The city of Melbourne lies on the edge of a vast plain surrounded by a green and blue mountainous rim, whose hills and peaks are home to the magnificent Mountain Ash, the tallest flowering plant on the planet. The Mountain Ash forests were 20 million years in the making, and deep within the valleys are even more ancient Gondwanic rainforests. The Great Forest showcases these forests as well as the world's tallest moss, breathtaking snow gum plateaus and the remnants of massive extinct volcanoes.
The Great Forest is a tribute to extraordinary landscapes now under severe threat from logging and wildfires, such as the catastrophic fire that struck on Black Saturday in 2009. It uncovers the intricate webs of life that make Mountain Ash forests so much more than their towering trees. It explores the unique forests that have sustained the Gunaikurnai, Taungurung and Wurundjeri peoples for tens of thousands of years, and that provide a home for creatures found almost nowhere else. The exquisite photographs reveal the Central Highlands of Victoria to be one of Australia's largely undiscovered natural treasures.
Professor David Lindenmayer AO is a world-leading expert on forest conservation and ranked among Australia's top 50 scientists. Based at the Australian National University, he has led some of the largest-scale environmental research programs in Australia, including almost 40 years of work in Victoria's magnificent mountain ash forests.
Chris Taylor, Sarah Rees and Steven Kuiter are outstanding photographers who have worked in Victoria's Central Highlands forests for many years.