Lake Juno, Western Arthur Range, Southwest National Park.
Lake Juno, Western Arthur Range, Southwest National Park. (photograph: Dan Broun)
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Southwest National Park

Raw wilderness to challenge and inspire.

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Alerts for Southwest National Park

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Safety alert: Winter walking - Be safe in our parks and reserves this winter
Applies from 27/6/2024
Winter walking comes with increased hazards. This includes severe weather and the risk of hypothermia.

Know before you go. Check weather forecasts and choose walks that match your abilities. Use the right equipment and be flexible with your plans if conditions change. 

Carry items for all possible conditions including sub-zero temperatures. Use our Alpine Walker Pack List and Safety Checklist to help you prepare. 

Always carry a communication device. You can’t rely on your mobile phone coverage in remote areas. Carry a physical map, a portable battery bank and a Personal Locator Beacon.

More information is on our safety in parks webpage.

Walks that need overnight walker registration​ must be self-reliant. There is no ranger presence on these tracks. If the weather forecasts or conditions change do not depart if it is unsafe to walk. Please change the date of registration.

Last reviewed 27/6/2024 04:36 PM

Closed area: Eastern Arthur range traverse – changes to access West Picton Road and Huon Track.
Applies from 21/12/2023

West Picton Road (prior to Riveaux Creek) is closed due to the deterioration of three structures along the road.  A 15-20 vehicle parking area has been created adjacent to the new closure.  

Farmhouse Creek walking track requires an extra 7.1km (one-way) walk along West Picton Road from its closure prior to Picton River Tributary.

Mt Picton walking track requires an extra 7.2km (return) walk along West Picton Road and then West Picton Road Spur 1-2 from its closure prior to Picton River Tributary. 

The Huon Track has been heavily impacted by a large number of tree falls that are making this difficult to traverse and we recommend that you commence your walk at either Farmhouse Creek or Huon Campground. 

Both Farmhouse Creek and Mt Picton walking tracks remain open.

Last reviewed 27/3/2024 12:26 PM


​Tasmania’s largest expanse of wilderness is located in Southwest National Park – a remote and rugged landscape in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Home to majestic Huon pine, sassafras, celery top and myrtle, the region is awash with the distinctive fragrances of the Tasmanian forest.

The Gordon River Road is a narrow ribbon through the largely untracked region of forests, imposing mountain ranges and buttongrass plains, providing access to the vast expanses of Lake Pedder and Lake Go​rdon.

In Southwest Nationa​l Park, you’ll find one of Tasmania’s ​most challenging wilderness walks, the multi-day South Coast Track. There are also endless shorter walks to take you up and over mountains and out to the coast. For a real ‘ends-of-the-Earth’ experience, travel to Australia’s southernmost point accessible by road, Cockle Creek, where a day walk to South Cape Bay allows walkers to immerse themselves in the raw power of this wilderness landscape.

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Southwest National Park is vast, wild and spectacular. Rocky coastline, windswept beaches, dramatic mountain ranges, deep harbours and extensive buttongrass plains are home to unique plant and animal species. 

You can explore this park, part of the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area, on extended bushwalks, kayak or boat trips, short walks, scenic drives or flights - there is something here for everyone.

Walking opportunities in Southwest National Park abound and they range from a 20-minute stroll on the Creepy Crawly Walk to a 6-8 day walk along the South Coast Track. As well as varying in length the walks also showcase a range of the Park’s environments including, rainforests, beaches, alpine areas and buttongrass plains. Watch southern ocean swells roll in at South Cape Bay or be rewarded with impressive views from the steep climb up to the Eliza Plateau.

There are also plenty of opportunities to experience the wonder of this National Park from the comfort of your car. West of Maydena the Gordon River and Scotts Peak roads wind past dramatic mountain ranges and deep lakes. These roads were built during the late 1960s and 1970s as part of the controversial Middle Gordon hydro-electric power scheme which flooded the original Lake Pedder. There are lookouts, picnic areas and short walks along the way so take time to stop, enjoy the views, stretch your legs and become part of this special landscape. From Maydena allow 1 to 1.5 hours to reach either Strathgordon or the Huon Campground

Both these roads are lined with a variety of rainforest trees including myrtle, sassafras and celery-top pine. During the warmer months you will see flowers of the leatherwood tree, source of Tasmania’s famous honey, and the bright red waratah blooms. Birds are also common, especially green rosellas, black currawongs and various honeyeaters. In the picnic areas you may be lucky to see scarlet or pink robins and Tasmanian thornbills.

Lake Pedder and Lake Gordon within Southwest National Park are popular trout fishing waters. Both lakes were created in 1971 as part of hydro-electric developments. Lake Pedder is open to trout fishing all year and can be fished from the shore or by boat. Lake Gordon has a closed season and is more suited to boat-based fishing. Please ensure that all your gear is cleaned prior to use on and in the lakes to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases such as Didymo into Tasmania  This is especially important if your equipment has been used interstate or overseas. Find out more information about fishing in Tasmania's national parks and reserves on our Fishing page.

