The Walks/Blog

Bushwalking in Tasmania: 12 of the Best Day-Walks

With mountains galore, a picturesque coastline, and unique plants and animals, Tasmania offers some of Australia’s best hiking options.

The mountainous island state of Tasmania offers probably Australia’s best hiking. It’s the only place in the country where you can find a high concentration of pointy rugged mountains for a start. There are many plants and animals unique to Tasmania, and this wildlife tends to be more visible than in the south-eastern states of the mainland. The landscape is also unique, with a variety of vegetation from rainforest to alpine heath, many attractive waterfalls, and a lot of rock on offer, including sometimes extensive boulder fields (I’m a particular fan of boulder hopping).

Walls of Jerusalem National Park to Solomons Throne
Cuteness overload! One of Tasmania’s friendly fur-balls.

The Walks On Offer

Most day-hikes can be accessed on day-trips from either Hobart, the state’s historic capital, or a number of the towns in the north. You can drive from one end of the island to the other in 6 to 7 hours, so nothing is too far away. There are plenty of mountain peaks to bag, but also great coastal and forest walks. The mountains are of a modest height, (up 1600m of elevation), but they are rugged and picturesque.

Those looking for multi-day hikes you can do the famous Overland Track, or any number of challenging walks in the World Heritage listed South-West Wilderness. You can hike all year round, although be prepared for sometimes wild weather at any time of year.

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Unusually good weather at Cradle Mountain, viewed from Marions Lookout.

I’ve visited Tassie on three occasions, and did lots of great day-hikes. My photos from these walks proved to be popular on Instagram, perhaps a combination of Tasmania’s unique beauty, and it being less well known than other fabulous places like New Zealand. First up are my five favourites – absolute classics – then seven more which are also great walks. Click on a title to view my blog post on each walk.

My Top Five Day-Hikes in Tasmania

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Crater Lake is visited on two of my top five day-hikes in Tassie, Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff.

1) Mt Anne

Mt Anne Track, Southwest NP
Big cliffs on Mt Anne (1423m), in Southwest National Park.
South-West National Park; day-trip from Hobart
Difficulty: Hard

This is probably the most spectacular Australian walk I’ve done to date. There are knock your hiking socks off views all the way along the track to the summit of Mt Anne (1423m) in Tasmania’s remote Southwest National Park. Huge lakes, rugged cliffs, mountain peaks, alpine plants, and more boulders than you can shake your walking poles at.

With a 1420m change in elevation it’s also a good work out. The final climb to the summit is through shear cliffs and not for those afraid of heights. Even if you don’t do this last bit though it’s well worth walking to their base across a large expanse of boulders. Really good walking.

2) Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain Circuit, Tasmania
Possibly Australia’s most photographed mountain, Cradle Mountain (1545m). The famous view is of the ‘cradle’ part, to the left in this photo.
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park; day-trip from the north
Difficulty: Hard (Summit return: Moderate)

Climbing Cradle Mountain (1545m) is one of the best day walks in Australia, and making a circuit of it by returning along the Face Track and by the Twisted Lakes maximises your scenery. There are excellent views pretty much the whole way. These include views of the mountain from various angles, of numerous lakes, and extensive views from the rocky summit.

The walk is justifiably popular, but not so much as to ruin the experience. Also, the crowds really thinned once we set off on the return portion of the walk along the Face Track. So get on out there!

3) Barn Bluff

Barn Bluff ascent, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
My wife Sophia walking towards Barn Bluff (1559m).
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park; day-trip from the north
Difficulty: Hard

The rocky summit of Barn Bluff (1559m) pops up out of an alpine plateau and cuts a striking figure. I first saw it from the summit of Cradle Mountain on a trip to Tasmania in 2008, and although it looks quite remote, it can in fact be climbed on a longish day walk: one of Tasmania’s best. 

Most of the route follows the first section of the world famous Overland Track, so you can be sure there’s quality scenery on offer. It’s a great option if you want a spectacular walk with less people than Cradle Mountain, which you pass along the way.

