Huon Valley News

Arve Big Tree brought back to life in Geeveston’s newest AR experience

The new Arve Big Tree Augmented Reality (AR) experience, announced in November last year, was officially opened today at Heritage Park in Geeveston.

The project commemorates the Arve Big Tree, a towering 87m swamp gum and one of Australia’s tallest trees, which was sadly destroyed in the summer bushfires of 2019.

Huon Valley Council Mayor Bec Enders was in attendance at the opening, joined by Huon Valley Councillors, Acting General Manager Matthew Grimsey, project partners, and representatives from industry bodies Destination Southern Tasmania, Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Tahune Adventures, Geeveston Town Hall Company, the Geeveston Progress Association and the Huon Valley Tourism Network.

Left to right: Yoav Daniel and Forrest Bar-Ness, David Shering of Handbuilt Creative, Huon Valley Council Mayor Bec Enders, Acting General Manager Matthew Grimsey and Manager Economic Development Michelle Gledhill

“Council would like to thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for contributing to this project through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements’ Economic and Community Recovery Fund and the Regional Tourism Projects Program,” said Cr Enders.

“Thank you also to the Geeveston School & Community Op Shop and Geeveston Town Hall Company for contributing funds towards the project.

“We were pleased to be able to collaborate with local businesses to deliver this interactive experience.

“We had the pleasure of once again bringing Handbuilt Creative on board to recreate the Big Tree in augmented reality – and they have done so with breathtaking accuracy and detail.

“The project allows people to experience and remember the natural wonder of this giant tree using their own smart device, such as their phone.”

The project includes a memorial for the Huon Valley community’s experience of bushfire, featuring an interpretative sculpture crafted by Ninapatina and Flux Engineering of Port Huon.

The sculpture provides the launching point for the 3D scene, which you can access simply by downloading the Arve Big Tree app to your smart device from the App Store or Google Play.

“The height and scale of the Arve Big Tree is just astonishing,” said Cr Enders. “The loss of this giant tree is heartbreaking, so it means so much to be able to remember it in this special way. I encourage our community members and visitors to pay a special visit to Heritage Park to see this magnificent recreation for yourself.”

Yoav Daniel Bar-Ness from Giant Tree Expeditions provided the exact map of the Arve Big Tree’s footprint to Ninapatina and Flux Engineering for the sculpture design.

Read more about the project 

Jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.