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.

I wound my way along the well-trodden track and arrived at the base of the tree. After connecting myself to the climb line and doing my safety checks, I turned off my head torch and started climbing into the darkness. Climbing is something I do by feel, not by sight, and slowly making my way upwards in the near-total darkness, listening to the sounds of the forest around me, felt magical. Like I was suspended in the middle of this forest, hearing the life all around me and the wind rustling through the trees. 

It was windy during the night and I lay awake for some time, just feeling the force of the wind and swaying gently with this ancient tree I was attached to. It’s really amazing how much trees move; something I didn’t fully understand before I started spending so much time in the canopy. It can be terrifying but I actually really enjoy it now, like the rocking of a boat. 

This area where we are occupying, called Sumac, is earmarked for a roading operation this summer. Sustainable Timbers Tasmania could come in here with machines any day and start chopping down trees and bulldozing the road line through. We will not allow that to happen. This forest is globally significant and incredibly biodiverse, containing many endangered species that need protection. We are losing species to extinction every day and these last safe havens need to be protected. Today I found flowering Gunns tree orchids within the coupe boundary, a rare and threatened species.



I woke up in this forest this morning, 20 metres up a tree, feeling alive and so lucky to be here. The forest defenders who have been spending time at this camp are so inspiring, giving their time and love and passion to protect this place. I will be here for the next week and am aiming to sleep up a different tree each night. If the bulldozers move in we are ready, but we hope it doesn’t come to that.



We have put up a sign on the main road to encourage tourists to come in for a cuppa; and are getting quite a few visitors through which is great and we are welcoming them with a cup of tea and a guided forest walk. We desperately need more people on the ground out here, so consider coming out for a night or a week. It’s an incredible place to be and I guarantee you will fall in love with this place, as I have.

Lisa Searle




Showing 3 reactions

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  • Carol Barnett
    commented 2018-12-31 23:14:01 +1100
    Lisa you and your forest protecters are in my thoughts. You’re all magnificent. Thankyou for what you’re doing. 💚
  • Mark Blaxall
    commented 2018-12-24 14:59:36 +1100
    Thanks for your hospitality Lisa. Keep up the good work.
  • Joanne Fuller
    commented 2018-12-04 15:40:36 +1100
    Beautiful to read your words Lisa- thank you for all you do…🌿💚
    It’s so sad that this is necessary; clearly they should be protected. Our wild spaces are of utmost importance to be that, wild, alive, & respected. Blessings 🙏🏽