4) Walls of Jerusalem to Solomons Throne

Walls of Jerusalem National Park to Solomons Throne
A field of Richea Scoparia in Walls of Jerusalem National Park. Mt Jerusalem in the background.
Walls of Jerusalem National Park; day-trip from the north
Difficulty: Hard

You can only experience the top class scenery of the Walls of Jerusalem by walking in, so it’s a lot quieter than nearby Cradle Mountain. Once you have ascended up through eucalypt forest the alpine scenery starts with numerous tarns, Richea Scoparia (past flowering stage when we visited, but still nice), pencil pines, cliffs, and the cutest, fluffiest wallabies you could ever hope to meet. We chose to walk up the peak known as Solomons Throne (1470m), but if you have time you can also ascend The Temple (1446m) and Mount Jerusalem (1459m). Nearby King Davids Peak (1499m) provides some good photo opportunities. It’s all very biblical.

5) Meander Falls – Split Rock Circuit

Meander Falls Split Rock Circuit, Tasmania
Meander Falls
Meander Forest Reserve near Deloraine; day-trip from the north
Difficulty: Hard (Meander Falls return: Moderate)

The Meander Falls and Split Rock Tracks are hidden gems offering quintessential Tasmanian scenery without the crowds, and were one of the highlights of my trip to Tasmania in 2019. Expect beautiful forest and rivers, impressive waterfalls, cliffs, and boulders galore. And all of this variety on a convenient circuit walk with a nice toilet at the start.

I may have enjoyed this walk so much because it’s not famous, and so I didn’t expect that much from it. But I’m looking forward to doing it again some day, and there are variations to consider, such as climbing up onto the escarpment near Meander Falls.

Best of the Rest in Tasmania

6) Cape Raoul

Cape Raoul Track, Tasman National Park
Cape Raoul
Tasman National Park; day-trip from Hobart
Difficulty: Long but mostly flat

We did the Cape Raoul Track on our first trip to Tasmania in 2008, and I remember it being a great walk. The deeply textured cliffs are a highlight, made up largely of dolerite columns. There may also be seals basking on the rocks below, as there were on the day we did this walk.

A similar but shorter alternative is the nearby Cape Hauy Track. And if you want something longer then consider the guided only Three Capes multi-day walk.

7) Hartz Peak – Mount Snowy

Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
The view from Mount Snowy: Hartz Peak and Emily Tarn left, the Devils Backbone distant centre, and just to the right Ladies Tarn and then Lake Esperance.
Hartz Mountains National Park; day-trip from Hobart
Difficulty: Hard (Hartz Peak return: Moderate)

The route to Hartz Peak (1254m) and Mount Snowy (1160m) makes for excellent walking, with a variety of alpine plants, rugged peaks, and extensive views. It also seems a bit less popular than some areas, so you won’t encounter any crowds. You’ll certainly want to plan for sometimes wild and changeable weather mind you, but that will be all part of the adventure.

8) Mt Roland & Mt Van Dyke

Mt Roland & Mt Vandyke, Tasmania
My wife Sophia on the summit of Mt Roland. Mt Van Dyke in the mid ground.
Mt Roland Regional Reserve; day-trip from the north
Difficulty: Hard (Mt Roland return: Moderate)

This was another lesser known Tasmanian walk to exceed expectations. Mt Roland is an impressively rocky and quite prominent mountain range, and the circuit taking in Mt Vandyke is varied. It starts in lush forest and then rises onto an alpine plateau, passes boulder fields, and visits two rocky peaks which both require a bit of a scramble. The return track is very steep but this adds to the sense of adventure. There are excellent 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Roland, so plan to do this walk on a clear day.

9) Collinsvale Peaks

Collinsvale Peaks Track, Wellington Park
View from the summit of Collins Cap (1098m).
Wellington Park; day-trip from Hobart
Difficulty: Hard (One peak at a time: Moderate)

The area west of Hobart known as Wellington Park is an alpine plateau that contains a number of accessible peaks over 1000m of elevation. It’s possible to climb three of these peaks in one day – Collins Bonnet (1246m), Trestle Mountain (1160m), and Collins Cap (1098m). And you’ll probably have these peaks all to yourself.

