The Great Western Tiers is an outstanding landscape feature of northern Tasmania being a series of towering cliffs and columns of Jurassic dolerite. These extend from Western Bluff above Mole Creek in the west to Tunbridge Tier, inland of Tunbridge in the south-east. (ref map) The Tiers form the escarpment to the Central Plateau region of Tasmania, an extensive area of alpine vegetation, lakes and tarns. The slopes at the western end represent the second highest climate gradients in Australia. This means many species living on the slopes may be able to survive climate change in sheltered gorges and high altitude niches.
There is evidence that Aboriginal people began using the Tiers many thousands of years ago as a route to the alpine areas, where there were rich summer hunting grounds. White settlers came in the early 1800's and the Aborigines were forced into smaller and less fertile environments. Eventually, white settlements took over all of the land, with wealthy graziers on the more fertile plains and the poorer settlers on smaller lots, around the fringes of the Tiers. Despite over 200 years of logging and pasture conversion in and around the mountains, many parts of the Great Western Tiers remain in almost pristine condition, due to the steep slopes and erodable soils.