Think of Australia and a flood of images spring to mind. From the vast expanse of the Red Centre, with Uluru as its crowning glory, to great swathes of bushland, clear, fish-filled seas fringed with deserted beaches, and ancient rainforests alive with birdsong, everything points to this being a wild, untouched country.

So begins Phoebe’s most recent piece for The Telegraph, which looked at a huge number of rewinding initiatives currently underway in Australia.

A newly wild island – Australia’s biggest conservation project to date © Phoebe Smith

She continues…

So the idea that Australia needs “rewilding”, that we have to work hard at repairing a ruined Eden, may at first seem contradictory. But look closer and it is clear that this once-harmonious ecosystem has been damaged – and European settlement was to blame, bringing with it farming and the release of invasive flora and fauna.

Humans have called this continent home for more than 60,000 years, and the aboriginal people who came first hunted and lived in a far more sustainable way than the settlers. They thought about the future in everything they did. If they took too much, they knew their descendants would have nothing. Cave paintings acted as helpful hints for those who would come next; land management was undertaken to help minimise the impact of bush fires and regenerate plants that needed fire to release their seeds. Aboriginal people worked with the natural world – not living off it but living with it, realising this was the way to survive.

The reintroduced Rufous hare wallaby, photographed in the wild by Phoebe, is one of Dirk Hartog Island’s success stories © Phoebe Smith
Within the article Phoebe visits Dirk Hartog Island, which is currently undergoing an ambitious project to return it to a pre-European state in it’s ‘Return to 1616’ initiative.
She also looks at measures in place to try to protect and regenerate parts of the Great Barrier Reef, at plans and walks that help bring back Aboriginal Dreamtime and shines a light on the volunteers who work to preserve the last bastion of the endangered Tasmanian devil.
The Tasmanian devil is one species currently fighting for survival © Phoebe Smith

Finally, she presents the most weirdest and wonderful critters found in Australia.

You can read the full article by clicking on the below photograph. Happy rewilding/reading!

Phoebe’s story took the coveted front page slot in Telegraph Travel