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Conservation areas in Australia topics:
National parksMarine parksIndigenous Protected Areas

State/territory national parks: NSWNTQldSATas.Vic.WA

Dove Lake – a clear glacial lake in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park

A trip to Australia's island state is never complete without visiting its national parks. Containing one of world's last expanses of vast wilderness, Tasmania has nineteen national parks showing some of the finest pristine landscapes the state has to offer. From the scenic Cradle Mountain, to the deep Lake St. Clair, to the vast open inlets and untouched pristine wilderness of Southwest, to the rugged cliffs of Tasman, each park in Tasmania has something different and unique to offer.

Tasmanian national parks are often reserved for the finest nationally significant areas, with eight parks being a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, either as part of the Tasmanian Wilderness, or the Australian Convict Sites.

Understand[edit]

While Australia's smallest state may only cover 0.9 percent of the country, Tasmania has a lot to offer in terms of nature and scenery with 42% of the state being protected in someway or another, and 49% if you include water. National parks in Tasmania account for about 14,680 km2 (5,670 sq mi), which may not seem much compared to other states and territories, the entire area of Tasmania is only 68,401 km2 (26,410 sq mi), meaning that national parks in Tasmania account for a good 21.5% of the entire state. What more, unlike other states Tasmania's national parks are only designated for the finest landscapes, mostly meeting IUCN standards.

The state generally has quite a variety of parks to offer, from coastal parks, to marine parks, to mountainous parks, caves and there is a park for most interests. The mountain parks (particularly the ones in the west) are generally the ones that get most interstate or international visitors, mostly due to the fact that most of them are part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, one of only two places in the entire world to fulfill seven out of the ten criterion needed to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nevertheless, the parks that are not mountainous still get a massive amount of visitors, because they too, have something unique to offer.

The government organisation that manages Tasmania's national parks is the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, created in 1971. In 2021, it celebrated its 50th anniversary of preserving the cultural and natural treasures of the state.

Climate[edit]

The first thing you will need to understand is that Tasmania is cold. As its latitude is similar to that of New York state or the southernmost parts of Canada (around the latitude of Toronto) but south, the weather is very unpredictable and you need to be flexible and be prepared to change your plans at the last minute. Heavy snowfall can affect your visit, and to many people's surprise – it can even snow in summer and it's not uncommon to hear reports of heatwaves on the mainland, while snowstorms in Tasmania. The ideal time for visiting Tasmanian national parks is generally southern summer, mainly between October and April. Snow can cover up the roads and trails during winter. The biggest exception is ski stations, located in Ben Lomond and Mt. Field NPs, which winter is the only time you can visit if you wanted to ski.

Rainfall wise, the state is generally divided into two. The western wetter side, mostly taken up by the Tasmanian Wilderness rains all year round, but the peak time for rainfall is during late winter around August and September, while the eastern side is more dry, accessible but it still rains, but not as heavily as the west.

Get in[edit]

Sometimes, the road to a park is no easy task

Accessibility in Tasmanian national parks is somewhat substantially different to the other three eastern states of Australia, with forms of transportation apart from your own to most parks almost nonexistent. Most national parks only have one or two roads leading into them (can be both sealed or unsealed roads), but national parks located on offshore islands may not have any with boat being your only option.

For those parks that are not connected via land and is nearby to the main island of Tasmania, there will likely be a ferry or some method of taking you there. The main exceptions to this are Kent Group National Park, which is a fairly isolated national park in the middle of Bass Strait which only possible via a private boat and Savage River National Park on the mainland, which is completely inaccessible from the public in all ways. Apart from the two, the general rule applies.

Fees and permits[edit]

Map of all Tasmanian national parks.
Not all of the mapshapes may appear on the map. If that's the case, then refresh your page and it should work.

To enter any national park in Tasmania, you'll need to have a valid parks pass to enter the park, which can be found here at the Parks Tasmania website. There are numerous passes available, depending on your needs. The fees are up-to-date as of December 2021.

A daily parks pass is usually valid for 24 hours, and is usable in all parks although it does not include access to Cradle Mountain. This is particularly useful if you're going to numerous nearby parks. A pass for your vehicle covers up to 8 occupants, you only need the per person pass if you arrive without a vehicle.

