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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Closed area: Toilet block at Lake Pedder Teds Beach boat ramp
From 8/11/2019, last reviewed 8/11/2019

​​The toilet block at the Lake Pedder Teds Beach boat ramp and campsite, near the Strathgordon, is temporarily out of service due to an equipment failure. PWS is undertaking repairs as quickly as possible. 

Visitors are advised to use the toilet facilities at Gordon Dam or Pedder Lodge at Strathgordon. 

Only self-contained campervans or caravans should use the campsite until the toilet block reopens.​​



Closed area: Cockle Creek short-term and long-term carparks for improvement works
From 4/11/2019, last reviewed 8/11/2019

After a week of minor site works to the entrance of the Cockle Creek precinct, the short term car park will reopen today (Friday 8 November). The long term car park will remain closed until the end of next week (Friday 15 November) to complete the gravel works.

​PWS thanks all visitors for their understanding as we work on making these improvements.

​For further information, please contact the Huonville Field Centre on 6121 7028.


Track closure: Closed tracks due to 2019 fires
From 1/10/2019, last reviewed 21/10/2019

Post this year’s fires, a Recovery Team has been formed and they are developing a detailed works program to rebuild fire-affected infrastructure on the PWS road and walking track network. Visitor safety is our priority and fire affected areas will remain closed until they are safe for use. We ask for on-going patience from the community and our visitors while repair works are undertaken.

The team are working on prioritised tasks to re-instate the affected roads, walking tracks, bridges, shelters and signs. Repaired tracks and roads will be re-opened progressively as they are repaired. However some areas could take up to two years to restore to appropriate standard and re-open.

Assessment teams including local contractors and staff have worked their way through 980kms of the road network. 450 trees have been fallen and 80 trees blasted on PWS land to remove the risk of tree fall and to clear the roadway.

Road works proposed for 2019/20 and 20/21 will include repairs to damaged road surfaces, verges, drains, and culverts. A full assessment of the area will determine when it is safe for public access. As a result of the fires, over 110kms of walking tracks have been identified by assessment teams as needing repair. Walking track repair works proposed for 2019/20 and 20/21 will include stabilization and repairs to duck boarding and double planking, bridges, shelters, safety barriers and signs. Many tracks are in remote, high country where wintery winds, rain and snow melt will continue to influence the progress of recovery, as much of the work is dependent on drier conditions. Many tracks in these areas are likely to remain closed this summer.

Visitor safety is our priority and fire affected areas will remain closed until they are safe for use. We ask for on-going patience from the community and our visitors while repair works are undertaken. Walkers are reminded that, several walking tracks in the Southwest National Park, Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and Florentine River Regional Reserve remain closed until further notice.

For walker safety we ask people to adhere to the following closures:


Riveaux Road fire ground

  • Huon Track
  • Mount Picton Track
  • Farmhouse Creek Track
  • Eastern Arthur Range Traverse
  • McKays Track

Gell River fire ground

  • Rasselas Track
  • Lake Rhona Track
  • Adamsfield Track
  • Clearhill Track
  • Needles Track
  • Timbs Track

Anne Gorge and Celtic Hill fire ground

  • Mt Anne Circuit

Open tracks – please note the following tracks are open: The Mount Wedge Track, Mount Sprent Track, Western Arthur Range Traverse from Alpha Moraine to Kappa Moraine returning to Junction Creek via the western portion of MacKays Track, Port Davey Track, South Coast Track and the Hartz Mountains National Park are open.​.


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.​​ 

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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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Hobart and South

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

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.

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Southwest camping