Wild Nature: Walking Australia’s South East Forests by John Blay


An epic journey of discovery into the heart of a vast and contested Australian wilderness. John Blay laces up his walking boots and goes bush to explore Australia’s rugged south east forests – stretching from Canberra to the coast and on to Wilsons Promontory – in a great circle from his one-time home near Bermagui.

In Wild Nature, the bestselling author of On Track charts the forests’ shared history, their natural history, the forest wars, the establishment of the South East Forests National Park and the threats that continue to dog their existence, including devastating bushfires. Along the way Blay asks the big questions. What do we really know about these wild forests? How did the forests come to be the way they are? What is the importance of wild nature to our civilisation? ‘…

As well as being a story of ‘spiritual regeneration’, it’s also very much about the decades long ‘war’ between the forest industry and Aboriginal custodians and environmentalists, and about the history of this region.