Both Lake Pedder and Lake Gordon provide great opportunities for boating. Please be aware that submerged timber is a significant hazard to navigation on Lake Gordon. Both lakes can experience extreme and sudden changes in weather at any time of the year and with little warning. Check the weather forecast before heading out.

For experienced paddlers, the coastline of Southwest National Park and inland areas like Lake Pedder provide a wealth of kayaking opportunities. Stunning scenery combined with the option of extended trips where you are likely to encounter very few other people make these appealing destinations. However, due to the remoteness, the extreme weather changes that this area can experience and the fact that strong gusty winds, heavy rain, sleet and snow are possible at any time of the year, kayakers need to be very skilled and well equipped. 

Experiences in Southwest National Park

Southwest National Park

Cockle Creek

Cockle Creek - Gateway to the Southwest National Park

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Southwest National Park

Creepy Crawly Nature Trail

The Creepy Crawly Nature Trail is a delightful introduction to the wonders of cool temperature rainforests and their inhabitants. This fully-boarded track will appeal to the young and young at heart.

30 minutes return, 1km return, Grade 2
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Southwest National Park

Duckhole Lake

An enjoyable addition to a visit to Hastings Caves or the Arve River Forest Drive. Take an easy stroll through a forest of stringybarks and stretches of tea tree swamp to an idyllic lake.

1.5 hours return, 4.2km return, Grade 2
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Two tents nestled amongst the scrub, overlooking an alpine lake in the Eastern Arthur Range

Southwest National Park

Eastern Arthur Range Traverse

1 current alerts

Located in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the Eastern Arthur Range Traverse challenges experienced walkers and rewards with the majesty of Federation Peak.

6-9 days, 72 kms, Grade 5
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Southwest National Park

Eliza Plateau

A steep climb up (and up!) to the Eliza Plateau gives expansive views deep into the heart of Southwest National Park. This walk is very exposed, choose good weather.

6-7 hours return, 11km return, Grade 4
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Fishing on the rocks at Friendly Beaches, Freycinet National Park



Tasmania has a wealth of excellent inland and ocean fishing locations where you can cast your line.

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Southwest National Park

Huon campground walk

Experience some of the different vegetation communities found in Southwest National Park on this short walk from the Huon Campground.

1-2 hours return, 2km return, Grade 2
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Lake Judd, Southwest National Park

Southwest National Park

Lake Judd

The reward for this long day walk is a deep ice-carved lake surrounded by precipitous mountains. The Lake Judd track can be wet and muddy and requires some navigation skills.

8 hours return, 16km return, Grade 4
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Southwest National Park


Melaleuca, a tiny, remote settlement in Southwest National Park, is a popular destination for bushwalkers, boat based visitors, birdwatchers and day visitors wanting a taste of the area’s wild beauty.

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Southwest National Park

Mount Anne Circuit

1 current alerts

In the remote Southwest National Park is the Mount Anne Circuit, a collection of quartzite peaks encircling Lake Judd. Experienced walkers should brace themselves, this is one of the most physically demanding walks in the State.

3-5 days, Distance is deceptive on this walk, Grade 5
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Group rafting on the Franklin River


Rafting and kayaking

Tasmania’s oceans and rivers have a well-deserved reputation as some of the cleanest in the world, and what better way to explore these wondrous waterways than up-close and self-propelled.

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Southwest National Park

South Cape Bay

Located in Southwest National Park, this walk starts from the end of Australia’s most southerly road and is the eastern end of the popular South Coast Track to Port Davey. It’s a great place, so take your lunch and make a good day of it.

4 hrs return, 15.4km return, Grade 3
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Southwest National Park

South Coast Track

1 current alerts

The South Coast Track is a challenging 6-8 day walk along Tasmania’s wild southern coastline. Wander windswept beaches, climb mountain ranges and wade (or row!) across rivers on this 85 km adventure.

6-8 days one way, 85km one way, Grade 4
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Western Arthur Range

Southwest National Park

Western Arthur Range Traverse

1 current alerts

The Western Arthur Range Traverse is considered to be one of the most challenging multi-day walks in Tasmania. Here, highly-skilled walkers can put their well-honed knowledge to the test in a challenging and often inhospitable environment.

5 – 7 days, 58km loop, Grade 5
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Stay Overnight

  • Cockle Creek camping

Camp at Cockle Creek the gateway to the Southwest National Park.

Bookings and more info

Cockle Creek camping

  • Recherche Bay camping

Recherche Bay campsites are located near Cockle Creek, on the edge of the Southwest National Park.

Bookings and more info

Recherche Bay camping

  • Southwest camping

Enjoy fishing, kayaking or walking adventures in Southwest National Park, before sleeping comfortably in your tent or caravan at Huon, Teds Beach or Edgar campgrounds.

Bookings and more info

Southwest camping