The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is a part of the South West Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It was created as the Frenchmans Cap National Park, and was expanded to include a significant part of the South West. It can be accessed from Lyell Highway in the northern part, and it can be entered in the mid region at Strathgordon.
The genesis of the Wild Rivers National Park was in the earlier Frenchmans Cap National Park which had the Franklin River as its boundary on the northern and western borders. Frenchmans Cap is a dominant feature in the region, and can be seen on the skyline from the west and north of the park.
The Gordon and Franklin Rivers were the subject of one of Australia's largest conservation efforts. The Franklin Dam was part of a proposed hydro-electric power scheme that had been in the plans of The Hydro for some time. The enthusiastic endorsement by Robin Gray's Liberal Government would have seen the river flooded. It became a national issue for the Tasmanian Wilderness Society, led by its director at the time, Bob Brown.
The landscape is characterised by impressive mountain peaks, beautiful rainforests, deep river valleys and spectacular gorges.
Flora and fauna
Vegetation types within the park are varied, including cool temperate rainforest, drier eucalypt forests and button grass moorland.
The Lyell Highway (Route A10) runs through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
The park has no facilities within its boundary, so to the east is Derwent Bridge, and the west are Queenstown and further towards the coast, Strahan as the nearest places with facilities.
Cruise boats departing from Strahan visit the park.
Fees and permits
A park entry permit is required.
Most of the access is by foot. Unless you are on a rafting venture down the Franklin River.
- Donaghys Hill Wilderness Lookout Walk. 30–40 minute return walk
- Franklin River Nature Trail, Franklin River, Lyell Highway, Derwent Bridge. An easy 1-km trail through cool temperate rainforest.
- Frenchmans Cap Track. A challenging 3–5 day hike.
- Lake Rhona Trail. 7–10 hours (14 km) one way, depending on conditions and fitness level.
- Nelson Falls Nature Trail (4 km west of Victoria Pass). An easy boardwalk trail to Nelson Falls.
- Franklin River Rafting, Tours depart from Hobart CBD, ✉ email@example.com. 8–10 day expeditions
There are picnic tables and toilet facilities at the Franklin River Nature Trail.
A range of accommodation options are available in Strahan.
- Going east
- Derwent Bridge
- Hobart is 2.5 hours drive via the A10 Lyell Highway
- Going west