Tasmania

Mt Anne, Southwest NP

Introduction to Bushwalking in Tasmania

The island state of Tasmania is famous for its mountain and coastal scenery, and its southerly position means there are areas of alpine vegetation. And it sometimes snows in summer. How very un-Australian. Read on for more info, or go straight to a list of the walks.

Hobart and the Derwent River Estuary viewed from Mt Wellington
Hobart and the Derwent River Estuary viewed from Mt Wellington

We’ve been to Tasmania three times, first in 2008, and then in 2018 and 2019. We should have been more often, because its great there, but we kept going to NZ. Its pretty much the only place in Australia where you get pointy mountains, many of them rugged with extensive boulder fields to traverse (I love boulder hopping!). They are not particularly high, (Mt Ossa at 1617m is the highest), but there are numerous peaks over 1,100m, and there’s in fact a two volume guide book and website dedicated to the 158  peaks that are over that height, and at least 150m above the surrounding area. The coastal scenery includes lovely beaches and in some places huge sea cliffs, like those pictured below on Bruny Island (visited on a  cruise, which is cheating).

Cliffs off Bruny Island, Tasmania. Viewed from a boat.
Cliffs off Bruny Island, Tasmania. Viewed from a boat.

The south-west is a World Heritage Wilderness Area, some of it very remote. The famous Overland Track, in Lake St Clair-Cradle Mountain National Park, passes through another fairly remote area in the centre of Tasmania; it’s a roughly 5-6 day (65-80 km) walk, although some dude did it in 7 hours 26 minutes; what a dude! Much of the rest of the island, which is not that big, can be accessed by road. (Tasmania is about half the size of England).

Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania

Finding Track Notes

We used Day Walks Tasmania as our main walking guide (you can also buy it from the author, who is a full time guide book writer and self publishes); it’s got good track notes and maps. I also came across tastrails.com, and there’s the comprehensive trailhiking.com.au.

Lake Pedder and pandani (plants) viewed from near Mt Anne, Southwest National Park, Tasmania
Lake Pedder and pandani (plants) viewed from near Mt Anne, Southwest National Park, Tasmania

Tasmania is also becoming a culinary destination, and the state capital, Hobart, is home to the renowned modern art museum, Mona.

Tasmanian Weather

The weather in Tassie is mercifully cooler than the mainland, and is comparable to NZ’s South Island, so you can hike throughout the summer months with only the odd heat wave to worry about. The alpine areas can be frigid at any time of year; for example, when we started a mid summer walk up Hartz Peak it was 3 degrees Celcius at 11:00 am (at about 800m of elevation), and it didn’t get much warmer during the day.  In winter some of the alpine walks will be impractical for those inexperienced on snow, so you might stick to the lowlands and coast.

Hartz Peak with a dusting of summer snow. Hartz Peak National park, Tasmania.
Hartz Peak with a dusting of summer snow. Hartz Mountains National Park, Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Walks

You can browse through a list of the walks I’ve posted on so far:

Northern Tasmania

Walls of Jerusalem National Park to Solomons Throne
The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is a favourite for many people, and yet you can only reach the best scenery 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. (more…)
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Southern Tasmania / Hobart Day Trip

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Elsewhere in Tasmania

Mt Amos Track, Freycinet National Park

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.   (more…)

Clickable map of Australian walks…