Summer is almost upon us so if you’ve been in hibernation over the cooler months, it’s time to dust off your hiking boots and hit the trails.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin D and fresh air at one of the many parks through the south. Whether you’re after a multi-day adventure or just a quick stretch of the legs, there is plenty to choose from in the south.
Think you need to travel far to be immersed in nature? Think again! Just moments outside of Hobart, Wellington Park has an array of hikes and short walks for everyone to enjoy. Experience the incredible kunanyi / Mount Wellington by foot and enjoy the sweeping views of the city below via the popular Zig Zag track (just 20mins return) or for a longer adventure, try the Organ Pipes Track. For help or ideas on more walks and hikes around Greater Hobart, head to Greater Hobart Trails to easily plan a trip by location, difficulty, time or distance.
Home to Australia’s highest sea cliffs, Tasman National Park is every hiker’s dream destination. Experience the awe of the dolerite spires rising from the sea below in a day via either Cape Hauy or Cape Raoul. Alternatively, you can take on the award-winning Three Capes Track which includes the incredible Cape Pillar. For maximum reward in minimum time, the Tasman Peninsula is full of incredible sites all easily accessible within minutes of their car parks. Eaglehawk Neck Lookout, Tessellated Pavement, the Blow Hole, the Tasman Arch and the Devil’s Kitchen can all be experienced within minutes of hopping out of your car.
The ruggedness of the south-west is a dramatic natural experience for all your senses. Shaped by ancient glaciers, the epic mountain views from here will leave you speechless. Enjoy the forest, vegetation, lakes and waterfalls that make up this raw and rugged Wilderness World Heritage area. Enjoy gentle strolls with maximum views in under an hour via tracks like Arve Falls or the Waratah Lookout. For something more adventurous try Hartz Peak or Lake Esperance.
Located in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Southwest National Park is home to the largest expanse of wilderness in the entire state. It’s here you’ll find one of Tasmania’s most challenging hikes, the South Coast Track. At 85km long, this hike will take you past windswept beaches, rocky headlands and mountain ranges over 6-8 days.
For a coastal adventure, South Bruny definitely delivers. Exploring by foot allows for an immersive experience with the landscape and local wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled as you might spot white wallabies on the ground or sea eagles in the sky. The Fluted Cape Track is a popular choice for experienced walkers and hikers. For those less experienced, the Cape Queen Elizabeth Track offers great views and will lead you to the popular Arch or enjoy leisurely strolls along the coastline at Cloudy Bay. You may even spot a southern right or humpback whale!
One of the oldest and most diverse national parks, Mount Field makes up part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and features some of the tallest eucalyptus forests in the world. Venture to the three-tiered cascades of Russell Falls via the fully sealed, wheelchair accessible track and spot the jaw-dropping Giant Trees along the way. You can also drive further into the park to Lake Dobson where you’ll find longer walks, mountainous landscapes, skiing areas in the winter and colourful native florals in the summer.
Created by glaciers over millions of years, the ethereal atmosphere of Lake St Clair is apparent from the moment you arrive. At 167m depth, it’s the deepest lake in Australia. Surrounded by dense forests and dramatic mountains in the background, the ancient landscape creates a certain serenity not experienced anywhere else. Head to the award-winning visitor centre at Cynthia Bay to learn about the history of the area before setting out to explore. There are many tracks with varying difficulties to choose from such as the Watersmeet Walk, Echo Point and Shadow Lake.