rss

More Inspiration

Why water levels matter when rafting the Franklin

Rafting the Franklin River is rightly one of the top five rafting experiences in the world, but riding its rapids means you'll need to put in the hard work. Fellow adventurer, Roger Davis, shares what to expect and why it was everything he had hoped it would be. 

The common question if you've just spent 10 days on the Franklin rafting is: 'what was it like?'

In hindsight, it was an exhilarating adventure with just the right balance between a unique wilderness and outdoor camping experience and an adrenaline-rushing rafting journey that's to be expected from one of the top five rafting experiences in the world. It didn't disappoint.

What we didn't appreciate was that the experience very much depends on water level and flow which ultimately are derivatives of the weather. 

Good weather and the water level tends to be lower than ideal with more portaging and mind-boggling hauling of boats and gear across boulders the size of houses. Bad weather and the water height tend to be higher and closer to that necessary for that ideal adrenaline rushing experience. 

As they say, it's a matter of balance but with too much water and you can be marooned for days and too little water, well, the journey becomes an exhausting experience. 

Our weather was perfect with little or no rain, a unique first for southwest Tasmania which meant that we perhaps did a little bit more hauling heaving and portaging than otherwise would be necessary. 

But the trade-off was clear skies, good swimming in the water, and you can drink straight from the river all day, every day. Plus there are the benefits that come from seeing no one, hearing no one and leaving no footprints. 

Only about 800 people do the Franklin each year now and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say there's not a scrap of paper, bottle or can to show that civilization has entered the Franklin valley. 

It's pristine, beautiful even magical with the long fingers of morning mist reaching out across the river in the early morning. 

Undisturbed like the silent hand of some ghostly apparition reaching out across the valley, it's a mysterious yet beautiful spectre than only amplifies what becomes the perfect isolation experience.

But you have to work or should I say paddle to enjoy it with the ever-present commands of "left side", "right side", "back pedal", "forward pedal", "hard" always ringing in your ears as the guides pushed, pulled and paddled us down the river.

We saw no one, had no mobile coverage, and observed no wildlife except one platypus and one quoll in 120 kilometres of rafting. 

But we felt entirely safe on the water and under the stars and dined like kings with the amount of food the guides sport, limited only by the space on the boat. It was a pleasant change from the South Coast Track where weight was the big obstacle and so there were no pan-fried scallops, fillet steaks, chicken Kyiv and other luxuries that were ever-present on the Franklin.

So if you want to total isolation, an outdoor adventure, that little extra dash of adrenaline to make you feel younger, to enjoy the company of like-minded friends in some stunning country and aren't afraid of some hard work, then the Franklin is for you and this company is the perfect hosts for the experience.

Words by past rafter, Roger Davis, who travelled on our Franklin River expedition in 2022.

Traveller review: What to expect when rafting the Franklin River

Reflections on the Franklin are many and varied, and it didn't disappoint.

The rafting was more than a chance to revisit a cause long forgotten in the annals of time, it was an experience for the ages, a true wilderness adventure superbly, and energetically guided, managed, organized and supported.  

Adrenaline rushing rapids, solitude and untold beauty among the majesty of Frenchmans Cap and its surrounding ranges left an indelible imprint. 

We dined like kings, paddled like dervishes, climbed like monkeys as we hauled the boats and our gear over boulders the size of houses, and we soothed our bruised bodies each evening in the sparkling chilled waters of the river. 

Challenged? Yes. Safe? Always. Tired? Certainly, although we didn't push the trip as some brave souls do for reasons that allude me. Why rush to get out of Paradise and an adventure for the ages? Savour the moment. 

We were totally alone with only the sounds of the rhythmic beat of our paddles as they cut through the rushing waters and the bark of the guides with their incessant “left side", "right side", "hard", "forward", "fall back” to break the silence. 

There was no lifeline to civilisation here, just us. All alone there was no mobile coverage, no other paddlers, and no sign of wildlife except for the odd trout, one brave platypus and a lonely quoll over 120 km.  

There was nothing but extreme natural beauty, stillness and solitude to embrace each morning as the long fingers of mountain mist crept up the valley and the paddlers emerged from yet another blissful night under the stars. 

Magic. A trip for the ages. 5 stars!

Words by Roger Davis, who paddled the rapids of the famous Franklin River in March 2022 and has set his sights on his next adventure in Tasmania: the Walls of Jerusalem in winter.

Flinders Island Travel Guide: FAQs & Top Walks

Located off the northeast coast of mainland Tasmania, Flinders Island's remoteness makes it one of its greatest natural attractions. Combine that with its diverse scenery, rich Indigenous Australian history, fresh seafood delights and spectacular coastlines, it's a walker’s paradise!

Flinders Island is home to three of Tasmania’s listed '60 Great Short Walks', where its eclectic mix of hiking trails are both challenging and relaxed, with the chance to enjoy refreshing swims at its many stunning and isolated beaches.

We answer some frequently asked questions when it comes to visiting Flinders Island, from local attractions and wildlife to the island’s top walks.

What you need to know when visiting Flinders Island

How do you get to Flinders Island?

There are regular flights from Launceston, Tasmania and Essendon, Victoria. You can also catch a ferry from Bridport in Tasmania and Port Welshpool in Victoria.

Flying over the Franklin Sound on the way to Flinders Island |  <i>Matt Presland</i>

Is Flinders Island worth visiting?

Short answer: Yes!

