NatureArt Lab: Tasmania Fungi Tour 2023 - by Katherine Buchanan
In May 2023 I had the fantastic opportunity to join NatureArt Lab’s Fungi Season Nature Experience in Tasmania. This was my first ‘group tour’ so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Tour numbers were limited and the NatureArt Lab team provided comprehensive pre-departure information, including holding a pre-departure briefing by NatureArt Lab Director and Founder Julia Landford, and a Macrophotography pre-departure workshop with Renee Prescott. They even provided a packing list to help us sort out the best gear for every season. Fungi like cold, temperate forests – so we could expect cold, wet and muddy conditions. I am sure that we even got a little sleet! It must have been a bit of a climate shock for our traveller from Queensland.
Armed with cameras, tripods, nature journals and, most importantly, cold weather gear, our tour started almost as soon as we landed. Two minivans loaded up and we were off to our first National Park with our drivers Alan Landford and Renee Prescott. We were given the rare chance to be guided through the Tasmanian National Parks and Wilderness areas and shown techniques to accurately capture the tiny world of fungi through macro photography.
The tour was expertly guided by Julia Landford and Renee Prescott. There was plenty of flexibility built in to allow us to explore this new world of fungi, lichen and slime moulds; and to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Mount Field National Park, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers, Lake St Claire, Tarkine Rainforests and Cradle Mountain wilderness – and so many others!
Days were spent walking, picnicking and taking many, many photographs. While the evenings were spent journaling, checking and sharing photos, having wonderful meals and listening to great information sessions. We even visited the Devil Park and learnt about the difficulties facing the Tasmanian Devils and Quolls and had a day on Gordon River World Heritage Cruise.
The trip not only provided an unforgettable experience but gave me a thirst for more NatureArt Lab tours. I came away with a new perspective - suddenly I am seeing fungi, lichen, earth stars and slime moulds everywhere.
Thanks goes to the NatureArt Lab team and to my fellow fungi fossickers for the amazing experience. Julia, Alan and Renee ensured that we were well fed and warm at the end of each day. They shared their knowledge with the enthusiasm that comes from their love and respect for the natural world.
Katherine Buchanan, 2023