chapter  4
The Changing Geographies of Australia's Wilderness Heritage
WithC. Michael Hall
Pages 13

This chapter provides an historical account of the changing geographies of wilderness as heritage. Before charting the changing geographies of Australia's wilderness heritage, the chapter discusses the wilderness concept. In Australia there has been a shift from anthropocentric to biocentric approaches in defining wilderness quality. Two attributes which are definitive of wilderness, remoteness and primitiveness need to be based at the high-quality end of the wilderness continuum to accommodate the anthropocentric and biocentric dimensions of wilderness. The evolution of wilderness preservation in Australia has distinct parallels with other colonial new world countries in North America and New Zealand and has been particularly influenced by the United States experience. The Tasmanian experience with wilderness, the focal point for wilderness conservation in Australia, provides a good example of the increased complexities facing Australia's wilderness heritage. Tourism remains an integral economic use of wilderness that provides an economic justification for its conservation.