It may be tiny at only 1,333 square kilometres, but Flinders Island offers the ultimate active escape that takes in breathtaking coastlines, solitary beaches, incredible limestone formations, granite cliffs, and boulders that seem to defy gravity. Not to mention the array of short walks and hikes available. There are more than 65 shipwrecks and over 120 pristine beaches on Flinders Island alone.

It’ll feel like you’re walking back in time with much of the region largely untouched from when it was first explored by Matthew Flinders over 200 years ago. If you’re after an active adventure holiday, there is great diversity in the scenery and its terrain for exciting daily walks.

Scroll below for a list of the island's best walks and things to see and do on the island.

Does anyone live on Flinders Island?

Yes, Flinders Island is inhabited by a little over a thousand people. According to the Flinders Island Council Community Profile, in 2021 the estimated residential population was 1021.

Where can I stay on Flinders Island?

There are a variety of unique accommodations on the island. One scenic and boutique place to stay is Mountain Seas Lodge, located on Trousers Point Rd at the foot of Mt Strzelecki where the beach is at your doorstep and you can savour delicious, chef-prepared dinners each night. You can stay here on our Flinders Island Walking Adventure in Comfort trip.

There is also the option to camp on Flinders Island, where our Eco-Comfort Camps provide a perfect getaway with added creature comforts when out in the bushland.

Can you camp on Flinders Island?

Yes. There are a number of public campsites on Flinders Island including All Ports, Killiecrankie, North East River, Trouser Point and Yellow Beach camping grounds. However, these sites are not powered with limited water supplies and no showers available.

If you prefer a more private and secluded camping experience with plenty of inclusions – from freshly cooked meals to camping gear and setup covered, our exclusive Eco-Comfort Camp on Flinders Island provides nature at your doorstep in a comfortable and spacious setting by the coast. Read more about our private camps on Flinders Island.

The beauty of camping on Flinders Island allows you to sleep under the stars in a serene environment where there is little light pollution, so it’ll be a spectacular stargazing experience.

Our Flinders Island private camps are set in a beautiful, natural setting

Is there reception or Wi-Fi on the island?

Flinders Wharf has a communal workspace with Wi-Fi availability, but note that only Telstra services work on the island. The island’s isolation is what gives it great appeal though, so why not embrace the limited reception?

When is the best time to visit Flinders Island?

Late spring (October and November) and summer (December to February) are great times to explore Flinders Island due to its warmer temperatures, which makes a refreshing swim after a day’s walk more enticing. This is generally the more popular time to visit the island.

The autumn season (March to May) offers quieter trails, incredible night skies filled with stars, and generally cheaper flights over the shoulder season; plus there’s the chance to see migratory birds in April.

How do you get around Flinders Island?

Unfortunately, there is no public transport available on the island, so hiring a vehicle beforehand is recommended. You can ferry your own car with the Bass Strait Freight as well. However, the opportunity to explore the island on foot should not be missed with many highly rated walking trails available.

If you join an organised tour group, such as with Tasmanian Expeditions, this will cover your transport services on the island as well as a number of other high-quality inclusions at great value.

Things to see & do on Flinders Island

What are the best walks to do on Flinders Island?

With jagged peaks that rise up as if forming ‘mountains in the sea’, Flinders Island is the gem in the crown when it comes to island walking in Tasmania. 

Spectacular coastal walking on Flinders Island |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>

Some of the notable top Flinders Island walks and hidden gems to do include:

Summit walk to Mt Strzelecki: It is the highest point on the island at 756m giving you spectacular 360-degree views of Flinders Island in its entirety on a clear day, but you’ll have to work hard during the challenging 700m climb. As one of Tasmania’s Great Short Walks, you’ll hike through blue gums and endemic unique alpine vegetation before entering an enchanting, evergreen cloud forest. A swim at Fotheringate Bay afterwards is highly recommended.

Castle Rock Walk: This wonderful walk will see you trekking along the coast to one of Flinders Island's most famous landmarks. There's a myriad of photo opportunities that present themselves on the way to this impressive three-storey high granite boulder standing sentinel on the magnificent coastline.

Summit walk to Mt Killiecrankie: The moderately challenging climb up this dramatic granite peak rewards you with spectacular views across the beautiful bay and surrounding coast. It is one of the island's more prominent peaks. Descending the mountain via the Diamond Gully Trail toward Stacky's Bight with its intriguing rock formations and breathtaking views across the extensive bay. There are scenic lunch spots along the way with a chance to enjoy a well-deserved swim in the crystal clear waters or to just enjoy the serenity.

Climbing Killiecrankie Bluff |  <i>Greg Dempster</i>

The Docks: There is a combination of coastal paths and extensive rock-hopping that will steer you toward this secret gem on Flinders Island. Picture spectacular coastal scenery with lichen-encrusted granite outcrops in every direction and magnificent mountain cliffs reaching right down to sea level.

Trousers Point Headland: One of Tasmania's Great Short Walks, this popular and more gentle walk affords wonderful views from Trousers Point beach up to Mt Strzelecki and the chance to wade through the tranquil waters. We recommend doing a morning's walk to Holts Point and then joining onto Trousers Point.

Haulands Gap Track: Enter inland to Walkers Lookout, which provides panoramic views of the Darling Range before departing on the track. You’ll walk through peppermint-scented eucalyptus forests with views of both the east and west coast. Keep an eye out for the green rosella parrot, native to the Bass Strait Islands.

North East Beach to Palana Sand Dunes: A peaceful area to explore along the coastline, on this day walk you'll enjoy views out to the Sister Islands with rock pools and knobby granite outcrops along the way. Don’t forget to bring your swimmers and keep an eye out for sea eagles and dolphins.

