Tasmania's Unmissable Natural Highlights
When it comes to wild, untamed natural beauty, Tasmania is very difficult to beat. About 40 per cent of the state is protected by national parks and reserves, and some 20 per cent of the island is designated as World Heritage-listed wilderness. Striking mountains, spectacular lakes, sublime bays, pristine rivers - Tasmania has them all, and more, so we recommend starting off with these five unmissable natural highlights.
1. Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain might only be the sixth-highest peak in Tasmania, but it’s number one on most visitors’ wish-lists. One of the best ways to view the 1,545-metre mountain is to walk around the shores of Dove Lake, at the foot of the peak. The six-kilometre walk along the path that rings the lake will take you into lush rainforest, with Cradle Mountain vistas through the canopy.
Sitting in the state’s north-western corner, the Tarkine wilderness is the second-largest tract of cool temperate rainforest in the world. It’s a huge area of untouched beauty (about the size of Kangaroo Island) where Tasmanian rainforest species such as myrtle beech, celery top pine and Huon pine grow amid the moss floor. Take in views of the Arthur River, then walk in the Julius River Forest Reserve, where a short trail circuits through the forest, or head to nearby Sumac Lookout.
3. Gordon River
A cruise along the Gordon River on the state’s rugged west coast gives a truly memorable glimpse of Tasmania’s beauty. Gliding tranquilly along the remarkably still and clear waters, take in the majestic, thick rainforest that lines this stunning river’s banks. Wander through the rainforest at a landing along the river; visit Sarah Island, which along with other convict sites in Tasmania, inspired Marcus Clarke’s For the Term of His Natural Life, and sail through the harbour opening that convicts christened Hells Gates.
4. Wineglass Bay
Postcard-perfect Wineglass Bay is one of the most sublime drawcards of Freycinet National Park on the east coast. Experience its exquisite beauty, as well as that of the Freycinet Peninsula’s spectacular sheer cliffs, sea caves and remote coves on an eco-catamaran cruise. Back on dry land, take a guided walk along Cape Tourville, admiring the stunning coastal scenery as you go.
5. Russell Falls
Enjoying convenient proximity to Hobart, Mount Field National Park is one of Tasmania’s oldest national parks. It’s crowned with spectacular alpine peaks but along the Tyenna River, a series of waterfalls pours through the rainforest. The most spectacular of these is Russell Falls, which plummets over a series of fern-lined cliffs. From the visitor centre, it’s a 10-minute walk to the base of the falls.
Need to Know
Explore these five spectacular landmarks on our 12 Day Tasmania Complete tour.
You will enjoy unforgettable experiences including a Gordon River cruise, a Tarkine wilderness walk, a gourmet dinner at Tall Timbers, a visit to the magnificent Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, a sensational lunch at Josef Chromy Wines, and an exclusive tour of Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Freedom of Choice options include a visit to the world-famous Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, a tour of James Boag’s Brewery, a visit to Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre, and more. You will also cruise the crystal-clear waters of Wineglass Bay, visit fascinating Port Arthur, and discover the magic of Russell Falls.