9 Apr 2018
Aurora Australis beckons: experience nature in Tasmania
Picture yourself in Tasmania’s national parks —nature’s Mona Lisa, offering the natural world’s equivalent of a brush with the great masters.
Walking among the forest giants, meditating by waterfalls, or getting close (but not too close!) and personal with the wombats and Tassie devils, you can see why.
Check out some of our favourite Tasmanian national parks below and book your journey of discovery today.
1. Freycinet National Park
Only real life does Freycinet National Park justice – although every view could be a postcard. Climb through the pink granite mountains via Hazards Beach Circuit to take in one of the world’s most beautiful views over Wineglass Bay. Swim with dolphins in Wineglass Bay or snorkel and dive in Coles Bay and Great Oyster Bay. Learn the stories of Aboriginal and early settler history on a a 3-hour sea kayaking tour.
Image: Wineglass Bay Cruises; Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Wineglass Bay Cruises
2. Tasman National Park
Tasman National Park is a must for the bushwalker’s bucket list. The Tasman Coastal Trail is one of Tasmania’s great walks, meandering through Tasman National Park's highlights: Tasman Arch, Tasman Island, Remarkable Cave, Fortescue Bay, Tornado Ridge, and Eaglehawk Neck. Seasoned geologists marvel at the Tessellated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck, with tiled-like siltstone rock formed about 300 million years ago. Choose from 35 different trails, depending on how much time you have – take a couple of hours or a 6-day trek.
Tip: Spare a thought for the many ships wrecked on the rugged cliffs of the peninsula as you pass.
Image: Tessellated Pavement, Tessellated Pavement State Reserve; Credit: Kathryn Leahy
3. Mount Field National Park
Mount Field National Park is a magical escape into a world full of fairies, and woodland creatures and just an easy day trip from Hobart. Be inspired by tall forest eucalypts or write your first novel by cascading waterfalls —or at least take a selfie to send home. Spring is a special time of year here, with wildflowers blooming throughout the park.
Our top trails: Lady Barron Falls Circuit, Russell Falls Track, and Pandani Grove Nature Walk.
4. Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park
Mist rising over Cradle Mountain peak is a view of a lifetime – it’s not world heritage for nothing. Famous for its raw, natural beauty, Cradle Mountain National Park attracts visitors from around the world to marvel at the majesty of its rainforests, engage with its marsupials or trek the enticing Dove Lake Circuit and Enchanted Walk. But be prepared for the four seasons in one day that Tassie is also renowned for.
Consider yourself a night owl? Take a nocturnal tour of the park to see the creatures that come alive at night.
Stay at Discovery Holiday Parks - Cradle Mountain, right at the base of the national park.
5. Hartz Mountains National Park
Fancy yourself as a Nat Geo photographer? Visit Hartz Peak on a clear day to drink in the U-shaped valleys, glacial Lake Esperance and the subalpine moorland in one panorama. You might find yourself nose to beak with a platypus in its natural habitat or have a brush with the many wallabies, possums, and echidnas at home in the national park. Capture the ever-changing hiking landscape, with eucalypt trees, stringybark, myrtle, yellow gum, snow gum, and sassafrass. Make sure to keep a good map handy – and wet weather gear as insurance.
Image: Hartz Mountain National Park; Credit: Tourism Tasmania & N.R. Goldsmith, Knox Photographic Society
6. Lime Bay State Reserve
It might not often have swimming weather, but Tasmania’s Lime Bay State Reserve has beautiful beaches, ideal for a stroll or a picnic. It’s a bird lover’s paradise – just east from the Tasman National Park or north from the convict history of Port Arthur. Sheltered from the wind, you can walk over to the lagoon beach walking track, clamber over dunes towards Lobster Point headland and its dense shrubbery. Or you can drink in the local history at the remains of the 1833 Saltwater River Coal Mines where the worst-of-the-worst criminals were punished.
Image: Coal Mines Historic Site; Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy
7. Narawntapu National Park
Narawntapu National Park is the "Serengeti of Tasmania" with diverse wildlife and one of the largest populations of wombats in Australia. It’s an ideal first day trip from Devonport when you disembark from the Spirit of Tasmania. Take the track towards Archers Knob to drink in the spectacular views at Bakers Beach and Badger Head. Test out the sinking sand at Bakers Beach (don't worry, it’s nothing like The Jungle Book). Don’t forget to stop by Seven Sheds Brewery for an ale on the way to or from the park.
Image: Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) Narawntapu National Park; Credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
8. Mole Creek Karst National Park
Imagine if people took thousands of glowsticks, snapped them in half, and painted the ceiling with their hands. It would look just like the largest glow-worm display in Mole Creek's Marakoopa Cave, shimmering blue, like nothing you have ever seen before. The park is home to gorges, underground streams and springs, and hundreds of caves and sinkholes. Sparkling like its namesake mine, King Solomon's Cave is another charmed spot with reflective calcite crystals. Be careful of where you step though, the cave-dwelling wildlife are rare or endangered and survive on the food sources you may find on the ground.
Image: Mole Creek Caves tour (formerly Marakoopa Cave tour); Credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
Break out your hiking boots and discover Tasmania's best national parks.