North East River on Flinders Island |  <i>Stu Gibson</i>

Lady Barron Foreshore Track: The track features coastal vegetation, lichen-covered granite, and takes in the golden sands of Yellow Beach. The walk up Vinegar Hill lookout rewards with views across the Furneaux Islands to Cape Barren Island.

You can experience these top walks on our active adventures to Flinders Island.

What sort of wildlife is found on Flinders Island?

Did you know that each year there are thousands of migratory birds that stop at Flinders Island's eastern lagoons and inlets on their voyage up to the Arctic Circle? This makes the island’s prolific birdlife incredible with the chance to see giant Wandering Albatross, Pacific Gulls, Raptors, wedgetails, sea eagles, the rare Cape Barren Geese, and the endangered 40-Spotted Pardalote.

You’ll look to the skies with are over 200 species visiting, breeding or living on the Flinders shores, making it a birdwatchers haven. Between January and April, you can also catch thousands of Shearwaters (Mutton birds) fly in at dusk at the Settlement Point viewing platform at Port Davies.

There is the chance to see the common wombat and Potoroo wallabies with its dense coastal scrub providing shelter for these marsupials. Other native wildlife to keep an eye out for include Bennetts, Pademelon, possums and echidnas.

When it comes to wildflowers, you’ll spot a number on Flinders walking tracks, with the shy bush and rock orchids among some of the favourites to see.

What are some top local attractions on the island?

Furneaux Museum – learn about the history, settlement and shipwrecks.

Wybalenna – the historic and infamous site of the disastrous Indigenous resettlement scheme where there is the remaining graveyard and chapel.

Visit the historical Wybalenna Chapel which dates back to 1833 |  <i>Dietmar Kahles</i>

Patriarch Wildlife Sanctuary – the volunteer conservation venture gives you the chance to get up close to some of the island's native animals, including wombats, wallabies and Cape Barren Geese. You can watch wallabies by the dozen as they come out to feed; they roam free but are tame enough to eat right out of your palm.

The Flinders Wharf restaurant – enjoy an 'island-style' meal, Tasmanian beer and local hospitality at this Whitemark establishment. It’s a wonderful chance to meet some of Flinders' friendly characters as well as sample the island’s local produce.

Experience these highlights and top attractions on our Flinders Island walking adventures.

Have a question about Flinders Island you want answered? Leave a comment below.

Last updated 6 April 2022.


What to expect when camping with us on Flinders Island

Enjoy extra creature comforts on our Flinders Island Walking Adventure, staying at our new Eco-Comfort Camp that'll be tucked among a natural coastal setting beside a gorgeous beach.

From October 2022, travellers can relish in more homely frills and stylish upgrades at our semi-permanent, eco-friendly campsite.

Exclusively situated on Flinders Island, the private setup will feature upgraded stand-in safari-style tents, kitchen and bathroom facilities and a new dining and communal platform.

Stay tuned for further details, but for now, here's a sneak peek at what to expect when walking with us on Flinders Island in Tasmania.

Our exclusive Eco-Comfort Camp on Flinders Island provides nature at your doorstep

A glampworthy experience

The new 'glampworthy' dining and communal platform provide a panoramic spot to enjoy a hot drink, relax after exploring the walking trails, chat about the day's events and indulge in a hearty evening meal with other like-minded walkers.

Enjoy creature comforts when camping with us on Flinders Island in Tasmania

Just like all our guided active holidays, you'll enjoy full-service camping value – delicious, hearty meals cooked fresh and high-quality camping gear included, so you have less to pack or buy.

During your stay, our guides cook up a storm where you can dine on some beautifully barbequed meats and vegetables, salmon fillet with lemon and garlic or chicken marinated with lemon thyme. With produce sourced locally as much as possible, the meals are sure to be a highlight on our Flinders Island trips.

Dine on delicious, freshly prepared meals

All set in an idyllic seaside setting, travellers can enjoy our spacious new semi-permanent communal campsite with raised platform flooring.

Camp under the stars in comfort

Forget your standard pitch-your-own camp and delight in private camping with 2-person safari-style tents accommodated with stretcher beds and sleeping mats.

Our comfortable, new tents are elevated on platforms, are large enough to stand in and have an entrance deck to allow you to keep the interior nice and clean.

There is even somewhere to sit and enjoy the peace with the campsite set to be a stone's throw away from the beach.

We can't wait to share more news about our campsite upgrades, but you'll want to book in early to experience our exclusive Eco-Comfort Camp on our Flinders Island Walking Adventure before places fill up.

Last updated 7 April 2022.


5 must-do experiences on Flinders Island
Combined with its natural beauty, peaceful location, exotic wildlife and fresh seafood delights, Flinders Island is a wonderful walking destination for such a tiny island.

The Tasmanian island's history is almost as raw and rugged as its weathered coast, and its isolation and remoteness enhance its uniqueness and charm.

Here are five top experiences for those who choose to explore the island on foot.

Walk one of the three Great Short Walks of Tasmania

Home to three of Tasmania's listed 60 Great Short Walks, Flinders Island packs a punch when it comes to coastal and island walking.

From conquering Mt Strzelecki, Flinders Island’s highest peak that offers some of the most awe-inspiring views on the island, to trekking along the rolling green pastures with sparkling coastal vistas; walking Flinders Island gives you a chance to experience the highlights of the island at a relaxed pace.

You have more time to stop and take photos, marvel at the views and enjoy the island in all its facets than a bus tour ever could.

