Tasmania is a nature lover’s paradise. The enchanting Australian island is brimming with national parks, unspoiled wilderness areas, excellent hiking trails, and a wealth of endemic wildlife. Whether you’re in search of the infamous Tasmanian Devil, looking to explore the pristine national parks on a nature hike, or simply relaxing on one of the world’s best beaches, there is plenty to keep you busy in charming Tasmania. This isolated island state off Australia’s south coast is the perfect add-on to an Australia tour.
Visit Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mountain National Park is full of incredible panoramic scenery. Just a short hike through the park will lead you through dark, ancient rainforests, alongside icy streams, across billowing grasslands, and up the meandering slopes of rugged mountains. Take the time to stop and breathe in the pristine mountain air.
Located in the Central Highlands area of Tasmania, Cradle Mountain National Park is known for an abundance of twisting walking trails and exquisite natural scenery. Endemic birds flutter overhead in a flurry of colour as you turn another corner in search of quoll and platypus. Keep an ear out for the call of the elusive Tasmanian devil who announces his presence by a soul-wrenching screech. Feel the fragrant soil beneath your feet as you attempt the climb to the Cradle Mountain summit. Here you can admire the view of the reserve’s glistening lakes and needle-like columnar towers, or walk in the footsteps of the Aborigines on a fascinating Aboriginal Cultural Walk from Lake St Clair, at the park’s southern end. Relax with your feet up as you fish for trout (in season), climb aboard a small aircraft and enjoy a scenic flight searing above the treetops and snow-capped peaks, or brave the nightlife of the park on a nocturnal wildlife tour.
Spot Tasmania’s Unique Wildlife
Tasmania abounds with an exciting mix of wildlife you won’t find anywhere else on earth. Spot the animals Tasmania is known for, such as the Tasmanian tiger and Tasmanian devil, or look for the lesser-known quoll (a type of spotted cat), the mouse-like bettong, and the grey-brown pademelon, which looks similar to a kangaroo. Feel the wind in your hair on an open-air cruise to Bruny Island where you can explore a network of deep, dark sea caves. Listen to the raspy sound of Breathing Rock and keep your eyes peeled for the subtle fins of dolphins or the splash of a seal as you glide across the waters of Storm Bay. Clutch a Tasmanian devil in your arms and see wombats and wallabies at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, peer through your binoculars at endangered great-crested grebe, or watch penguins waddling into the water on a cruise of Wineglass Bay, voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world. The view of humpback and southern right whales whipping their tails in the air is simply unforgettable between September and December.
Explore National Parks and Pristine Wilderness
Tasmania has no shortage of national parks and wilderness areas offering beautiful scenic walks, dramatic landscapes, temperate rainforests, icy glaciers, and cascading waterfalls. With nineteen national parks spread throughout the region, as much as 40% of Tasmania is protected by national parks. What’s more, there is plenty of wildlife and unspoiled scenery to discover in Tasmania that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Spot rare and endemic plants and picnic beside thundering waterfalls in Southwest National Park, sniff the salty air as you stroll along the coastal cliffs of Tasman National Park, and stare up at the towering dolerite cliffs in Ben Lomond. Hundreds of multi-coloured wildflowers spring up along the Hartz Mountains and glaciers glisten with the reflection of the sky at Lake St Clair. Feel the sand between your toes as you stroll along the deserted beaches of Mount William, explore the twisting tunnels and dark sandstone caves of Mole Creek Karst, and discover the fascinating shipwrecks and Aboriginal heritage of Rocky Cape.
Don’t miss the chance to hike a guided 4-day trail through the beaches and sweet-smelling woodlands of the Bay of Fires. The hike up Mount Ossa, the highest peak in Tasmania, is well worth the effort. Inviting and warm hunts along the trail offer welcome rest for the weary. Please note that park passes are required for entry into Tasmania’s national parks.
Experience True Luxury at Saffire Freycinet
Saffire Freycinet is one of the most popular lodge experiences in Australia and one of the most luxurious hotels in Tasmania. Shaped like a massive silver stingray, the hotel overlooks the purple Hazards Mountains, cobalt Freycinet Peninsula, and beautiful Great Oyster Bay. Sink into a marshmallow-soft bed in one of 20 luxurious suites, all offering an unbeatable view of the beach. Dine on savoury seafood at a range of gourmet restaurants, and feel the stress leave your body when you indulge in one of the luxurious treatments available at the day spa.
On your next Australia tour, take some time to explore the incredible national parks and attractions of Tasmania. You won’t be disappointed.