World Heritage Sites

Tasmanian Wilderness

Tasmania is one of the world's last truly wild places. The Tasmanian Wilderness, which comprises several national parks, is a different world from the rest of Australia. It has rugged ranges, buttongrass plains, temperate rainforest, tall eucalyptus forests, stands of ancient huon pine, cascading waterfalls, and rare plants and animals. Surviving in Tasmania are several mammal species that were once widespread on the mainland. Painted caves show that humans were occupying the area in the last Ice Age.

The best way to see Tasmania is on foot. One of the best-known walking routes is the 85 km (53 mi) Overland Track in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. The many walks are graded from easy to difficult, and visitors can enjoy them on their own, using information leaflets and signs, or with a guide. Camping is allowed, with some commercial operators offering fully-serviced camps.

Mountain huts are provided for overnight stays on the main walking tracks. Cradle Mountain, just outside the northern edge of the listed area, has accommodation to suit most tastes and budgets. Cruising is popular on the Gordon River and whitewater rafting on the dramatic Franklin River. Visitors can take a variety of nature tours to the wilderness, or drive independently from Hobart, Launceston, or Devonport.

Another route, less popular than the Overland Track but equally pristine, is the South Coast Track, featuring abalone-strewn beaches and lush rainforests. Although more remote than the Overland, there are lean-tos along the various trails to shelter weary travelers.

More on Tasmanian National Parks

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 30 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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