Although a small island of only 1,333 square kilometres, Flinders Island hosts an amazing array of ecosystems from dunes and lagoons to woodland and mountainous granite ridges which produce spectacular and unique species of flora and fauna. 

Walking on Flinders Island |  <i>Graham Freeman</i>

Learn about Indigenous Australian history

Flinders Island has a rich history that dates back more than 35,000 years. The original inhabitants of the island survived on its ample natural resources until about 4,500 years ago when an acute El Nino climate shift affected their ability to source food and fresh water and the population died out.

It stretches from the first European discovery of the island in 1773 by Tobias Furneaux to the first settlement sites of Tasman Aborigines, exiled to the island in 1833, to the present day.

The graveyard near Wybalenna Chapel contains unmarked Aboriginal graves. Around 300 Aboriginals were ‘delivered’ there during its time as a mission. |  <i>Dietmar Kahles</i>

A visit to the fascinating Flinders Island Museum and the historic Wybalenna is an important and historically significant place to learn about.

The site of Wybalenna ‘Aboriginal Settlement’ echoes a sad history of the indigenous resettlement scheme back in 1834 where Tasmanian Aborigines were transported after the mission to round up and remove Aboriginal people from mainland Tasmania.

With a knowledgeable guide at hand, you are given the chance to learn more about what happened there.

See unique and abundant wildlife on a walk

Bird watchers, rejoice! Flinders Island is home to an abundant and diverse range of birds. From albatross to mutton-birds, pacific gulls, wedge-tailed eagles, sea eagles and Cape Barren Geese, there’s no shortage of winged wildlife circling overhead.

Keep an eagle eye out for the endangered forty-spotted pardolate (one of the smallest birds in Australia). Plus, more than 200,000 Tasmanian pademelons and red-necked wallabies roam the island.

You may even be lucky enough to spot a long-nosed potoroo (part of the rat-kangaroo family). If you have time, visit the volunteer conservation venture, Patriarch Wildlife Sanctuary, and enjoy the chance to get up close to some of the island’s native animals. 

 

Savour delicious local food and wine

Flinders Island is well known for its fresh seafood and famous meat – and there are few better places to experience the culinary delights than Lady Barron, a small seaside township that is the base for many fishing charters.

Dine on fish, crayfish, some of the world’s finest organic beef and lamb, as well as locally produced honey, fruit and vegetables... the list goes on!

Enjoy an 'island style' meal with the locals at The Wharf restaurant or head to Furneaux Tavern for a cold Tasmanian beer. You'll meet some of the colourful characters of the island and hear their yarns about island life.

Camp under the stars

Take your Flinders Island visit to the next level and immerse yourself in nature by sleeping under the stars. Falling asleep to the sounds of nature does wonders for the soul, not to mention the forced digital detox that allows you to reclaim your spare time!

Instead of finishing your evenings in a hotel and watching television, spending your nights camping comfortably under the stars gives you a chance to ponder, chat with other travellers, read that book you've been telling yourself to make time for or simply recount the day's experiences in your mind.

Experience it

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, jump on our island walking adventures to Flinders and experience a week of rugged ranges, sparkling beaches, clear sapphire waters, abundant wildlife and fresh, locally produced meals. View trips >

Why you should consider visiting Tasmania in the shoulder seasons

The peak, active adventure seasons in Tasmania are the blissful months between November and March when the weather is warmer, the skies are generally clear, and the conditions are at their best for trekking, cycling and rafting.

However, this also makes it the most popular time to visit Tasmania, meaning areas such as the iconic Overland Track are busy with avid trekkers eager to explore Tasmania’s rich wilderness areas and take advantage of the conditions of the trail, weather and visibility.

But we'll let you in on a little secret, the shoulder months in spring and autumn, particularly during the months of April and October, offer equally impressive experiences, with plenty to see and do, and a much quieter trail. In fact, you might be surprised by all the benefits of embarking on an active adventure in Tasmania in the shoulder seasons, and even the winter months.

Enjoy fewer crowds

Wherever you go in the world, a major benefit of travelling in the shoulder seasons or off seasons is fewer tourists, and the same applies to Tasmania. Popular trekking trails are quieter, giving you more solitude on the trail, uninterrupted views and a generally more peaceful experience at your campsite. 

This is especially true on the Overland Track where during the peak season when the magic of summiting Cradle Mountain to take in the expansive views over the Cradle Mountain National Park can be somewhat tarnished by all the other tourists clambering to do the same.

Travellers embarking on cycling trips down the east coast will find fewer cars on the road, making it feel like the long, sweeping and curving coastal roads have been reserved just for your cycle group.

Our picks for April and October: Experience the South Coast Track in April or book outside high season dates for the Flinders Island Walking Adventure and Cycle, Kayak Walk Tasmania when it is relatively solitude, and take advantage of expansive views with other travellers few and far between.

Spectacular coastal walking on Flinders Island |  <i>Andrew Bain</i> Taking a break on the rugged coastline of the South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i> Exploring the South Coast Track
 

See unique flora and fauna

While summer travellers have the advantage of experiencing Tasmania in ideal weather conditions, travellers in autumn, winter and spring get to see a side of Tasmania few others than the locals do.

Tasmania's shoulder and off season highlights include:

  • Colourful fungus and turning of the trees in autumn that transforms green rainforests into bursts of bright reds, oranges and yellows.
  • The soft touch of snow during winter turns wilderness areas into winter wonderlands. There's something truly sublime about walking into a tranquil environment blanketed by snow and frozen lakes.
  • Blossoming wildflowers in spring can emit a floral scent that carries with the wind. 
  • Incredible photo opportunities as you witness the changing colours of Tasmania's unique flora.
     