  • Per vehicle: $40
  • Per person: $20

If you're staying in Tasmania for a few weeks and want to go numerous national parks, there's the Holiday Pass, which is valid for up to two months. This also includes Cradle Mountain.

  • Per vehicle: $80
  • Per person: $40

There is also the Annual Park Pass, which is valid in all parks, including Cradle Mountain.

  • $90 in general
  • $72 for concession holders
  • $36 for seniors

If you only plan to repeatedly visit one park again and again, it's $46 in general, or $36.80 for concession holders. This excludes Cradle Mountain.

Passes can either be purchased through passes.parks.tas.gov.au, in any national park visitor centre, some travel information centres and Service Tasmania centre.

Get around[edit]

In most parks, there are generally very few roads, but some national parks may not have any roads to begin with. Even if the park has roads, it's mostly just one C class road, and sometimes they are just a gravel road. However, on the other hand, most parks generally have a good walking trails that allow you to get around the park very easily, although it is somewhat a trek at times.

The only park that has bus transportation within the park is the Cradle Mountain section of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park from the interpretation centre to Dove Lake.

National parks[edit]

There are 19 parks in the state, with most of them being in Western or Southern Tasmania ranging in size from just the 13.45-km2 Mole Creek Karst National Park to the 6,182.67-km2 Southwest National Park. A shaded blue background indicates the park is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The coloured strip on the top of each park indicates the colour used on the dynamic map above.


Ben Lomond snow fields.JPG

1 Ben Lomond National Park is one of Tasmania's two greatest ski resorts at 181.92 km2 (70.24 sq mi) on a reasonably sized massif along with rugged mountains with an elevation of over 1,200 metres. The park gets centimetres worth of snow, but getting to the park is not easy.

CradleMountain.jpg

2 Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is a 1,614.43 km2 (623.33 sq mi) park, containing Australia's deepest lake, one of the most scenic mountains in the state. The several mountains and lakes in the park make it one of the prime alpine destinations in the country, and one of the most visited parks in the Tasmanian Wilderness.

Apsley Waterhole.jpg

3 Douglas-Apsley National Park is a 160.8 km2 (62.1 sq mi) conserving one of the last remnant forests of Eastern Tasmania. The many visitors that come to Douglas-Apsley come to see the waterhole in the park.

Nelson Falls.jpg

4 Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is one of Tasmania's first two national parks established in 1908, and is a lesser known world heritage park, nestled between in wilderness in all directions and corners. The park is mostly known for the Nelson Falls, which is one of the most impressive in the region. At 4,463.42 km2 (1,723.34 sq mi), it is Tasmania's second largest national park only behind Southwest National Park.

Coles Bay Tasmania Australia.jpg

5 Freycinet National Park is often said to be a photographer's spot, as the park is mostly known for Wineglass Bay. It's one of Tasmania's most visited parks, and the most visited outside the Tasmanian Wilderness. The park is one of Tasmania's oldest national parks having established in 1916 and it sits at 169 km2 (65 sq mi).

Ladies Tarn Hartz NP.jpg

6 Hartz Mountains National Park is a small 71.4 km2 (27.6 sq mi) park but yet very picturesque park bordered by Southwest National Park. The park contains many hiking trails, and one of the most common spots to go wilderness hiking.

Deal Island - panoramio.jpg

7 Kent Group National Park is the northernmost Tasmanian national park at 312.83 km2 (120.78 sq mi) in the Bass Strait is a haven to the adorable Australian fur seals along with the many sea birds.

Maria Island Jetty, Cement Silos, Store and Clinker Storage.jpg

8 Maria Island National Park takes up the entire 115.5 km2 (44.6 sq mi) Maria Island and contains the world heritage Darlington Probable Station as part of the Australian Convict Sites. The park additionally contains some fossil cliffs, some other convict buildings and the very colourful Painted Cliffs.

Marakoopa Cave-Tasmania-Australia04.JPG

9 Mole Creek Karst National Park at only 13.45 km2 (5.19 sq mi), may be the smallest Tasmanian national park but the park contains three hundred spectacular caves, with two of which have regular tours.

Lake Seal Mt Field NP edit.jpg

10 Mount Field National Park is not a particularly huge park at 162.65 km2 (62.80 sq mi) but it is home to several glacial lakes, a ski station, several lakeside trails, and one of the few national parks to have something different to offer depending on which season you come. During winter, the park gets a few centimetres worth of snow, and the ski station operates, while during summer, the park's numerous hiking trails become accessible. While not known very well, the Tall Trees walk takes you through some of the world's tallest eucalypt forests. The park was established in 1916, making it one of the oldest parks in Tasmania.

