Australia's National Parks: Background information when reading Force of Nature

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Discuss |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Force of Nature

A Novel

by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper X
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2018, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2019, 352 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

Australia's National Parks

This article relates to Force of Nature

Print Review

In Force of Nature, a group of women on a work retreat become lost in Australia's Giralang Ranges. While the Giralangs are fictional, Australia is home to thousands of national parks and conservation reserves. According to the National Parks website; "these areas protect a huge variety of environments – from deserts to rainforests, and coral reef to eucalyptus woodlands."  While most of the parks are administrated by government agencies in each of Australia's eight states and territories, a small number are managed on the national level by Parks Australia, including the country's six Commonwealth National Parks, the Australian National Botanic Gardens and 58 Commonwealth Marine Reserves, protecting some of the country's most stunning natural areas. The combined National Parks cover nearly 350,000 square miles, or about 11.5% of Australia's land mass.

Parks Australia is part of the country's federal government and their stated mission is to create and sustain "healthy and resilient parks, gardens and marine reserves that protect nature and culture and are valued and enjoyed by the community now and into the future."

Their goals include:

  • Protecting and conserving the natural and cultural values of the Commonwealth
  • Contributing to the social, economic and well-being of local communities
  • Offering world-class natural and cultural experiences to enhance Australia's visitor economy.

Kakadu, located east of Darwin in the Northern Territories, is Australia's largest terrestrial national park, covering over 7,600 square miles (twice the size of the Yellowstone National Park in the USA). Its vast territory contains a wide variety of terrain from its coast and estuaries in the north to rocky ridges and "stone country" in the south. Because it is so ecologically diverse more than one third of Australia's bird species can be found within its borders.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in the center of the country, is on Aboriginal land jointly managed by Parks Australia and its Anangu owners. It was declared a national park in 1977. Then, in 1985, the government returned the land deed to the Anangu who eased it back to the Director of National Parks, to be jointly managed under a board comprising of a majority of traditional owners. Each year, "The Handback" ceremony commemorates this historic event. Located in Australia's Northern Territory and covering over 800 square miles, the park is considered one of the most significant arid biosystems in the world, and as such has been named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Park.

Booderee National Park contains coastal vegetation, cliffs and white sandy beaches in its 24 square miles… and the little penguin, the smallest species of penguin in the world, which grows to only about a foot tall. The park is jointly managed by Parks Australia and the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community. Located in New South Wales and originally named the Jervis Bay National Park, in 1997 it was renamed Booderee, which means "bay of plenty" or "plenty of fish" in the native language.

Three of the Commonwealth National Parks are on islands. Christmas Island is over 1500 miles northwest of Perth in the Indian Ocean. According to the park's web site, it is "home to a high proportion of endemic species, some of them endangered. The park protects much of the island's uniquely structured rainforests, two wetlands of international importance, tens of millions of red crabs and a small but environmentally significant marine area." Pulu Keeling National Park is also located in the Indian Ocean. This near-pristine atoll is famed for its birdlife and is an important breeding site for seabirds and turtles.  It's also home to an historic shipwreck. Finally, the tiny Norfolk Island National Park (just 2.5 square miles in area) is located off Australia's southwest coast and is home to several endemic and highly endangered species, including the green parrot, the boobook owl, and the Norfolk tree fern (Cyathea brownii), the tallest tree fern on Earth. 

Visual tours of the parks are available on the Parks Australia web site.

by Kim Kovacs

This "beyond the book article" relates to Force of Nature. It originally ran in February 2018 and has been updated for the January 2019 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Fountains of Silence
    The Fountains of Silence
    by Ruta Sepetys
    The Spanish Civil War and its aftermath was a complicated period in history. The issues each side ...
  • Book Jacket: Curious Toys
    Curious Toys
    by Elizabeth Hand
    In Curious Toys, Elizabeth Hand tells the story of Vivian, a 14-year-old girl disguised as a boy ...
  • Book Jacket: Your House Will Pay
    Your House Will Pay
    by Steph Cha
    Steph Cha's novel Your House Will Pay shows how a legacy of violence and injustice can ripple ...
  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Nothing to See Here
    by Kevin Wilson

    A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning caring for two children with remarkable abilities.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.