Sense of Place

Kunanyi is central to the sense of place of a large proportion of those living in southern Tasmania.
— Nine Nations Project UTAS

Kunanyi is central to the sense of place of a large proportion of those living in southern Tasmania.
— Nine Nations Project UTAS

kunyani's surrounding parkland occupies one third of the land within the boundaries of Hobart city. As Alderman Anna Reynolds says, "The face of the mountain is the face of Hobart."

kunanyi was once girt by a forest of almighty gums,  with rainforested gullys and fern glades, through which flowed streams of snowmelt. Upon its snowy crown spread a lake of connected tarns. The lower slopes have had continuous use for thousands of year, but the alpine plateau was not visited because it was sacred. Something of this inviolable mystery surrounding the peak remains today.

The mountain decides who shall enter it and when. kunanyi's power is in its windswept wildness, is in its dominating altitude, but it is also in hidden crevices and trembling tors.

So grand is it, despite being burnt from top to bottom on more than a dozen occassions—and from the resulting erosion losing its tarns; despite the sawyers felling its almighty wooden girth; despite the water-getters robbing its rivulets and springs, despite the road scar, despite the imposition of two communication towers and the poorly sited Observation building,  the mountain is still a magnificent landmark with an abiding spiritual presence.

The strong sense of place attached to kunanyi is highly diverse. People are attached to combinations of its beauty, familiarity, symbolism of home, nature, rewarding recreation, childhood associations, life associations, spirituality and nurturing presence. Some engage physically in its depths and heights for “amazing views and beautiful bushwalks”. Others are content it is just there.
— Nine Nations Project, UTAS

To argue that because of past scars, new depredations are allowable drives us to worse outcomes. The direction to go, surely, is to remediate, to restore the mountain, to honour it. The river is the pulse of Hobart, its living vein; the mountain is its soul, the sacred stone heart of the city.

To the MWCC, the mountain is a high commercial opportunity for hotels and restaurants,

But to the majority of Hobartians the mountain is for homage as a refuge. 

Through other eyes, within the next lifetime the forest and the ferny glens will regenerate, The alpine tarns will be restored. The environmental flow of the rivulets will be refreshed. The Observation Shelter will be re-sited. The telecommunications towers will become redundant. And the road will retreat to The Springs. 

The mountain could have its sacred, silent aloofness restored. Such is the dream to which the cable car is an abomination.

I see it from my kitchen windows every day. It is iconic of Hobart and signifies that I’m home.”


“For most of my life I have looked at this sleeping beauty with awe and hope that we as humans supposedly protecting Mother Nature will leave her alone.”


“kunanyi is wild, awe-inspiring, serene” and it is where I want to end up
— Interviewees, Nine Nations Project UTAS
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