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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Incident: Bushfire at Strathgordon
From 30/12/2019, last reviewed 7/1/2020

There is a bushfire at Strathgordon. This fire may put Strathgordon and the Gordon River Road at severe risk.

Fire under these conditions can be uncontrollable and fast moving. Burning embers, falling on Strathgordon may threaten before the main fire. Smoke and ash may make it difficult to see and breathe.


Track closure: Closed tracks due to 2018/19 fires
From 28/11/2019, last reviewed 3/1/2020

​​​The 2018/19 bushfires caused extensive damage to a number of walking tracks and the burnt track infrastructure poses a serious safety ​hazard. Fire damaged boardwalk and steps are also holding the soil in place in many locations, preventing erosion. Illegal access of burnt tracks will increase erosion and cause environmental degradation. 

Visitor safety and environmental protection are our priorities and fire affected areas will remain closed until they are safe for use.

The following tracks are closed. 

  • ​Mt Anne Circuit
  • Huon Track
  • Mount Picton Track
  • Farmhouse Creek Track
  • Eastern Arthur Range Traverse
  • Western Arthur Range Traverse - East of Moraine Kappa
  • McKays Track - East of Moraine Kappa
  • Rasselas Track
  • Lake Rhona Track
  • Adamsfield Track
  • Clearhill Track
  • Needles Track. 

Fire ban: Campfire restrictions are in place
From 21/10/2019, last reviewed 1/1/2020

​Campfire restrictions are now in place for this site.  This means you will not be able to use campfires, pot fires and other solid fuel stoves. Gas stoves and gas barbecues are still permitted.

Parts of Tasmania are experiencing the driest conditions for the past three years with traditionally wet or damp gullies now dry. An above average fire season has been forecast for the east and south eastern parts of Tasmania due to warmer and drier conditions.

These conditions have increased the risk of unattended or poorly constructed campfires escaping and becoming bushfires. We have a duty of care to our community and want to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable camping experience.


About

​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 – take your pick! 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

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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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

Statewide

Fishing

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

1 current alerts

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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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

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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Group rafting on the Franklin River

Statewide

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

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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Accommodation

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  • 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