Natural values and context

This 81 hectare property is completely surrounded by the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, and is included within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Formed thousands of years ago during Pleistocene times, the area is the traditional home territory of the Pangerninghe clan of the Big River nation.

Nestled in a large glacial valley known as the Vale of Rasselas, Gordonvale Reserve is anchored in alluvial sands, gravel and mud from which terraces rise to an elevated forest platform. The area boasts spectacular scenery, including the peaks of Great Dome and Wylds Craig, and opens up to wide, undulating buttongrass plains, riparian vegetation, scrub and forest which is home to Tasmania’s magnificent wildlife. Small pools are scattered throughout, teeming with frogs and other aquatic life.

Managing Gordonvale

Accessible only by a long bush walk through remote and difficult terrain, the Gordonvale Reserve is very isolated and consequently requires minimal management. Maintenance will focus on removal of weed species and maintenance of historic plantings that do not threaten the natural values of the property. We will also monitor visitation to the property to ensure low impact on the natural or heritage conservation values.

The Gordonvale Story

Gordonvale is known to many as the ‘bushwalkers rest’. For 18 years, up until the late 1950s, it was the isolated home of a legendary Tasmanian, Ernie Bond, known as the ‘Prince of Rasselas’. Ernie developed Gordonvale into a thriving little settlement and became renowned for his hospitality to bushwalkers, serving them wallaby stew, homegrown vegetables and home brew.

The remnants of his homestead have now disintegrated, slowly reclaimed by nature, except for stone foundations and scattered farm implements. This unique history qualifies the property for registration in the Tasmanian Historic Archaeological Sites Catalogue.

’I support what the TLC is doing and I’m glad that a special place like Gordonvale is being protected and cared for so that future Tasmanians can experience it.’ - Andrew Bond, great nephew of Ernie Bond

Banner photograph: Grant Dixon