Tasmania's Tarkine region has been ranked number one in a collection of the world's great wilderness areas by an American news channel.

CNN's online list has drawn criticism from Australian readers, who say on the website that the Tarkine is not pristine because of the operating and abandoned mines in the area.

The Tarkine National Coalition, a group campaigning for protection of the area, has welcomed the international recognition.

Campaigner Scott Jordan says the Tarkine is a premier tourist spot, and the state and federal governments should be protecting it with National and World Heritage listing.

"It's very clear that the Tarkine has a great future and I guess the failure to give it the proper protection by the state and federal governments really does risk killing the golden goose," he said.