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Best places to explore the Tasmanian Wilderness

By Dale Baldwin who if not for a broken finger would be out exploring these places rather than writing this article!

Posted: July 4, 2015

Tasmania has some amazing wilderness and national parks to explore with 45% of Tasmania covered in forrest reserves and the World Heritage Area. There are plenty of amazing places all around Tasmania you can go to explore our amazing wilderness, here are a few of our suggestions.

Melaleuca and the South West

Tasmania's South West in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is one of the more difficult areas to access but also one of the most amazing. Melaleuca sits inland from Port Davey and with it's airstrip is the perfect way to get deep inside the World Heritage Area.

For walkers the South Coast Track is one of the most challenging in Australia taking you from Cockle Creek to Melaleuca. This walk has a tendency to throw up some adverse conditions with plenty of river crossings and mud making this a track for experienced walkers only. Well equipped walkers can take this track on themselves but there are also guided tours run by Tasmanian Expeditions which can take you as well.

 

Par Avion run regular flights into Melaleuca with opportunities to book a half and and full day as well as overnight experience. The flight in follows the spectacular coastline of Bruny Island and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel as well as providing views of the mountains and forests of the South West. Upon arrival at Melaleuca you transfer onto a boat to explore the amazing scenery, wildlife and aboriginal heritage in the surrounding area.

If you want to explore the waterways and in particular Port Davey then the best ways are by Yacht or Kayak.

Hobart Yachts run multi-day sailing trips between Hobart and Port Davey taking in the breathtaking coastline and is a perfect portable base for exploring the amazing scenery and small inlets around Port Davey and Melaleuca.

Roaring 40s Kayaking run a number of multi day tours exploring the waterways around Port Davey and Melaleuca with three and seven day options available. On the these trips you get the opportunity to camp out under the stars in some of the most remote camp sites in Australia as well as staying in specially built tents at Forest Lagoon.

Tasman Peninsula

The Tasman Peninsula south of Hobart was first settled as a penal colony in the early 1800's, the areas remote location, terrain and narrow sliver of land at Eagle Hawk neck made it the perfect location for building a prison. Today the Tasman National Park is a key hub for adventure activities with some amazing scenery and coastline to explore.

Fortescue Bay is one of our favourite places to explore with some amazing walking and deep, clear blue waters. On the water there are some amazing sights to be seen with Fortescue Bay being home to sea eagles, seals, dolphins and at the right time of year Whales. Roaring 40s Kayaking on good weather days run Kayaking Tours allowing you to get up close to the cliffs and wild life. If Kayaking isn't your thing then there is also a great boat tour with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys that take you around the amazing coast line and explains the rich history of the area.

There are plenty of amazing walks on the Tasman Peninsula with  a number of day and overnight walks available. In November the new Three Capes track opens offering a 46km hut based walk taking in some of the Tasman Peninsula's most impressive views including the massive dolerite cliffs along Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy. This walk can be done on your own but there are also a guided walking option with Tasmanian Expeditions.

For climbers the Tasman Peninsula offers some amazing routes with two of most famous climbs in Tasmania, the Totem Pole and the Candlestick. Both of these climbs are rock sea stacks at the end of Cape Hauy that can be a challenge to get to. Rock Climbing Adventures Tasmania offer a guided climb on both of these climbs.

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain is by far one of Tasmania's most popular destinations for adventure travel with heaps to do and some of the most spectacular and famous views in Tasmania.

The Overland Track is one of Australia's most popular walks and one of the Great Walks of Australia. The track is 65km long running through the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park and takes between five and six days to complete. During peak periods between October and May you need to book with Parks Tasmania to do the walk as there are limited numbers allowed on the track at any one time. If you are after a guided experience on the Overland Track there are a couple of options available with a number of companies offering both hut style walks and traditional tent camping. During winter the Overland is covered in snow making it perfect for cross country skiing and snow shoe trips. 

For something more adventurous Cradle Mountain is home to the award winning Cradle Mountain Canyons who will take you through the hidden waterways in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. Canyoning at Cradle Mountain involves sliding and floating through shoots and rapids like a naturally forming water slide park. On a number of tours abseiling down waterfalls is involved in order to access lower parts of the canyons.

On the outskirts of the national park you can jump on a tour with Cradle Country Adventures which offer horse riding and quad biking tours with taking in amazing views of the region.

Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park on the West Coast of Tasmania covers a wide area that includes rain forests, open alpine plains and is home to one of the most iconic rivers in Australia.

The Lyell Highway that runs between the Derwent Valley and Queenstown is an amazing drive that provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, rain forrest and the scenic decent into Queenstown. There are a number of short walks and stops along the highway and plenty of places to stop and take in the view.

 

The Franklin River is the heart of the national park and and provides one of the most amazing river adventures in the world. Running the Franklin takes around eight to ten days and takes you from the Collingwood River on the Lyell Highway to Sir John Falls on the Gordon River. This adventure is suitable for experienced kayakers and rafters or guided trips only. The Franklin can be incredibly dangerous under the right conditions and a number of deaths having occurred on the river over the years. Rafting on the Franklin is done between October and the end of May with a number of commercial operations running on the river including Tasmanian Expeditions and Franklin River Rafting.

For walkers, Frenchmans Cap offers a wet and muddy challenge that is rewarded with a stunning view over the National Park and surrounding peaks. There are a number of huts on this walk making things a little easier but expect wet and muddy conditions even during the summer months.

Mt Field National Park

Mt Field national park is only a 90 minute drive north of Hobart and famous for it's water falls, winter snow, beautiful Pandani and the autumn colours in the Fagus.

Mt Field is home to the incredibly popular Russell and Horseshoe falls which are easily accessible from the visitor centre. The walk to the falls takes you through beautiful rain forrest and ferns and provides opportunities if you are quiet to spot Pademelons and even possibly a platypus.

 

Higher up the mountain you can take on some amazing walks that can be done at any time of year including on skiis during winter. If you are looking for a short walk, the Pandani Groove at Lake Dobson is beautiful with amazing views of the alpine lake and the tall Pandani to walk through once you reach the grove.

During Autumn the Tarn Shelf is home to the beautiful Fagus which are incredibly popular amongst our photography community for the rusty red and orange colours that come out around April and May. 

Freycinet Peninsula

The Freycinet Peninsula is one of the most popular destinations in Tasmania with beautiful beaches and picture perfect views of the East Coast.

Wineglass Bay is possibly one of the best known beaches in Tasmania with it's unique shape and white sandy beaches. Above the bay is Mt Amos which provides spectacular views over the peninsula and surrounding area. If you want to get down on the water there are a number of great tour options include Wineglass Bay Cruises and Freycinet Adventures which offer Kayaking tours.

#Timelapse scape

If you want to explore the region in luxury while also getting out and trying some of the amazing walks then make sure to have a look at the Wine Glass Bay Sail Walk. Based off a private yacht you get to go on guided walks coming back each night to amazing meals on secluded beaches.

Another way to explore the National Park is with All4Adventure on a quad bike. The quad bikes give you the opportunity to cover more ground within the park and experience some of the amazing short walks around the peninsula as well.

What's your favourite Tasmanian Wilderness Destination?

These were just a few of our suggestions for places to explore, if you have a favourite shot make sure to post it in the comments and share it with us on social media.

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