Head to Tasmania during autumn to see the fagus, Australia's only cold climate winter-deciduous tree |  <i>Jason Charles Hill</i>

These seasonal nuances are so special in their own right and not to be overlooked – and are one of the main highlights of travelling Tasmania in the shoulder seasons.

Our picks for March to May: Join the Overland Track and Walls of Jerusalem departures over autumn and enjoy stunning shows of colour as the fagus beech trees erupt in vibrant hues of reds, yellows and oranges.

Snowshoeing experience in winter

If you thought Tassie was wild, wait 'til you experience it in winter. In the months leading up to and during winter, the remote trails of Tasmania turn into areas of sublime beauty, adorned with frozen lakes, winter grasses and snow-covered trails.

Between June and August – and sometimes into early September, many of Tasmania’s peaks are blanketed in snow, and the all-white landscape creates a picture-perfect winterland that few people explore.

Hikers on the Overland Track during winter

And if you've never snowshoed, it's the perfect opportunity. Our experienced guides will help bring the track to life and teach first-time snowshoers the finer points of this popular style of alpine travel.

With the trail (almost) all to yourself, you’ll have unique photographic opportunities that few trekkers are able to experience.

A dusting of snow at Cradle Mountain National Park Snowshoeing amongst the Pencil Pines, Walls of Jerusalem |  <i>Aran Price</i> Trappers Hut covered in snow, Overland Track Tasmania |  <i>Nick Scharm</i>
 

Crisp, clear days in July and August bring the majestic snowy landscapes to life, a beautiful sight that stays with you long after you return home. Best of all, with fewer people on the track, the trail is much quieter and the environment more serene.

Our picks for June to August: Embark on the 7-day Overland Track Winter Trek or 4-day Walls of Jerusalem Winter Experience. While it is equally rewarding to explore these tracks over the autumn and summer periods, a winter exploration along these top Tasmanian trails is a must-do experience.

Better bargains

If you want to stretch your budget and make every dollar count, travelling Tasmania in the shoulder seasons can get you much more bang for your buck, especially when it comes to flights and pre and post-accommodation.

General peak season travel occurs around October and finishes early April, so it’s worth considering that during these months you’ll be paying higher prices than you would from May to September when there are some great deals running.

Enjoy fewer crowds and better bargains in Tasmania when travelling during the off-season

Additionally, some trips have high season surcharges due to the high demand for spaces on their trips during peak periods, so do consider visiting outside of high season periods to save money on these select trips.

Our shoulder season trip picks: Book departures between April and December and avoid paying high season surcharges on the Cradle Huts Overland Track, Bay of Fires Lodge Walk and Freycinet Experience Walk.

Places to go in the Tasmanian off season

The Tasmanian peak summer season is soon coming to an end, but that doesn't mean your travel plans have to!

While any time of the year in Tasmania will offer a wilderness experience you won't forget, there are plenty of adventures to be had during its off season. 

When is Tasmania's off season?

The off season is generally during the wintertime, between June to early September, when Tasmania's highlands transform into a snow-frosted alpine wonderland topped with crisp air and incredible starry nights for superb winter walking and snowshoeing.

While it's much colder during this time, it also means prices are generally cheaper when travelling during this season. You can also view our top picks for the Tasmania shoulder season in this blog.

See below some of the top places to head to in the Tasmanian off season.

Things to do in Tasmania during winter

Off season on the Overland Track

A winter wonderland on the Overland Track |  <i>Shelby Pinkerton</i>

While most people aim to trek the Overland Track during the summer months, there is something truly special about completing the Overland Track Winter Trek, when the landscape is transformed into a tranquil environment blanketed by snow.

With fewer hikers on the track, this means uninterrupted views of the spectacular Cradle Mountain National Park.

Hikers on the Overland Track during winter Winter on the Overland Track |  <i>Aran Price</i> Walk through a forest of snow and trees along Tasmania's Overland Track during winter |  <i>Andrew Bain</i> Walking in Cradle Mountain |  <i>Aran Price</i> Trappers Hut covered in snow, Overland Track Tasmania |  <i>Nick Scharm</i> Trekker pauses to admire the diverse scenery along the trail |  <i>Great Walks of Australia</i> 20210913_112748 20210913_120244 |  <i>Shelby Pinkerton</i>
 

Many of the park’s lakes freeze over during winter, creating unique photographic opportunities that not many travellers are able to experience. 

Departures: June to September. Find out more

Off season on the Walls Of Jerusalem

Snowshoeing amongst the Pencil Pines, Walls of Jerusalem |  <i>Aran Price</i> Winter Trekking in the Walls of Jerusalem becomes a very alpine experience |  <i>Chris Buykx</i> The Walls of Jerusalem are a fantastic winter expedition |  <i>Aran Price</i>

There’s something special about trekking around the Walls of Jerusalem during winter. Maybe it’s the fact that you have the grandeur of this alpine destination pretty much all to yourself; or that the only tracks you see on the walk are the fresh tracks you make in the snow each day, or that the frozen lakes turn into a shimmering scattering of silver coins from the many summits along the way.

Whatever the case, the Walls of Jerusalem is an exceptional destination to explore during the Tasmanian off season winter months. 

Departures: June to September. Find out more

Active winter escape on Maria Island

If you prefer a bit more sunshine, Tasmania's east coast island, Maria Island, makes a great escape.

