THE SIX BEST HIKES IN TASMANIA
The best hikes in Tasmania have everything – from rugged surroundings to enough variation to suit every level of hiker. Tasmania is an isolated island just off Australia’s south coast filled with stunning natural landscapes. The island has small towns, quirky people, and amazing places where you can get away from the cement jungle and enjoy nature the slow way – on your own two feet.
So, if you’re ready to tackle some of these great walks in Tasmania, grab a comfortable pair of boots and head out to test the strength of your legs, your navigation skills, or just to relax on a path through Tasmania’s ancient landscape and national parks.
Wukalina Walk – Bay of Fires
Also known as the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, the Wukalina Walk is a four-day hike with a long history stretching back over 40,000 years to the original inhabitants of the land. It’s the first of its kind in Tasmania – an Aboriginal owned and operated walk designed to honour the history of this ancient culture.
If you want to experience one of the longer walks in Tasmania, but don’t feel like roughing it, this walk is a good compromise. It can get a little challenging in places, but it comes with a guide and comfortable night camps with everything you’ll need to get ready for another day of walking.
Some of the highlights of this walk include:
- Miles of stunning, idyllic coastline along the Bay of Fires
- Eco-friendly luxury accommodation at the Forester Beach Camp and the award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge
- The iconic Eddystone Point lighthouse that was first established in 1889.
- Learning more about the culture and Dreamtime of the palawa (the local Tasmanian Aboriginal people).
- Experience a traditional Smoking Ceremony.
- Learn how to source palawa foods in the Australian outback.
- Puff your way up numerous summits for stunning views.
Insider Tip: If you’re not up for the full four-day Bay of Fires walk, you can start at other points throughout the hike. Ask about the shorter version beginning at the Eddystone Point Lighthouse.
Best time of year to walk this track: This multi-day walk is offered from late September to the end of April.
Track length: Around 26km
Overland Track – Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain is one of the most famous peaks in Tasmania and stretches 1545 metres. There are several tracks you can take to get to the summit, within the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, including the Overland Track from Ronny Creek, which is one of the most popular and best hikes in Tasmania.
You can go with a guide, stay in private huts along the way, and have all the necessities right at your fingertips – or make your way up the mountain carrying all your own belongings. Just be prepared for a multi-day experience and some steep walking – it is a mountain after all.
Here are some of the highlights of the Overland Track:
- Stunning views at the peak of Barn Bluff, Mt Ossa, and Pelion West
- Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest freshwater lake
- Ancient valleys and alpine meadows
- Lots of chances to get off the beaten path and explore side-tracks.
- Learn about the local flora and fauna if you choose to go with a guide.
Insider Tip: The weather is very changeable on this track, so make sure you carry wet weather gear with you.
The Dove Lake Circuit is a nice warm up walk if you arrive a day early.
Best time of year to walk this track: The Overland Track offers the best experience between October to May, before winter sets in and it gets too cold.
Track length: 65km
Freycinet Experience Walk
Freycinet National Park is on the east coast of Tasmania and is known for its stunning and accessible natural wonders. So, if you’re on the east coast and you’re looking for the best walks in Tasmania, then this is a not to be missed experience.
The Freycinet Experience Walk is a multi-day walk that starts on the southern end with a visit to Schouten Island and takes you through forestland, white sandy beaches, and past fantastic lookouts.
The ecosystem on this part of the island is beautifully delicate, so make sure you tread lightly while you’re there.
Here’s what you’ll see along the way:
- A variety of wildlife, including dolphins and birds
- The famous Wineglass Bay Lookout
- Hazards Beach which its stunning colours
- Mount Graham’s peak with its amazing views
- Bryan’s Beach
- White Water Wall, where you can get in some rock climbing if you don’t mind heights
- Bluestone Bay
Insider Tip: If you enjoy fishing, make sure you drop a line in Schouten Passage to bring in your own dinner.
Best time of year to walk this track: December to April
Difficulty: This is a grade 3 walk
Track length: Between 24 and 37km, depending on which tracks you take and how far you want to walk.
