Apsley River Waterhole
Apsley River Waterhole (photograph: Dan Broun)

Douglas-Apsley National Park

Crystal clear rivers and diverse forests.

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​This understated national park near Bicheno, on the East Coast of Tasmania, is a gem awaiting discovery by those with a real sense of adventure.

It’s a place of surprising contrasts, featuring tranquil waterholes, deep river gorges and thundering waterfalls, including the spectacular Apsley Falls. The crystal-clear waters that run through the park are a welcome sight on a hot summer’s day. Enjoy a picnic, a short walk, go for a refreshing swim, or take time out for quiet contemplation.

Walks within the national park will take you through a diversity of vegetation and terrain, including picturesque Apsley Gorge. Experience marshlands, wet gullies and pockets of rainforest. Douglas-Apsley National Park may fly under the radar, but it protects an important swathe of dry eucalypt forest as well as numerous rare and endangered plants and animals.

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​Nestled about halfway up Tasmania’s east coast, Douglas-Apsley National Park is full of delightful surprises and unexpected contrasts. Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll and space for contemplation, a refreshing swim in a tranquil pool, or a challenging multi-day walk, this picturesque park has plenty to offer.

 Situated between the Douglas and Apsley rivers, the area has a long history of farming, mining and trapping, and contains one of the last remaining areas of uncleared dry forest in the state.  

The rivers which cut through the park have formed deep gorges and have created a number of beautiful pools and waterfalls. On a warm summer’s day, the turquoise waters of Apsley Waterhole are a favourite with families. Just a ten-minute walk from the car park at the south end of the park, it’s a great spot to cool off and relax before enjoying a picnic. Keep an eye out for wallabies in the area, but don’t be tempted to share your sandwiches.  

Walkers keen to explore the park more deeply and experience some of its diverse landscapes should consider the Apsley River Waterhole and Gorge Walk, which takes around 3-4 hours return. Starting on a forest track lined by eucalypts, you then descend a path of stacked boulders down to the stunning surroundings of the gorge. You can return the same way, or return by rock hopping downstream along the river bed.

 From the north of the park, experienced hikers can undertake the two-and-a-half-day Leeaberra Track walk. These are challenging walks which reward visitors with extensive views and spectacular landscapes. 

Bush camping is available at a number of sites within the park. See our page on Douglas-Apsley - campgrounds​ for more information.​

Experiences in Douglas-Apsley National Park

Douglas-Apsley National Park

Apsley River Waterhole and Gorge

Gently stroll through open woodland before reaching Apsley River at the waterhole, stop here and take a dip. Or cross the river on a walk through dry, open forest before descending back to the river at the Apsley Gorge.

2-3 hr return / 4-5 hr circuit, 5.6km if returning along same track (grade 2 walk). Approx. 7km if returning via the river in dry conditions (grade 3 walk), Grade 2
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Walker on the Leeberra Track at Nicholls Needles, Douglas-Apsley National Park

Douglas-Apsley National Park

Leeaberra Track

A real treat for experienced walkers, the Leeaberra Track is a multi-day hike that traverses 28kms of forest and heathland in the spectacular Douglas-Apsley National Park.

2.5 - 3 days one way, 28kms one way, Grade 4
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Apsley Waterhole, Douglas-Apsley National Park

Douglas-Apsley National Park

Loop Track

A short, gentle stroll through open forest leads to the delightful Apsley Waterhole. Beautiful views, and a popular spot for cooling off in summer.

10-15 minutes return, 1.2km return, Grade 1
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Stay Overnight

  • Douglas-Apsley camping

Douglas-Apsley National Park has free bush camping options available for visitors to the Apsley Waterhole and walkers undertaking the Leeaberra Track.

Bookings and more info
Tent pitched in a bush camp, Douglas-Apsley National Park

Douglas-Apsley camping