During the winter season, Maria Island is at its most tranquil so it'll feel as if you have the whole island to yourself when exploring it on foot. This also means the island's rare wildlife is even more accessible.

 

The winter climate on the island is cool, with an average daytime temperature of 13°C and nighttime can be 0-7°C. You can expect frosty mornings, cool winds and occasional rain but of course, the weather can be unpredictable and so we recommend walkers pack for all conditions.

Find out more

An adventurer's guide to New Year's: 7 unique places in Tasmania

Ah, New Year's Eve. That one evening that can often set the tone for the year ahead with promises to exercise more, eat better, trek often and have adventures.

And while you might have big aspirations for the night, if you’re not careful you could end up welcoming the new year with a vague sense of déjà vu – same old parties, same old fireworks display in your same old hometown. Why not welcome the new year somewhere inspiring and kick it off with an adventurous foot forward? 

These multi-day trips will promise one of the most fulfilling and memorable starts to the year that any party could ever give you. But you better secure your place early as the holiday season books out fast.

If you do miss out on trips running over New Year's Eve, you can still find plenty of summer departures in December, January and February.

New Year's trip ideas for adventurous travellers

Walls Of Jerusalem Circuit


Experience spectacular mountains, pristine wilderness and unique flora and fauna on this stunning walk. During this six-day full-pack expedition, you'll bushwalk through Tasmania’s only true alpine National Park, the Walls of Jerusalem. The first three days are spent exploring the more remote parts of the national park.

Alpine herb fields and highland lake country abound as you visit Lake Adelaide, Lake Meston and Junction Lake – to name a few. In the southern confines of the national park, you'll also have the opportunity to summit Mt Ragoona and Cathedral Mountain. View dates and trip details.

Tarkine/Takayna Rainforest Walk and River Cruise

Rainforest River, The Tarkine |  <i>Peter Walton</i>


Feel as if you have the ancient forest to yourself with private access to sections of the Tarkine. The rainforest's natural history dates back 100 million years and provides a sanctuary for at least 60 rare or endangered species, with coastal plains that provide important feeding grounds for the world's rarest and fastest parrots: the orange bellied and swift parrots.

You'll also enjoy a cruise to the mouth of the Pieman River, bordered by a dense forest filled with myrtles, sassafras, celery-top pine, laurels, blackwoods and giant tree ferns.

Explore this incredible wilderness area guided or as a shorter self-guided experience. View dates and trip details.

Flinders Island Walking

Spectacular coastal walking on Flinders Island |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>


With a mesmerising mix of spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and aboriginal and European history, Flinders Island is the gem in the crown of island walking in Tasmania. Over this diverse and rewarding itinerary, you will experience six days walking the rugged peaks and sweeping coastlines, taking the time to swim in the crystal clear waters and photograph the endless picture-perfect vistas.

You have the opportunity to summit the dramatic granite peaks of both Mt Killiecrankie and Mt Strzelecki, the second of which is the highest point on the island at 756m giving you spectacular 360-degree views of Flinders Island in its entirety. View dates and trip details.

South Coast Track


The south coast of Tasmania is, quite simply, awesome! Look south and feel the tingle of Antarctic air. This remote, rugged track follows Aboriginal trade and migration routes which were more recently utilised by shipwrecked European seafarers who found themselves washed ashore by the wild southern seas.

The track leads eastward along wild beaches, across streams and rivers frequently swollen with torrential rain. You'll climb several mountain ranges well above sea level into alpine conditions – at times, complete with snow! This is a challenging trek with some long days, big packs, and trying conditions. For our guides, they consider it one the hardest trips but, for the few that lead it, it's also their favourite.

The South Coast Track is a stunning place and those that venture there come away inspired, invigorated and re-energised. View dates and trip details.

Overland Track

Barn Bluff, one of the highlights when hiking the Overland Track |  <i>Emilie Ristevski</i>


The Overland Track is Australia’s premier extended bushwalk. The Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is renowned for its beauty, featuring abundant wildlife, rare and unusual vegetation and dramatic scenery. Starting at Dove Lake, situated beneath Cradle Mountain, we head south for the wilderness adventure of a lifetime.


The itinerary follows a moderately graded trail for 70kms, finishing our journey with a ferry crossing of Lake St Clair. Averaging just over 10km per day to walk the track, this allows you to best appreciate highlights and side trips along the way. View dates and trip details.

Cycle, Kayak and Walk Tasmania's East Coast


Selected as one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s '50 Tours of a Lifetime', this complete active adventure traverses all the must-see highlights of Tasmania’s spectacular East Coast. With a combination of vehicle supported cycling, kayaking and walking you will make the absolute most of this adventure playground.

Over six days you will cycle through the picturesque rural landscape, past vineyards and lush orchards, along the stunning coastline, and down deep forested valleys. Kayak the sparkling aquamarine waters of Freycinet National Park and walk to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Wineglass Bay, and spend two days discovering Maria Islands’ rich history, world-class scenery and extremely friendly wildlife.

Each day you will make the most of the great outdoors, and each evening is spent celebrating and relaxing over a delicious 3-course meal showcasing the finest of Tasmania’s famous produce. View dates and trip details.

Franklin River Rafting

Rafts and reflections on Tasmania's Franklin River |  <i>Glenn Walker</i>

The Franklin is one of the world's last great wild rivers and it forges through the rugged southwest of Tasmania, through deep gorges, quiet pools and magnificent temperate rainforest. This expedition provides a true wilderness adventure, an experience we pioneered back in 1978.