The initial climb is through attractive rainforest where tree ferns are flourishing. The walking is then mostly through forest or woodland. You pass through the tree line on the way up each mountain, and from each peak there are unobstructed views of the surrounding area.

10) Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster Circuit

Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster Track, Mt Field NP
Lake Seal in Mt Field National Park.
Mt Field National Park; day-trip from Hobart
Difficulty: Moderate-Hard

The Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster circuit in Tasmania’s Mt Field National Park is a very picturesque alpine walk. As the name suggests it passes by many tarns and lakes. And there are also fabulous pandani plants, age old pencil pines, and a historic ski hut to boot.

11) Mt Amos

Mt Amos Track, Freycinet National Park
Wineglass bay from Mt Amos (454m).
Freycinet National Park; East Coast
Difficulty: Short but steep

Wineglass Bay in Tasmania is one of Australia’s most photographed beaches, and the best views are from the summit of Mt Amos (454m). We did this walk on our first trip to Tasmania in 2008, so I don’t remember it very well. Nevertheless, after reviewing my old photos I realise it’s an excellent walk with large rocky sections, great views, and steep enough to be a bit adventurous. 

12) Mt Wellington

Mt Wellington Circuit, Wellington Park
Looking over Hobart and the Derwent Estuary from the summit of Mt Wellington (1271m).
Wellington Park; day-trip from Hobart
Difficulty: Moderate-Hard

Climbing Mt Wellington (1271m) is a must-do for any hiker visiting Hobart. It’s just a 15 minute drive to the foot of the mountain, and is also accessible by public transport. The summit provides great views over the city and Derwent Estuary. You can drive to these views, but there’s a network of good walking tracks allowing for a few different circuits. So I recommend strapping your boots on and doing it the hard (but fun) way.

More Information

Mt Anne, Southwest NP
Lake Pedder and pandani viewed from near Mt Anne, Southwest National Park, Tasmania

If you want more information on Tasmania’s national parks then check out the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service website. And for more things to do in Tassie, visit Discover Tasmania.

Patonga to Warrah Trig, Central Coast NSW

A short walk from Patonga on the NSW Central Coast up to view points over the scenic Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney.

I’d never been to Patonga before, a sleepy village at the southern border of the Central Coast, just over the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney. It’s a very pretty and chilled out area, with one restaurant/bar on the waterfront. There’s also a bushwalking track that ascends about 160m over 2 to 3 kilometres from the beach to a trig point. The forest is nice, and there’s a couple of spots along the way with good views, including an official lookout, Warrah Lookout.

Continue reading “Patonga to Warrah Trig, Central Coast NSW”

Five of the Best Day-Hikes Near Queenstown NZ: Glenorchy Edition

Experience some of New Zealand’s best scenery on these five classic day-hikes near Glenorchy, just 45 minutes drive from Queenstown.

The sleepy village of Glenorchy sits in a dramatic landscape at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. It’s a spectacular 45 minute drive from Queenstown along the shore of the lake, and worth making the trip for the drive alone. The scenery on offer is amongst the best in New Zealand, and there are some really world-class hikes in the area, including the famous multi-day Routeburn Track.

Following are five of my favourite day-hikes around Glenorchy. There are majestic mountains, alpine lakes, glaciers, tumbling streams, and atmospheric beech forest. And you might be joined by some of New Zealand’s friendly bird life along the way.

Continue reading “Five of the Best Day-Hikes Near Queenstown NZ: Glenorchy Edition”

Best Day-hikes in Queenstown, New Zealand

My pick of the best full day-hikes around Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital, with a few shorter options thrown in.

Queenstown is truly a hiker’s paradise. There’s dramatic scenery in all directions, and the mountains are filled with well maintained hiking trails. And as a major adventure-tourism destination the area is well serviced and cosmopolitan.

Plenty of tourists visit the area, and yet it seems the majority of people choose not to go hiking. In fact, I’ve sometimes not seen a single other person on the best hikes in the area. So if you are willing to put in the effort, you can have New Zealand’s magical scenery mostly to yourself.

