Best hikes: Tasmania's hardest

The challenging climb of Frenchman's Cap provides rewarding views. | Sorrel Wilby
The challenging climb of Frenchman's Cap provides rewarding views. | Sorrel Wilby
Renowned for its fantastic and unique bushwalking opportunities, Tasmania is a mecca for people interested in exploring the wilderness on their own two feet. From mountainous peaks, ancient rainforests, white, sandy beaches and buttongrass plains, there’s no shortage of treks that explore Tasmania’s stunning imagery. However, if you like your treks a little more challenging, with a chance to get out of your comfort zone and really test yourself, we’ve narrowed down Tasmania’s best, most hardcore hikes. While they may not require an Olympian level of fitness, you will need to train for these treks – however the rewards of incomparable scenery and the satisfaction that comes from a great day on the trail are priceless! Are you up for the challenge? Check out the best of Tasmania’s hardcore hikes!

South Coast Track

The South Coast Track is undoubtedly one of last great wilderness treks in Australia, and is also known as one of Tassie’s toughest multi-day treks. Crossing the unspoiled wilderness of Tasmania’s southernmost shores, this challenging, 9 day trek covers 85 kilometers over a variety of Tasmanian landscapes – from empty beaches, towering rainforests, and alpine heights. You can expect to carry a full pack of up to 20 kg’s, walking 10-15 kms each day across remote walking tracks, sometimes across river crossings, muddy moors and steep ascents. The Pro’s, however, reward tenfold. The ever-changing landscape, pristine wilderness and abundance of wildlife make it all worthwhile – not to mention the feeling of elation and pride as you finish the trek!
I highly recommend doing the South Coast Track with Tasmanian Expeditions. The coastal and mountain scenery is great. The walk itself is so varied with plenty of challenges to break up the walking day eg mud, water crossings, beach and rock walking. The leaders- Paul, Will and Vincent, through their planning, hard work and care made the trip feel comfortable, relaxed and so much fun. Their passion for hiking and exploring the natural environment was infectious. I think the entire group would agree that the hike left its mark on us, in terms of amazing memories that we are revisiting often, new friendships, and a thirst for the next adventure.” - A. McCormick. Bulimba, QLD. Australia

Mount Anne Circuit

The classic Mount Anne Circuit is one of Tasmania’s greatest bushwalking challenges, with all of the ingredients that make up an epic wilderness trek. With deep forests, idyllic lakes, sub alpine crags and exposed scrambles, this iconic walks tackles terrain in areas that are subject to some of Tasmania’s most changeable weather. The five day itinerary includes a summit of the highest peak in Tasmania's remote south west, with exhilarating views across most of the southwest of Tasmania.  However, this is an extremely demanding unsupported bushwalk and it is important that trekkers have previous unsupported pack-carrying bushwalking experience.
“The Mount Anne Circuit is epic. The boulder scrambles and exposed sections are tough but rewarding, views are awesome, and the mountain and wilderness experience amazing in all its facets. Memories to last a lifetime. A big thank you to our supportive, capable guides Ash and George who made sure it was a safe and terrific experience.” J. Bassham. Coromandel Valley, SA. Aust.

Frenchman’s Cap Trek

Frenchman’s cap is one of the top walks in Australia, and is a 46km moderately challenging return journey that gives trekkers some of the best views across the entire World Heritage Wilderness area. With extraordinary side trips to high peaks, trek over varying terrain including buttongrass plains, mossy rainforests, trickling creeks and windy rock faces. You will be tested as you manage the unpredictable weather, mud, and climb the steep 450m to summit Frenchmans Cap, so this walk is recommended for experienced trekkers only. However, all will be worthwhile as you view the surrounding Mt. Ossa, the Arthur Range and Macquarie Harbour from the summit!
“My friend Peter and i recently completed your Frenchman's Cap Trek in the Franklin/Gordon wild rivers national park. It was a challenging but amazing experience getting to see first hand the many and varied aspects of the Tasmanian bush. We made the summit on a very clear day and was able to take in the wonderful views of the surrounding lakes and peaks for miles around. Our trip was topped off on the last night by Scott providing us with a bbq and cold beer (best ever).” T. Przibilla Brighton, SA.

Other Worthy Contenders

There's no denying that Federation Peak and the Western Arthurs deserve a spot on Tasmania's most challenging hikes list. These extreme undertakings are considered some of the toughest trips on the island - so much so that while guided trips can be operated in these locations, it's by special request only and an extreme vetting process is undertaken to ensure trekkers are experienced and capable.


Federation Peak

Federation Peak (1224m) rises dramatically from the heart of the Eastern Arthurs Mountain Range within the wild South West National Park. Alongside its close cousin the Western Arthurs, the ascent is described as one of Australia’s toughest bushwalking challenges. The first ascent of Federation Peak was completed by John Bechervaise in 1949 and to this day the exposed and technical mountain offers even the most hardened adventurers a thrilling objective. The 12 day itinerary factors in multiple contingency days, giving maximum opportunity to summit in fine conditions. The Federation Peak ascent is open to people who have completed the Western Arthurs or Mt Anne Circuit, and have had extensive unsupported full pack carrying bushwalking experience. A high level of fitness and technical introductory rockclimbing skills are required to join this expedition. Departures are based on skill level of participants and do not depart yearly. Please contact our office staff to discuss this remote wilderness adventure.

Western Arthurs Traverse

Located in the remote South West of Tasmania the Western Arthur’s Traverse presents one of the worlds great bushwalking objectives. The twelve‑day walking itinerary allows us enough time to do a complete traverse of the range. 2 days are included as contingency and rest days for the full traverse of the range and the many environmental challenges that may be faced.This Western Arthur’s Traverse is an extremely demanding full pack carrying supported bushwalk. It may experience some of Tasmania’s worst weather and conditions. The Tasmanian Expeditions Western Arthur’s Traverse is open to people with previous hard bushwalking experience and who are confident in difficult geographical and weather situations.
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