takayna Ultra is a 65km ultra-marathon event whose main goal is to help protect takayna / Tarkine in a World Heritage listed National Park, returned to Aboriginal ownership. The takayna / Tarkine region of northwestern Tasmania is home to one of the last undisturbed tracks of Gondwanan rainforest in the world, and one of the highest concentrations of Aboriginal archeology in the southern hemisphere. Yet this place, which remains largely as it was when dinosaurs roamed the planet, is currently at the mercy of destructive extraction industries including logging and mining.
The event raises money to support the Bob Brown Foundation campaign to have takayna / Tarkine protected as a World Heritage listed National Park, returned to Aboriginal ownership.
On 13th March 2020, this unique event was held for the second time. More than 120 participants signed up to run, with all funds raised going to the Bob Brown Foundation's takayna / Tarkine campaign.
The runners in takayna Ultra are a prime example of conservation in action. They are directly raising funds for the campaign to protect this wild and incredibly beautiful place, they are experiencing its wonder directly and becoming instant ambassadors for the region as they tell friends and family about North West Tasmania's treasures.
“I'm 6th generation Tasmanian from NW Tassie just north of takayna / Tarkine. I moved back to Tassie in 2018 after 20yrs living and working around Australia, Europe, the US and PNG. Upon moving back, I knew I wanted to share the amazing landscapes of Tasmania with the world through adventure events and at UTA (Ultra-Trail Australia) in 2018, I watched the film takayna produced by Patagonia and I knew exactly what I needed to do. Within hours, I'd been in contact with Patagonia and BBF and within 11 months, we had successfully delivered Tassie's newest and the first trail ultra in takayna / Tarkine. I am immensely proud to have co-founded this important event showcasing and supporting the protection of the raw and powerful takayna landscapes for all generations to come."
– takayna Ultra race director Lincoln Quilliam.
The main objective for route selection of the takayna Ultra is to capture the many raw and powerful landscapes dominant in this country - Gondwanan rainforest, giant eucalypt forest, grass plains, and the wild coast - both rocky, open beaches, and vegetated dunes. After extensive study and almost 3 weeks of ground-truthing, the 95% offroad route captures the best connected grass plains, wild coast, and old growth eucalypt forest. Some of takayna’s spectacular rainforests are best accessed a 30min drive away from the coast - with BBF protecting them with forest camps.
The takayna Ultra invites runners and their support crews from across the nation, and indeed the globe, to spend time in this wild and ancient landscape. In doing so, they not only spend locally on accommodation, meals, and experiences, but they go home ambassadors for our region with their tales of how takayna has moved them and the threats it still faces.