Wild Beauty, Hardie Grant Books

Four years of research and photography culminated a truly stunning collection, presented within this book.

Wild Beauty: A Photographic Field Guide to Australia’s Biggest, Oldest and Rarest Natural Treasures – (Hardie Grant Books, $49.99)

Journalist Graham Lloyd and photographer Vanessa Hunter spent four years collating this large format, photographic delight, showcasing 26 wild locations from around Australia. Each image is perfectly selected to demonstrate the enormous variety of environments Australia has on show, from Tasmania’s rugged peaks to the crocodile-infested pools of the Top End.

Charles Darwin Reserve, WA.

Wildflowers make a striking ground cover at Charles Darwin Reserve, WA.

“We sought our places that were able to srae back at us in their wildness,” Hunter said of the project. “Places that, given patience, were willing to share their deepest secrets.”

The spectacular images are complemented by Lloyd’s thoughtful prose, sharing insight into the world’s oldest plant (king’s holly, Tasmania), to the world’s largest mass migration of minke whales (Great Barrier Reef). In a sense, the book stands as a testament to the hardiness of the land, whereas both Lloyd and Hunter have said they also hope the work highlights just how much we have to lose to climate change.

No matter your philosophical or political persuasions, this is a book that will make any Australian feel inspired to see more of the country that we’re so lucky to live in. For international readers, it will open eyes to wealth of natural beauty Australia has in store.

Franklin River, Tasmania.

The Franklin River’s beauty has helped in its fight for protection against damming and other industrial activity.