We stayed in Coles Bay for a few days and did several parts of this walk but have yet to complete it as a four-day experience. The is one of Tasmania’s most beautiful areas so more time here is most certainly on our bucket list.
The Maria Island Walk
Of all the walks in Tasmania, The Maria Island Walk is something special. Often called the Noah’s Ark of Tasmania, this hike offers you the chance to see some of the rarest and most delicate animals in Australia. But even if you don’t want to see Tasmanian devils or wombats, this walk still has a lot to offer.
Along the four-day walk, you’ll get to see tiny slices of Australia’s history and its present, all clustered together. One day you’ll be walking along the impossibly remote coastline and the next you’ll be sleeping in a former convict station.
The Maria Island Walk isn’t the easiest of all the hikes in Tasmania as there are some steeper areas, but it’s well worth the exertion.
Some of the highlights along the way are:
- Getting the chance to see the endangered Tasmanian devil in its natural habitat
- Sleeping in a convict station that pre-dates Port Arthur, along with all the history it contains
- Learning about the history of the area from the friendly guides
- The pinnacle of Bishop and Clerk on day three
- The chance to eat fresh, delicious food along the way to the sound of the Australian bush at dusk
Insider Tip: Avoid the summer; it gets very crowded, and only a few people can enjoy the summit views of Bishop and Clerk.
Best time of year to walk this track: December to April, when the track is drier, and the cold hasn’t set in.
Difficulty: Grade 4
Track length: 25km – 43km, depending on which track you take.
The Tarkine Rainforest Walk
The Tarkine Rainforest walk is a little different. Instead of one long walk, most experiences have you staying at a base camp and heading out into the surrounding forest in different directions during the day. These experiences tend to be around four days long and allow you to enjoy the dense forest without having to carry your belongings on your back.
This makes it one of the top great walks in Tasmania if you aren’t really the wilderness type but still want to see this incredible forest.
The Tarkine Rainforest Walk takes you through the largest tract of temperate rainforest in the Southern Hemisphere. The forest is more than 65 million years old. Those long years have filled it with a richness and biodiversity that you don’t see every day.
Walking through the ancient forest with its towering canopy is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience that shouldn’t be missed.
The highlights of this walk are:
- The stunningly beautiful forest!
- Learning about the wildlife that lives in the area.
- Explore secret, forest-bound rivers.
- Eat local delicacies in a forest location
Best time of year to walk this track: April to October
Track length: four days and as much walking as you want to do
Three Capes Lodge Walk
The Three Capes Lodge Walk is one of the most famous hikes in Tasmania. It’s located about one and a half hours southeast of Hobart and is a good choice if you’re new to multi-day hikes.
The track meanders along raw, sea-swept coasts filled with drama and mystery. If I had to pick just one walk on this page this one is it for me!
Despite the area’s remote nature, this is a family-friendly hike that can be adapted to suit all but the smallest member of your family.
Bookings are essential on this track as only 48 people can leave each day. This is essential as the cabins along the way only accommodate this number of people. The communal nature of the lodgings compared with the isolation of the track make this an ideal mix of the social and the solitary, which is one of the track’s biggest appeals.
Here’s what you’ll enjoy along this track:
- Unique geology including the Totem Pole – a sea stack popular among rock climbers
- Rugged coastlines that echo with a sense of timelessness
- A brutal, unforgiving type of beauty with Dolerite rock formations and violent surf
- Eucalyptus woodland, which looks its best in spring when everything is blooming
- Make sure you head out at night for a chance to see the Aurora Australis.
Insider Tip: This is one of the best hikes in Tasmania in the shoulder season because of its proximity to Hobart and all the services offered at the end of the trail.
Best time of year to walk this track: You can head out on this track year-round, but it’s probably best in spring or autumn, so you avoid the colder months.
Track length: 48km
One day guided walking tours
Want to test your legs? Short of time and can’t commit to a longer hike. These three one day guided hiking tours are an excellent way to get a taste of Tasmania’s great outdoors.
The best way to experience the local scenery and outdoors in Tasmania is on your own two feet. So, the next time you visit the island, lace up your comfortable hiking shoes and head out to experience some of the best walks in Tasmania.