 

Regardless of the river level, you will be in good hands as our professional guides have an exceptional safety record.

Any descent of the Franklin is demanding and while previous rafting experience is not required, some wilderness knowledge, along with a sound level of fitness, is essential. View dates and trip details.

Things to do in Tasmania the second time around

Tasmania is one of those places where one trip just isn't enough. There are so many experiences to uncover on the Apple Isle and while we still have our list of favourites, why not mix your love of the outdoors with something fresh?

These alternate adventures offer a break away from the popular trails with fewer visitors and more wilderness. You can join us knowing our truly sustainable adventures will unlock local gems in the company of our fantastic guides.

Rediscover this beautiful Australian state and venture here instead...

If you delight in thrills and spills ↷ switch your boots for a paddle
 

Kayak along the Three Capes for a different perspective of this beautiful part of Tasmania

Raft the Franklin River, one of the last wild rivers in the world sustainably, and see why it was voted the ‘Best white-water rafting journey on earth’. If you prefer a more comfortable adventure on the shores, make a splash on a range of kayaking trips – from the Three Capes to Bruny Island – with opportunities to spot Australian fur seals, dolphins and fairy penguins, amongst other wildlife.

If you loved the Overland Track ↷ visit the Walls of Jerusalem
 

Pool of Siloam, Walls of Jerusalem National Park |  <i>Luke Tscharke</i>

Trek through a natural fortress of peaks and crags in the region dubbed as the 'Land of a Thousand Lakes' – venture the epic Walls of Jerusalem guided or self-guided (no permits required!).

If you want a new challenge ↷ bucket the South Coast Track
 

Expect river crossings when trekking Tasmania's South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i>

Traverse 85km of pristine, wild and ever-changing landscapes with an experienced team backing you across every muddy moor and steep ascent. Check out the epic itinerary.

Not for the fainthearted, expect creek and river crossings that could be waist-deep while carrying a full pack of up to 20 kilograms, which increases the difficulty. It is an extremely demanding trek but one of Australia's finest long-distance walks.

If you enjoyed coastal walks on Maria Island ↷ explore the Flinders Island
 

Flinders Island's spectacular coastline

With three of Tasmania's listed 60 Great Short Walks found on Flinders Island, it's island walking at its finest. Highlights include the opportunity to summit the dramatic granite peaks of Mt Killiecrankie and Mt Strzelecki, giving you spectacular 360-degree views, as well as an amazing array of ecosystems from dunes and lagoons to woodland and mountainous granite ridge.

If you can't get enough of Tassie's fresh produce ↷ take a foodie and walking tour on Bruny Island

 

 

Sample locally produced food and wine amidst Bruny Island's exceptional coastline and rainforest wilderness. Combined with many walking highlights, you'll meet a local oyster farmer who’ll shuck you an oyster as pristine waters swirl about your ankles before paying a visit to a neighbour’s farm to collect free-range pork that has been slow cooking in their smoker for you overnight.

If you enjoyed the alpine wonders of 'the Walls' ↷ head to the Tarkine's 'Wild West'
 

The Tarkine rainforest provides a sanctuary for at least 60 rare species

Explore a sanctuary for at least 60 rare or endangered species which brims with a natural history dating back 100 million years. Discover incredible river systems and dramatic coastlines as you venture off the trails in the Takayna region.

If you want more activity on your holiday ↷ traverse Tasmania's top East Coast highlights on foot, by bike and by kayak
 

Amazing views of Wineglass in Freycinet National Park |  <i>Toni Wythes</i>


When you can't decide whether to hike, bike or head for a paddle, why not do it all? Our Cycle, Kayak and Walk Tasmania trip offer plenty of time to enjoy various activities and take in the island state's spectacular surrounds.

How to take nature and wildlife photos like a pro

Improve your outdoor and nature photography skills and take better landscape photos with these hot tips. Professional photographer Andrew Thomasson shares advice to take great photos of sunrises and sunsets, how to use long exposure for night photography, using macro when capturing wildlife and more.

When is the best time of day to take a photograph?

Sunset and sunrise are the best times to take photographs because of the combination of colours – a vivid blue sky emerging from pastel hues of pink, orange, purple – all the colours of the rainbow.

There are a lot of differences between shooting at dawn and dusk. At sunrise, the air is definitely clearer in urban areas and there is usually less wind. Sunsets mean more lights are on in cities and there are more opportunities to take light trails.

Vibrant sunrise at Wineglass Bay |  <i>Daniel Tran</i>

Generally, the rule of thumb is to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon sunlight or twilight for exterior landscapes. Early morning light gives cool, blue tones with low contrast.

At sunset, this light is replaced by a much warmer golden light which is excellent for front-lit and side-lit buildings or strong silhouettes.

Aim to shoot landscapes with water vistas in the morning with sunlight when the water will be still and blue rather than choppy and grey in the afternoon, especially if there is a strong breeze.

How do you use long exposure to take a photo of the stars?

Way back when we used film, photographing the night sky involved lots of trial and error. Today, because the digital sensor’s response is linear, it’s much easier to get great star images.

If you like the look of long star trails, you might want to try what’s called image stacking, whereby you capture many consecutive short exposures of a star-filled nocturnal landscape and combine these exposures using stacking software. Use post-production to get it just right.

Rock Island Bend on the Franklin River |  <i>Pierre Feutry</i>

Consider bringing along a digital compass to log GPS data, as well as to determine your orientation in relation to the heavens. This can prove critical when shooting star trail images.