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Sydney’s Royal National Park: 6 Of The Best Day-Walks

Cliffs, sandy beaches, rock formations, lagoons, heathland, wildflowers and more, on six of the best day-walks in Sydney’s Royal National Park.

The Royal National Park is the world’s second oldest, established in 1879. It sits on the south-eastern border of Sydney, encompassing about 30km of picturesque and often dramatic coastline. The coastal sections are dominated by unique heathland, cliffs, rock formations, headlands, lagoons and sandy beaches. Further inland there are eucalypt forests and patches of rainforest.

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12 of the Best Hikes in Sydney’s Blue Mountains

Explore some of Sydney’s most dramatic scenery on twelve of my favourite bushwalks in the spectacular Blue Mountains.

The spectacular New South Wales Blue Mountains sit on the western edge of the greater Sydney area. They are easily accessible by car or train from the neighbouring metropolis of over 5 million people. More of a plateau, they gradually rise from the Sydney basin to over 1100m of elevation. The area’s largest town of Katoomba is perched high up at 1017m.

These upper sections are justifiably famous for their deep cut valleys lined by sandstone cliffs, as well as lush forests, impressive waterfalls and windswept heathlands. Thankfully this dramatic and rugged scenery has remained largely unaffected by urban or agricultural development. And since 1959 it has been protected in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park.

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Bluff Mountain & Grand High Tops, Warrumbungle National Park NSW

The must do circuit walk in the Warrumbungles, taking in famous views of the Breadknife from Grand High Tops, and a visit to Bluff Mountain (1200m) where there are more great views.

The Grand High Tops Circuit with an added side trip to Bluff Mountain (1200m) is arguably the best walk in the Warrumbungles, especially for views. From Grand High Tops there are classic views of the pleasingly named rock formation, The Breadknife, which is a tall, thin and sheer slice of rock that you pass on the way up. There are also great views of nearby Crater Bluff, and of Belougery Spire, both prominent and striking hunks of rock. Continue reading “Bluff Mountain & Grand High Tops, Warrumbungle National Park NSW”

Mt Exmouth via Burbie Canyon, Warrumbungle National Park NSW

A long walk with excellent views from the summit over the whole of the Warrumbungles, although you might find the highlight are the huge numbers of fabulous grass trees in the final 200 vertical metres.

Mt Exmouth (1206m) is the highest point in Warrumbungle National Park, and I’ll admit to a spot of peak bagging in doing this walk. Nevertheless, I’d read that the views from the summit were excellent, and they were, although a bit hazy on an overcast day. Unexpectedly though, another feature of this walk stole the show, and that was the preponderance of fabulous grass trees on the final ascent to the summit. I’ve never seen so many in my life, and they were fine specimens indeed. So I’d recommend this walk even just for these, but the views will be an added bonus. Continue reading “Mt Exmouth via Burbie Canyon, Warrumbungle National Park NSW”

Ferntree Gully Circuit, near Rylstone NSW

The circuit walk through Ferntree Gully Reserve passes through a scenic gully containing interesting rainforest vegetation. This includes various types of ferns as the name suggests, as well as vines and trailing roots reaching down over rocks to find the ground below. There are also good views from above the gully. It’s a short but rewarding walk that I recommend if you are in the region around Rylstone. Continue reading “Ferntree Gully Circuit, near Rylstone NSW”

Pagoda Lookout Track, Dunns Swamp, Wollemi National Park NSW

An excellent short walk on the Pagoda Lookout Track in Wollemi National Park, where there are views of rock pagodas & over the picturesque Cudgegong River.

The Dunns Swamp area is very picturesque, and a shortish drive from the also picturesque village of Rylstone, in NSW’s Mid-Western region. The short walk on the Pagoda Lookout Track passes along the foreshore of the dammed but still very attractive Cudgegong River, and takes you to the base of impressive rock pagodas. From there it’s a short but steep climb to the top of the rocks themselves. There are great views of the rocks and over the surrounding area. Definitely worth spending half an hour or so exploring the area around the lookout, and obsessively taking pictures (obviously). Continue reading “Pagoda Lookout Track, Dunns Swamp, Wollemi National Park NSW”