived with people from Victoria and NSW.  These visitors chose to visit the defenders camp instead of the regular tourist spot of the Trowutta Arch when given the option from the guide.  They were all keen to hear about the defenders camp and walk into the rainforest and down to the little pristine creek, which is a stunning 45 minute return walk which takes you through the ancient forest that the proposed road will go through and then clearfelled. 

As our guests filled out the visitors book and prepared to leave 3 cars turned up with 7 people who came in for cuppa’s.  Peter, a long-time supporter of the Bob Brown Foundation was among them staying for a cuppa and a walk to the creek.



I have been enjoying taking our visitors on a bit of a tour of camp and down to the tree sits and to Jesse tree. A young couple from the UK drove past the cuppa sign and turned around and came back wondering what was going on up this gravel road, they both plan on returning in February. Laz from Burnie and Kasey from NSW arrive, Laz brings paints and cloth for banner making.

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Coming home to Sumac camp

I arrived at camp late last night and, after saying hello to the amazing crew who have been here for the weekend, I headed straight up a giant eucalyptus tree which is situated right on the road line and where we have set up a tree-sit platform. Being back in the forest after being away is always so emotional, grounding, and beautiful. Whenever I walk into these ancient Tarkine forests I feel like I’m coming home.

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Myrtles and moss

Wow, what a very busy week at the Sumac defenders camp. We had around 14 interstate visitors, from Victoria, Adelaide and NSW, call in over four days to see what was going on show support. The signs at the entrance of the road are working, inviting guests to call in and have a cuppa. One young couple did the short 45min return walk to the little creek. As we stood on the edge of the destruction, the entrance to the rainforest, she burst into tears. The thought of this forest being clear felled was too overwhelming. Every visitor has been blown away by the size of the trees and the beauty of the Sumac forest and the waste that this industry leaves behind on the ground.



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Sleeping in the trees


Rigging a sleeping platform in the Sumac rainforest.

Photo by Deb Hunter


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Like water for the soul



The light is cool and green – I could almost be under water.

Water - I can hear it.


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Life's cycle

I have camped two nights at the Sumac road blockade now and observed the contrast of the burnt wastage of a clear fell and the rich, old, wise and abundant forest just a short walk away. 

I have observed the beauty of how life keeps on overtaking death. And how it’s all part of the same cycle. That nothing ever truly dies. 

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