Tasmania is one of the finest bushwalking destinations in the world. In this compact island with its remarkably varied landscapes, you’ll find a bushwalk that is ideal for you – in length, time, level of challenge and style of scenery. There’s detailed information at our Great Bushwalks web pages, but here’s a brief summary of some of the wonderful bushwalking waiting for you in Tasmania.
The Overland Track
This is Tasmania’s best-known and most popular multiday walk. The 65 kilometre-long track winds through spectacular alpine scenery and past Tasmania’s highest mountain, the 1617 metre Mt Ossa.
Between 1 November and 30 April, you are required to book your walk on the Overland Track. This system limits numbers of people using the track in order to protect the environment and avoid overcrowding at huts and campsites. It’s a one-way walk, from Cradle Mountain in the north to Lake St Clair in the south. An Overland Track Facility Fee applies which goes towards maintenance of the track and facilities. You can book online at www.overlandtrack.com.au.
Normal Park Entry Fees apply all year.
Depending on side trips and weather conditions, most parties take between 6 and 10 days to complete the walk.
The track surface and signage is good, although some of the side tracks are rougher and less defined. Tracks can be muddy, especially after rain.
There are public huts with basic facilities and adjacent campsites at convenient overnight stops along the Overland Track. There is no bunk booking system – you shouldn’t rely on finding a hut space. Always carry a tent and be prepared to camp. Please use the composting toilets near each hut.
You must carry a fuel stove – the entire Overland Track is within a Fuel Stove Only Area.
This return walk to the sheer quartzite peak towering over the Franklin River takes between 4 and 5 days.
The walk is much harder than the Overland Track, with some long, steep climbs and sections of deep mud.
There are two huts on the track, at Lake Vera and a small hut at Lake Tahune, but tents must be carried. The entire area is a Fuel Stove Only zone.
To avoid the spread of the root rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi, you should clean all gear that may carry soil at the start, during and at the end of your trip.
See our web pages on the Frenchmans Cap Track for full details.
South Coast Track
The South Coast Track is a remote wilderness walk, with magnificent beaches and spectacular coastal scenery. Most parties take 6 to 10 days to walk the 85 kilometre track. Walkers usually fly into Melaleuca and walk east to Cockle Creek. Some combine the South Coast Track with the Port Davey Track to make a 10 to 15 day walking epic.
The South Coast track receives regular maintenance but there are rough and muddy sections. There are conveniently located campsites but the only hut is next to Melaleuca airstrip, so tents must be carried.
There are several river crossings, which can be difficult and dangerous after heavy rain – wait for water levels to fall to a safe level before attempting to cross any river.
The climate is generally milder than alpine areas, although the South Coast is a high rainfall area and there is one mountain crossing where snowstorms can occur at any time of the year.
The South Coast and Port Davey Tracks are Fuel Stove Only Areas and a fuel stove must be carried.
Freycinet Peninsula Circuit
This coastal circuit walk takes from 2 to 4 days, depending on the number of leisurely days you spend on the beach.
Tents should be carried – there are campsites at Wineglass Bay, Hazards Beach, Cooks Beach and Bryans Beach, but no overnight huts. Water is often scarce and may need to be carried. Ask at the visitor centre about water availability before starting the walk.
The Freycinet Peninsula Circuit is a Fuel Stove Only Area.
The root rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi is present in the area. You can help stop the spread of Phytophthora by keeping to the formed track, and thoroughly cleaning your gear before, during and after your trip.
There’s more information on our Freycinet Peninsula Circuit web page.
Tasman Coastal Trail
The Tasman Coastal Trail follows a spectacular cliff-top route from Waterfall Bay to Fortescue Beach, then out to Cape Hauy and on to Cape Pillar.
The one-way trip takes between 3 and 5 days. Water is only available at selected spots each day, so you should carry what you need for the day.
There is no public transport to the start and end of the track – a car shuffle is a better option. For a shorter walk, there is road access to Fortescue Bay.
The track covers varying terrain including Australia’s highest sea cliffs, rainforest, beaches and some steep ascents and descents.
The weather is milder than the far south or the mountains, but high winds are common and gear for wet and cold conditions must be carried. Tents should be carried and most of the track is in a Fuel Stove Only area.
Please follow Phytophthora procedures by starting your walk with clean gear, using the wash-down stations, staying on the marked track and cleaning your gear at the end of your walk.