For much of the 20th century, the Styx Valley was designated as part of Australian News Mills pulpwood concession. As a consequence it was closed off to the the general public until the late 1990s when campaigns to protect some of the amazing old growth forests started to build momentum. The end result of the work by conservation groups such as the Wilderness Society was that a significant amount of the remaining old growth trees north of the Styx River and some very impressive stands south of the river were added to the reserve system. These reserves protect some of the largest and tallest eucalypts on the planet and visitors to the area can often be rewarded with outstanding forests, stunning river scenery and in many instances, solitude, due to the low tourist numbers.
Above three photos: 'Two Towers' is almost 21m in girth and contains 390 cubic meters of wood in its trunks and branches. Recent studies have shown that trees such as Two Towers are over 500 years old.
'Icarus Dream' at 97m is the tallest tree in the Andromeda reserve. A further 10 trees exceed 90m in height making it the tallest stand of trees in the southern hemisphere. Sadly, most of the trees have suffered dieback in their tops, most likely due to the stand being disturbed by nearby logging and escaped regeneration fires.
The 'Devil's Pitchfork' is a remarkable sight, vaulting out of myrtle beech rainforest off Waterfall creek road. The tree is 18m in girth and, at 20m up, splits into 3 trunks - giving it the second part of its name. The first part of the name came from the GPS reading for the tree ending in the numbers 666!
Giant Eucalyptus regnans and lush rainforest along the 'Walk to Mordor', the site of a tree sit in the mid 2000's that helped save this magnificent stand of trees.
'Bell Bottom' in early morning light, along Waterfall creek Road, Styx Valley
Look carefully at the crown of the 96m tall 'Firebird Wonder' and you will see high climber Tom Greenwood nearing the top, from where he will drop a tape measure to the ground to obtain a very accurate height figure. This superb tree is well off the road and access to it requires swimming over the usually chilly Styx River.
'Gothmog' at 337 cubic meters is the largest known Eucalyptus obliqua, or stringbark tree.
The view from the 96m tall 'Mount Tree'