It’s important to remember that making long exposures at night is taxing on camera batteries.

A lot of people don’t realize that cold temperatures can cause batteries to deplete more quickly as well, so it’s a good idea to have extra batteries and chargers on hand to shoot.

Another tip is to disable the electronic controls on your camera such as Live View, the LCD screen or image stabilization as this will also help maximize battery life.

How do you deal with low lighting, such as walking through a rainforest?

A full frame sensor camera allows you to pump up your ISO to give you faster shutter speeds. (ISO is the measurement of the sensitivity of the image sensor.)

Another option is to use a fast lens such as a 50 mm f1.8 to achieve faster shutter speeds without having to resort to high ISOs.

The pristine rainforest of Tasmania's Tarkine |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

What is the best way to take a photo of wildlife?

The most dramatic wildlife photos usually include a very simple and non-distracting background. The goal is to highlight your subjects and make them stand out.

1. Generally, shoot in the morning or late afternoon.
2. Concentrate and try to anticipate your subject’s movements so you are prepared.
3. Shoot your viewpoint low and try to get close.
4. Remember to also shoot close-ups and macro.
 
Kangaroo, Tasmania |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

How do you take a close-up photo of flowers?

  • Use a tripod for low shots.
  • Cloudy days are best with soft filtered light or use a diffuser panel in sunlight.
  • Backlight gives a lovely effect with the petals made translucent.
  • Freshen up the wildflowers with a spray of water.
  • Use a macro lens or compact with macro.
  • Use Aperture Priority to manipulate the depth of field.
  • Push up the ISO to give faster shutter speeds to freeze the motion of the flowers on a windy day.
  • Shield a cluster of flowers with an improvised windshield such as an umbrella.
  • For close up ‘portrait’ macro shots, select a contrasting background such as a black shadow.
  • Select flowers that are in good shape that are not wilted or have been chewed by bugs or injured by frost.
  • Mix up the viewpoint. A low angle can put the wildflowers against a blue sky and a higher ‘birds’ eye’ viewpoint puts the wildflowers in the context of their location.
  • A landscape type shot including the wildflowers is best shot with a wide-angle lens and high aperture number to give a great depth of field. Use a tripod or any support.
  • Shoot in the soft early or later afternoon light. It’s best to shoot the flowers in the morning when they are fresher.
Vibrant lavender fields provide picture-perfect photographic opportunities |  <i>Tourism Tasmania & Bridestowe Estate</i>
 

If you could take only one lens with you what would it be?

An all-rounder such as a 24mm to 120mm, a 24mm to 105mm, or an 18mm to 135mm.

How do you keep your camera gear dry and dust-free?

I have Pelican waterproof hard cases for when I’m shooting professionally in locations where I need a waterproof, crushproof, dustproof (especially in the outback) container to protect my valuable camera gear.

What are your three essential pieces of gear, what are they and why? And do you use filters?

Essential in your kit is a polarising filter, a tripod with a ball/swivel head and a camera bag. The bag is to hold all your gear bits and pieces in a tidy and orderly fashion. It needs to have dividers for camera bodies and lenses and be able to accommodate all the paraphernalia such as external flashes, filters, cables and maybe a laptop.

Trek around Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain in the background |  <i>Tourism Tasmania & Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography</i>

How important is your smartphone to you when taking photos?

Extremely important. Smartphones take great 4K video and you can get unusual angles, different perspectives and aspects as the device is small and light. It has an LCD viewing screen allowing you to visualise and execute the shot without the constraint of looking through a viewfinder. It’s also great to capture action shots where you can track the object with your eyes then press the rapid-fire, slow-mo or video as the action comes into the screen.

I like to see people realise their potential and nurture their creativity and digital photography allows that. Smartphones make it possible for almost anyone to take photos well and experiment, build and learn new skills, and be creative with the equipment they have already.

The ability to share photos instantly via AirDrop on an iPhone is very helpful.  Similarly, the white balance capability and the panorama setting are fantastic on these devices too. And, best of all, there’s always a camera in your pocket.

Rustic Garden |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

Any other photography tips you’d like to share?

A great way to have fun, at the same time as extending your creativity, is to set yourself some cool photos projects using your smartphone. It will get you looking at things differently, here are some ideas:

  • Shoot a series of images that are the same colour.
  • Find an interesting family member, friend or pet and document ‘a day in the life’ of them.
  • Choose a time of day and take a shot at this time every day for a month.
  • Change your smartphone camera settings to monochrome and shoot only black and white.

Where is a Tasmanian destination you recommend taking nature and wildlife photos at?

Flinders Island is a beautiful remote island and makes a great location to enhance photography skills.

It is a great destination offering a wide variety of fantastic subjects and is unique to the world. Australia has some of the world’s weirdest and most unusual animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.

A spectacular sunset at Fotheringate Bay  |  <i>Dietmar Kahles</i>

The challenge is to capture something unique to the destination.

When shooting animals, for example, go in for a wider shot that captures the animal’s natural surroundings. I particularly like the Australian backlight, which is strong and rich and the way it can highlight an animal’s unique shape.

Try to shoot wildlife in inclement weather, of which Flinders Island has plenty. Shoot with water as a major eye-catching attraction in the shots.
 


 
About Andrew Thomasson

Andrew has travelled extensively on all seven continents and has led photography trips for the past 30 years. An acclaimed photographer, Andrew has broad and wide-ranging expertise across all types of photography, including digital, new technology and film. His lighthearted communication style has proven to be hugely popular in the photographic courses he offers through his business, Focus 10.

 

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips