The best way to explore stunning parks and lay eyes on some of Earth’s most incredible landscapes is by hiking right through them. Tasmania is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and a perfect choice for hiking, trekking, or outdoor adventure.
Several hiking trails take you across Tasmania’s breathtaking scenery. So put on a good pair of hiking boots, fill up your water bottle, sling a backpack over your shoulders, and set out on one of Tasmania’s best hiking paths.
Three Capes Track
The Three Capes Track runs through some of Tasmania’s most wild and lonely terrain: towering eucalyptus forests, sea-lashed cliffs, and deserted beaches. It is less of a hike and more of a spiritual experience. It’s best if you’ve experienced some bushwalking before, but it’s also an excellent option for first-time multi-day hikers. The Tasman Sea will be your constant companion, and migratory whales, dolphins, and seals will join you for part of the journey.
Book ahead to secure a spot!
Distance and time: 48 km; 4 days
Best Time: January-March
South Coast Track
The South Coast Track follows the untamed southern coastline and includes steep climbs, creeks, river crossings, and wet and muddy sections. It is an experience recommended only for the adventurous. There are no comfortable cabins except for a couple of huts at Melaleuca – you’ll need to bring your tent, food, and drink – and snow, driving rain, and strong winds can occur at any time of year.
It is known as one of Tasmania’s most challenging yet rewarding walks; for every wet sock or rocky scramble, there are beach resorts, pristine rivers, and thatches of ancient rainforest, including several curious animals.
Distance and time: 85 km; 6 – 8 days
Best Time: December-March
From Launceston, this iconic trail runs through the island’s heart. Highlights include breathtaking scenery, fantastic fauna (including the chance to see wombats), and unique Tasmanian vistas. Along the track, hikers taste Cradle Mountain, Waterfall Valley, and Lake St Clair, the Southern Hemisphere’s deepest natural lake.
Add more days to your plan and include side trips to waterfalls and summit plateaus to get the most out of this national park. Cradle Mountain’s summit walk will reward you with breathtaking Barn Bluff and Dove Lake views. Mt Ossa, Tasmania’s tallest peak, may be climbed. Hike The Acropolis for amazing views of dolerite needles.
Distance and Time: 65 km; 6 days
Best Time: March-April
Level: Not for first-timers
Bay of Fires
As you walk down the powder-fine sands that run along Tasmania’s north-eastern border, you’ll wonder what it’s like to live here and have these beaches.
The hike is mostly on sand – some firm, some mushy – which makes it difficult. Start from Stumpys Bay and travel south to Eddystone Point’s pink granite lighthouse. Continue to Purdon Bay, where surfers chase peaky waves and finish at The Gardens, a headland.
Bennett’s wallabies, unique Forester kangaroos, and yellow-tailed black cockatoos are also worth spotting.
Distance and Time: 43km; 3 days
Best time to visit: November-March
There are plenty of shorter walks to satisfy day tourists on Tasmania’s hikes. Mount Atmos is a firm favourite among these.
Hikers on Mount Atmos can enjoy panoramic views of Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula. Of course, you’ll have to put in some effort to enjoy these rewards; the trail is steep, and much of it is on granite, so expect to use your hands. Postpone the journey till a dry day because it’s challenging to pull off in wet weather.
Distance and Time: 450 m; 4 – 5 hours
Best time to visit: Summer or spring season
If overnight hikes aren’t your thing or you don’t have the necessary equipment, a day trip to Wineglass Bay will work. Park outside the Freycinet Visitor Centre, where the track zigzags up to a saddle connecting Mounts Amos and Mayson. A short detour takes you to an overlook with postcard-perfect views of Wineglass Bay.
Before crossing the small isthmus to Hazard’s Beach, dip your toes in some of the clearest ocean water you’ll ever see. Continue to the bay, passing past shaded yellow-gum trees. In the dunes, you can see signs of Aboriginal shell middens.
Granite rocks coated with orange lichen, quartzite sand beaches, a floral coastal heath, and azure bays are other sights.
Distance and Time: 11km; 1 day
Best Time: December-April
The Painted Cliffs
The Triassic sandstone cliffs are easy to hike, but you’ll need to take a boat to get there because they’re on Maria Island, a short ferry ride from Triabunna on the main island.
The cliffs are the centrepiece of this trek; different colours run through the stone as if hand-painted. The swirling strokes are caused by groundwater tainting the sandstone and leaving iron oxides behind.
Salt has been left on the exposed rock by sea spray. When salt crystallises and dries, it leaves a honeycomb pattern. Because the cliffs’ entire structure is delicate, avoid scraping the rock or causing damage to the area.
Distance and Time: 4 km; Two hours plus travel time to Maria Island
Best time to visit: Autumn is preferable
The Peak hike in the Hartz National Park has to be the best place to see Tasmanian alpine vistas. Although the mountain isn’t huge, glacial lakes and unique alpine flowers make the trail above sea level considerably higher.
Keep an eye out for unique platypus in the streams near the base. Hartz Park is also home to wallabies and echidnas. Choose your hiking season carefully. This trail is best avoided in the cooler months due to dense fog, ice, and high winds.
Distance and Time: 1,255m; 3 – 5 hours
Best time to visit: Summer season