Stumpys Bay Beach, Tasmania.jpg

11 Mount William National Park another one of Tasmania's east coast national parks. While the 184.39 km2 (71.19 sq mi) park is not well known nor spectacular as Freycinet, the pristine white sands give you impressions that are not commonly affiliated with a state that is more known for its mountains.

Sunset Bakers Beach (26144358825).jpg

12 Narawntapu National Park is only a small 43.49 km2 (16.79 sq mi) park, but it contains nice pristine beaches on Tasmania's Bass Coast, a popular daytrip from Devonport or Launceston, and a popular wildlife-watching area.

Locator pin - panoramio.jpg

13 Rocky Cape National Park is only a 30.64 km2 (11.83 sq mi) and while the park may be over 14000 kilometres from the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the park is believed to contain some rocks from the Grand Canyon – a sign that the Australian and North American continents were once connected as part of a supercontinent.

14 Savage River National Park Savage River National Park on Wikipedia is a 179.8 km2 (69.4 sq mi) park surrounding the Savage River. Unfortunately, the park is entirely inaccessible and there is pretty much nothing but temperate rainforest – no roads, no facilities, no hiking trails. According to the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, the only way to feel the park is to visit the surrounding regional reserves via treacherous 4WD trails.

The Friars.jpg

15 South Bruny National Park preserves the landscape in the southern parts of Bruny Island. The 50.59 km2 (19.53 sq mi) park contains some wild landscapes and scenery. The park was named after the French explorer Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, and there's a lot of French names around this area.

Lake on Anne Plataeu.jpg

16 Southwest National Park is Tasmania's largest national park at an area of 6,182.67 km2 (2,387.14 sq mi) covered in wilderness and accounting for about 10 percent of the state. The park has many hidden wonders, from fjords to spectacular rock formations, to glacial lakes, and mountains but many are difficult to access and therefore next-to-impossible destinations.

Constructing dam under Strzelecki peaks, Flinders Islad, Furneaux group, February 1960 (38006402036).jpg

17 Strzelecki National Park Strzelecki National Park on Wikipedia contains one of the highest peaks of the Flinders Island in the Bass Strait. The park is 42.16 km2 (16.28 sq mi), and is one of only two national parks in the Bass Strait.

The Totem Pole, Cape Huay.jpg

18 Tasman National Park is a small 107.5 km2 (41.5 sq mi) national park on the coast of Port Arthur, home to some spectacular dolerite cliffs, but the Three Cape Track is the main reason why so many choose to visit this park – a 4-day/3-night trail starting at Port Arthur, then continuing to Cape Pillar, then Cape Hauy before terminating back at Port Arthur, passing through three capes.

King David's Peak, Barn Bluff and Cradle Mountain from Mt Jerusalem track - Walls of Jerusalem.jpg

19 Walls of Jerusalem National Park is an isolated 517.7 km2 (199.9 sq mi) park, only reserved for those who can endure long hiking distances. However, what's unique about this park is the natural formations are named after elements of the bible as they are thought to resemble the features similar to Israel. The names do have some small modifications though, such as the Throne of Solomon named as Solomon's Throne in this park, but they still convey the same meaning.

  • 20 Macquarie Island is also a significant area around fifteen-hundred kilometres south of Hobart in the Subantarctic, managed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Services and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, it is not a national park.

Likewise, there are some conservation areas that rival many of these national parks, such as Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area in the northwest or the Bay of Fires in the East Coast. Most of the time, these places will not require a national parks pass, but other permits may be required.

Historic sites[edit]

One of the yards inside of the sandstone remains of the Cascade Female Factory
The Penitentiary at Port Arthur Historic Site
The Ross Female Factory in Ross. Once a convict site, today a popular tourist spot

On top of national parks, there are also historic sites in Tasmania. Most are managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania also manage certain historic sites, from convict sites, to lighthouses, to towers. However, some like Port Arthur also has its own management.

  • 1 Batchelors Grave Historic Site – the grave site of James Batchelo and the oldest colonial grave site in Tasmania.
  • 2 Callington Mill Historic Site Callington Mill on Wikipedia – an 1837 built tower mill, now restored and reoperational, making it the only mill of its kind.
  • 3 Cape Sorell Historic Site – contains a very historic lighthouse, far away but yet so close to civilization.
  • 4 Cemetery Point Historic Site – a cemetery in the northwestern parts of Port Arthur. It is just west of the world heritage Coal Mines Historic Site.
  • 5 Cascades Female Factory Historic Site Cascades Female Factory on Wikipedia – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the southern suburbs of Hobart as part of the Australian Convict Sites, this workhouse was for female convicts and was operational between 1828 and 1856.
  • 6 Coal Mines Historic Site Coal Mines Historic Site on Wikipedia – a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Australian Convict Sites which was Tasmania's first coal mine, operational for 15 years. It was designed for punishment for the "worst class" of convicts from Port Arthur
  • 7 D'Entrecasteaux Monument Historic Site – a small monument placed in commemoration of the French Explorer Bruny d'Entrecasteaux's expedition in Tasmania during 1792-93.
  • 8 D'Entrecasteaux Watering Place Historic Site – it was here in Recherche Bay where the flora of Tasmania was studied by the French. The French also planted some seeds out of kindness for the Indigenous people of Tasmania and improve their eating habits
  • 9 Eaglehawk Neck Historic Site – the oldest military building in Australia on the edge of the Tasman Peninsula originally built in 1832 built to prevent to convicts escaping.
  • 10 Eddystone Point Lighthouse Historic Site – an important historic lighthouse initially built to aid those coming across the rough and mostly unforgiving waters of the Bass Strait. Today, it is an important destination for those visiting Mount William National Park.
  • 11 Entally House Historic Site Entally House on Wikipedia – the family home of Thomas Reibey, Premier of Tasmania from 1876 to 1877. As Reibey also worked in the East India company, the house was named after the suburb of Entally in Kolkata.
  • 12 George III Monument Historic Site – a memorial to the ship George III which was meant to be docked at Port Arthur, but instead wrecked on the rocks along the shorelines of the Tasman Peninsula.
  • 13 Highfield Historic Site – near The Nut State Reserve in Stanley, located in the north of the state, this historic site is home to the family house of Joseph Lyons, the only elected Tasmanian Prime Minister back in the days of British rule.
  • 14 Kangaroo Bluff Historic Site – this historic site in the east of Hobart was originally built for Hobart's defence along with the presence of Russian warships.
  • 15 Low Head Historic Site – a convict built cottage which its maritime precinct has been running since 1833.
  • 16 Lyons Cottage Historic Site
  • 17 Macquarie Harbour Historic Site Macquarie Harbour Penal Station on Wikipedia – the oldest Tasmanian convict settlement. The site was known to be severely harsh and there have been over 180 escapes. Today, it can be visited from a guided tour from Strahan.
  • 18 Mount Direction Historic Site
  • 19 Mount Nelson Signal Station
  • 20 Premaydena Point Historic Site
  • 21 Port Arthur Historic Site – one of the best preserved sites from the convicr era, and many of the sites built back then have not changed much. Today the historic site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Australian Convict Sites
  • 22 Richmond Gaol Historic Site Richmond Gaol on Wikipedia
  • 23 Ross Female Factory Historic Site Ross Female Factory on Wikipedia
  • 24 Shot Tower Historic Site Shot Tower, Taroona on Wikipedia – one of the last three remaining shot towers in Australia, the first circular sandstone shot tower in the Southern Hemisphere and the only one still open for visitors to enter and climb.
  • 25 Strahan Customs House Historic Site – a historic customs house in the town of Strahan, which is now a post office
  • 26 Sydney Cove Historic Site
  • 27 Tasman Monument Historic Site
  • 28 Toll House Historic Site
  • 29 Waubadebars Grave Historic Site
  • 30 Yorktown Historic Site

See[edit]

The Southern Lights[edit]

The Southern Lights from New Harbour Beach in Southwest National Park

Due to its southern location and most of the state being below the -40 degree line, along with pollution free clear skies, and its geomagnetic location being similar to that of the southern parts of South Island, it is a prime destination for those wanting to see the Southern Lights or the aurora australis.

