Explore the enchanting and changing moods of the ancient Tarkine Rainforest | Pete Harmsen
Tasmania is a treasure trove of beautiful, inspiring and astonishing natural sights. From the lush temperate rainforests of the Tarkine, to the alpine ridges, spectacular wetlands and coastal heaths (and everything else in-between), it is almost impossible to narrow down Tasmania’s top natural attractions to a short list of 5. So... here goes! If you’re planning on visiting Tasmania and want to experience some of the awe-inspiring nature that graces the island, check out our list of Tasmania’s Top 5 Natural Wonders!
Walking through the Tarkine is akin to journeying through a magical, timeless world of natural beauty and isolation. The Tarkine rainforest is the second largest temperate rainforest in the world, and the largest temperate rainforest in Australia, with over 400,000 hectares of unprotected virgin wilderness. This mix of rainforest, wet and dry eucalypt and mixed forest, riverine, heathland, moorland and coastal ecosystems, is home to a diverse wildlife and bird species that cohabit. Globally, it is one of the most significant remaining tracts of temperate rainforest left on the planet, and contains some of the tallest and best old-growth undisturbed rainforest in Tasmania. Certainly a must-see!
See it for yourself: Tarkine and West Coast Explorer - Explore the pristine Tarkine and dramatic West Coast of Tasmania; a remote and spectacular wilderness of Tasmania in comfortable twin share accommodation. This 5 day adventure features a series of spectacular day walks as well as two river cruises to explore the best of Tasmania's stunning North West. Tarkine Rainforest Walk - Experience true isolation and real wilderness in comfort on this superb walk within the southern hemisphere's largest cool temperate rainforest. Over 4 days you will explore an ancient forest landscape dominated by towering Myrtle and Sassafras, discover secret waterfalls, glades of giant tree ferns, enticing waterholes and spectacular lookouts. Cradle and Tarkine Canoe Adventure - Explore the wilderness surrounding Dove Lake and the Pieman River on pedal powered kayaks. This exciting 5-day itinerary includes getting an exclusive perspective on Cradle Mountain, from a Hobie kayak in the middle of Dove Lake and journeying amongst the cool temperate rainforests of the Tarkine as you follow the Pieman River.
Wineglass bay has been named one of the “Top 10” beaches of the world by magazine Conde Nast – and for good reason. The spectacular dazzling white sand, gin clear water and plethora of wildlife make Wineglass Bay one of the most memorable and beautiful locations to visit in Tasmania. Located in Freycinet National Park, it looks like an almost perfect curve. With lookouts nearby that give you a birds eye view of the bay, it is the perfect vantage point to also spot dolphins and migrating whales. While visiting this bay at any time of the day will grant you with picture-perfect views, sunsets are particularly stunning as the sun glows orange and lights up the dramatic pink boulders. Surrounded by walking trails, forests and uninhabited beaches, it is one of those destinations that stays in your mind long after you return home.
See it for yourself: Freycinet Circuit Walk - Explore Freycinet Peninsular's spectacular coastal National Park on an invigorating four day walking adventure. This short itinerary is jam packed with peaks, beaches, wildlife, coastal sunrises, swimming, hiking and most of all fun! Freycinet Experience Walk - Experience blissful immersion in nature combining coastal and mountain walking. The walk will take you along deserted beaches, up pink granite monoliths and through the heart of the rich native heath lands of the Freycinet National park, including the iconic Wineglass Bay. Cycle, Kayak and Walk Tasmania – This superb multi-activity adventure explores Freycinet, Maria Island and the east coast by foot, bike and kayak. On day 2, visit Wineglass bay and breathe in the scents of rainforests overhead and be awed by the beauty of the eastern coastline.
If you want to experience Tasmanian wilderness in the most concentrated way possible, a visit to Bruny Island is a must. The Fluted Cape Walk is packed with beaches, forests, mountains and spectacular views, and gives trekkers the opportunity to view the wildlife in its natural habitat – from spotting the migrating Southern Right Whales that visit the area between June and October, to the wallabies and sea eagles that frequent the area. Bruny Island is also home to one of the most recognizable sand dune views in Tasmania – The Neck! This long slither of land connects Bruny Island’s north and south, and a short stroll to the lookout gives you a 360 view of the island that is simply superb.
See it for yourself: Bruny Island Food, Hike and Bike - Discover the food, wine, wilderness & wildlife of Tasmania's remote & rugged south by bike. This 5 day adventure explores Bruny Island, including the Fluted Cape Walk, before heading back to the mainland for some active cycling through southern Tasmanian highlights. Bruny Island Long Weekend – Care for an exceptional long weekend of coastal walks, luxury camping, exquisite meals and even a wildlife cruise? This 3 day adventure includes visits to the islands lesser known gems including local oyster farms and gourmet farmers, finishing off with a fantastic wildlife cruise.
Cradle Mountain National Park is one of Tasmania’s most well-known natural attractions, with the fragile ecosystem perfectly preserved for trekkers and visitors. The glacially carved valleys, ancient rainforests and alpine moorlands provide one of the most diverse backdrops on the island, and is home to many species of animals including pademelons, wallabies, the Tasmanian Devil, orange-bellied parrots and eastern quolls. Visitors can also expect to see wombats and echidnas scurrying across the land if they are lucky! With a number of peaks to climb that offer unsurpassed views of the national park, no visit to Tasmania is complete without a visit to Cradle Mountain.
See it for yourself: The Overland Track – without a doubt, the best way to see Cradle Mountain national park is on the 6 day Overland Track – one of the finest walks in Australia. The breathtaking views, rainforest-clad shores of Lake St Claire and the many side trips on the way make this a highly sought after trekking experience. There are many ways to walk the overland track, including: Guided Overland Track, Self Guided Overland Track, Cradle Huts Overland Track and Women’s Only departures. Cradle Mountain Short Escape - Discover Cradle Mountain National Park on a series of stunning walks designed with the family in mind including an optional ascent of Cradle Mountain.
The Bay of Fires is a beautiful remote and dramatic landscape featuring hourglass-fine sand, Bombay Sapphire sea, and azure sky. Named by Lonely Planet as one of the hottest travel destinations in the world, the Bay Of Fires is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Australia. Located in the top north-east corner of the state, it is home to deserted beaches, coves and sand dunes as well as a rich diversity of wildlife in the nearby woodlands.
See it for yourself: Bay Of Fires Lodge Walk - You can explore the remote and dramatic landscape of the Bay Of Fires on this unique trip that encompasses a superb series of short walks along the edge of Mt. William National Park.