One prime destination where it is clearly seen during parts of winter is the higher or the coastal parts of Southwest National Park. However, the areas where it is most clearly seen may not have road access, and you may need to hike to get there. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort for those determined to see one of the most spectacular natural phenomenons. The aurora has also been spotted on the Tasman Peninsula in places like Tasman National Park, and in some northern parts of the Tsmanian Wilderness including at Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, but not regularly as SWNP.

Wildlife[edit]

The first thing that comes to mind for many when thinking about Tasmania is the Tasmanian devil. Unfortunately, they are very hard to find in the wild, and 80% of the devils have been wiped out due to the deadly facial tumour disease. There have been rehabilitation programs to revive their population, and so if you really want to see one, you are much better seeing it in a wildlife sanctuary or a zoo, not in a national park. With that being said, if you really want to see one in the wild, Maria Island National Park has a reasonable population of devils, and large populations remain in the Tasmanian Wilderness although they are near impossible to find in the wilderness.

Apart from Tasmanian devils, for those who are interested in whale watching, the southern right whales and humpback whales can be spotted along both Tasmania's east and west coast though the west coast's waters are unforgiving and there are few facilities on the west coast of national parks, so you have a better chance seeing them from the east. You're more likely to see humpbacks during May and July while you're more likely to see southern right whales during June to September and both can be seen during September to November when they return down south.

Lookouts[edit]

Nelson Falls from a lookout in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers NP

Many of Tasmania's well-touristed national parks will have minimum one lookout (viewpoint). They are usually around take approximately 20 minutes from the nearest carpark but some are just a "get off your car and there's the lookout" while others will require you to walk a fair bit. As a general rule of thumb, walks that require you to go on very long distances will not have lookouts – instead you will see the scenery first hand without something obstructing you – whether you take that as a positive or negative thing is up to you.

Waterfalls[edit]

Tasmania has an abundance of waterfalls, some of which are easy to access while others may require a trek. However, there are three waterfalls or waterfall-trails that are well-visited, and have plenty of visitor facilities along the way.

  • Russell Falls in Mount Field National Park requires a 25-minute walk from the visitor centre, which is mostly easy to do and is 1.4 km (0.87 mi) return.
  • The Three Falls Circuit also in Mt. Field is a 6 km (3.7 mi) trail taking you through three waterfalls as the name of the walk says.
  • Nelson Falls in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is a 20 minute walk and is a popular stopover for road trippers heading to Strahan. It takes 20 minutes return, and the rewards are immense – a very large waterfall nestled in rainforest and wilderness, something that is not easily found that is not off the beaten path.

Caves[edit]

Marakoopa Cave in Mole Creek Karst NP

While adventure caving in Tasmania may not be something that can be done for an ordinary traveller, Tasmania has a large range of caves and parks that protect caves. There are four parks that have regular tours.

The most well-known of them all is Mole Creek Karst National Park which is the only Tasmanian national park to exclusively protect a cave network – Mole Creek's cave network consists of over 300 caves. Two of them – Marakoopa Cave and King Solomons Cave have regular tours both and both are unique in their own ways. The park is a world heritage park, as part of the Tasmanian Wilderness.

The other three are all state reserves, but are yet still spectacular sites. The one to the northwest; Gunns Plains Cave State Reserve contains some spectacular calcite shawls. The one west of Hobart is the Junee Cave State Reserve, but it is not commonly visited. The final one which is southwest of Hobart is the Hastings Caves State Reserve, containing 40 million year old dolomite caves.

Visitor centres[edit]

While visitor centres play a crucial role on your hiking trip, many visitor centres have exhibitions where one can learn more about the park's natural features. Some parks may also have a bit about the Indigenous significance of the park. Most visitor centres are free to access, but some do require you to pay.

Do[edit]

Hiking[edit]

See also: Hiking and bushwalking in Australia
A moderate hiking path in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair NP
The Overland Track

By far, the biggest thing to do in Tasmanian national parks is hiking. There are different hiking trails for different abilities, with the difficulty of the trails is marked by the Australian Walking Track Grading System. It consists of five grades, which consist of the following:

  • Grade 1: The trail is wheelchair accessible, easy to do, few steep surfaces and the absolute max the trail can go is 5 km. You'll mostly encounter this on short walks to lookouts or historic sites from carparks
  • Grade 2: The trail is moderate, and the absolute maximum distance is 10 km. It is suitable for first-time hikers, but there may be hilly sections and is not wheelchair accessible
  • Grade 3: This is the most common grade you'll encounter in Tasmania. The absolute maximum is 20 km, and you'll need to have a bit of experience, as the trail can have steep sections
  • Grade 4: You need to have a reasonable amount of hiking experience, and often goes in remote areas. Most trails in the Tasmanian Wilderness fall into this category, and you need to be self-sufficient
  • Grade 5: The most difficult of them all, where you will have to be self-sufficient, and you will need good navigation skills. They often go for very long distances, have rough terrain, and the conditions are tough

The 60 Great Short Walks is a list of 60 walks within Tasmania's national parks and reserves, mostly ranging from easy Grade 1 to the somewhat challenging Grade 4 treks. There is only one Grade 5 trail, and that is the hike up to the summit of Cradle Mountain, one of Tasmania's most iconic and scenic mountains. To know if you're on one of the walks, the trail will often have some posts and signs with an orange capital W with a hiking boot on the right, at the start and end of the trail, and sometimes throughout too.

Wilderness hiking[edit]

See also: Wilderness backpacking
Hikers hiking up Mt. Ossa in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair NP

As Tasmania boasts one of the world's finest untouched wilderness, going out on wilderness hiking can be one of the greatest ways to experience Tasmania's nature. However, doing that comes with a number of precautionary and mandatory measures you'll need to take in order for survival.

In most parks in the Tasmanian Wilderness, there will be some sort of day use shelter, containing a small shed, which has a logbook. Before doing any hike, you must fill out your trip intentions in the logbook – in the case that you end up going missing, the logbook will be used. Additionally, you should let someone reliable know about your journey, and remember that this person will either mean life or death if you do happen to go missing.

Additionally, the Parks and Wildlife Service advises you to go in groups of at least three. You should never hike alone – see Hiking for why.

If you are going on overnight or multi-day walks, you must complete a registration form found here.

Prepare[edit]

See Hiking § Prepare or this checklist from Parks Tasmania for a list of what you will need. On top of that, it is advisable to carry a personal beacon locator with you and additionally what might seem strange, is a tent. It may seem unusual at first, as most parks will have huts along the way for you to sleep on, but the huts have limited capacity, and there's a chance that you might have to sleep outside. Additionally, there is a possibility that you may not reach your hut on time, and if that does happen, you will end up having to camp out for the night.

For those from the mainland, you will need to remember that it gets very cold in Tasmania, even during summer and snow can easily obstruct the track. Several layers and some good hiking sticks are advisable. A topographic map is also a must, and can be purchased at TasMap's eShop.

Skiing[edit]

Skiers in Ben Lomond National Park

Whilst Tasmania gets lots of snow, skiing is not a popular activity in Tasmania, as there are few places that have the right conditions, and thus there are only two places in the state known for skiing, which operate during the winter season. For those coming from the mainland, don't expect it to be as great as Thredbo, Mount Hotham or anywhere in the Australian Alps.

The closest one to Hobart is Mount Mawson in Mount Field National Park, taking about 1.5 hours. It is for those who wish to either go cross-country, downhill skiing, snowboarding, or just snowplay and entirely volunteer run.

The other is Ben Lomond National Park, which is close to Launceston, which has better slopes, but requires you to do steep climbs and the road to get to the park is not easy. If you're unsure on which to go to, Mount Field National Park is your best bet, but don't hope for too much.

Fishing[edit]

Tasmania is one of Australia's prime fishing destinations and many fishing enthusiasts come to Tasmania to trout fish, in many of the glacial lakes, rivers, creeks and tarns. There is a good guide on what you are and aren't allowed to do at the many fishing hotspots in nre.tas.gov for coastal fishing. For inland fishing, the Anglers Access Program and the Inland Fishing Service has a bit more about fishing licenses, for both public and private land while the Sea Fishing Aquaculture has specific information about limits, licenses, restrictions etc.

Abseiling and rock climbing[edit]

Some of Tasmania's national parks give you some good rock climbing or abseiling opportunities. While there are plenty of locations to choose from, there are some spots in particular that are known for abseiling and rock climbing:

  • In Tasman National Park down the 65-metre Fortescue Bay dolerite cliffs is one memorable experience. Remember though, that the bottom of cliffs is the unforgiving Tasman Sea, but nevertheless many still do it.
  • The cliffs of Ben Lomond National Park – not advisable during winter.
  • Frenchmans Cap in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park requires a very long walk to get there, but the rewards are unimaginable.
  • The cliffs at Coles Bay in Freycinet National Park make it a very scenic climb.
  • Strzelecki National Park in Flinders Island has some cliffs suitable for abseiling, but very few do it because of its isolation. More people choose to climb the island's summit instead.

Eat[edit]

Cafes, kiosks and restaurants[edit]

The outside of Cradle Mountain Cafe

Only a few parks in Tasmania have cafes, kiosks or restaurants – they are either found in lodges, or found at or near visitor centres. The price range tends to be near the upper end of mid-range, but you need to remember that getting supplies to most Tasmanian national parks is not an easy to do. That being said, your food range can vary but there is generally a wide variety of Australian cuisine available. If you visit a park that doesn't have places to eat, your only option is to go to the nearest town – reentry will not be a problem, as your parks pass allows reentry.

Picnic areas[edit]

Whilst there may not be many cafes, kiosks or restaurants in Tasmanian national parks, nearly every accessible park will have at least one or two picnic tables, some may have more. They may not always be well maintained, but the standards you'll find in Tasmania is much better than those of the mainland.

Camping food[edit]

If you decide not to leave a national park or go on a multi-day walk, bringing all your food supplies with you is vital for survival. You'll need to be selective when deciding what to bring if you go wilderness hiking. See Wikivoyage's guide to what foods you should bring at camping food.

Drink[edit]

Water is an absolute must when visiting Tasmanian national parks. You may not always find taps (faucets) to fill up, so you must bring lots of bottles of water, especially if you are going in remote parks where you can guarantee to be none. Campgrounds may have one or two taps, but that is about it.

For those who are not going out deep in the wilderness, most park cafes will have soft drinks, and most importantly, coffee.

Sleep[edit]

Kitchen Hut near Cradle Mtn
High Shelf Camp in Southwest National Park

In general, accommodation in Tasmanian national parks is very limited, and as such, most visitors rest their heads outside a national park, and usually the absolute maximum time it takes from a nearby town that contains accommodation would be one hour. However, many choose to camp at the many campgrounds and for those who go wilderness hiking, there will be a hut or two on long distance trails, in which would need adequate planning.

In all cases, leave-no-trace camping principles and practices apply and you should try and minimize your footprint as much as possible, especially if you are visiting an alpine environment – alpine vegetation can take decades to recover. Otherwise, if you're just visiting the wilderness or pretty much anywhere, it should still be practiced.

Huts[edit]

Huts are found on long distance trails, particularly out in the Tasmanian Wilderness. Your topographic map that you take may or may not contain them, and you will need to do careful planning prior to your hike. There is some information about individual huts can be found at parks.tas.gov.

In some cases, the huts may be heritage listed, and you may not be allowed to sleep inside the hut, except in extreme emergencies. See the individual park articles for which huts can and cannot be utilised.

Lodging[edit]

Finding lodging inside national parks is a very rare thing, and per the Parks Tasmania website, there are only four – one in Maria Island National Park in a penitentiary accommodation, another in Cradle Mountain which is a cabin the third being a village, in Ben Lomond National Park and the fourth being a lodge in Lake St. Clair. Otherwise, you will need to find lodging outside the park you're visiting.

Camping[edit]

Camping is the most common choice for those wanting to stay within the park. Campgrounds can be found in most but not all parks, but they may run out of slots. Some places may have a car camping option but others will require you to leave your car behind. Campfires are only permitted in some parks, which a list can be found here.

Cope[edit]

In most campgrounds, there will be basic facilities such as toilets and some will have taps, but apart from that, you will need to bring everything with you, including toilet paper and bottled water.

Stay safe[edit]

While overly underestimated, cold weather is the biggest danger in Tasmanian national parks, particularly out in the Tasmanian Wilderness. The weather regularly drops below freezing, even during summer. Snow can severely affect the trail you are going on, and if you are driving within the roads of national parks, they can be very slippery – take extra care, especially on unsealed roads. Many hikers have died due to hypothermia, as they simply did not bring in enough clothes and equipment to battle the cold. When hiking, bringing thermals, a wet weather jacket, along with a jacket and pants that keep you warm, a beanie and gloves are a must – they may be a bit heavy, but it is a much better alternative to freeze in the dark.

See also[edit]

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