Hiking in the Tasmanian Wilderness is a wonderful way to see the Apple Isle. In fact, as a tourist it is hard to avoid doing at least some walking as you travel around, because so many of the attractions are nature based.
This is a guide for the casual walker, not the hard core 40kg backpack wearing super human. If your idea of fun includes a bit of a challenge but nothing requiring a sherpa or oxygen masks, then read on.
Hiking Tasmania – When?
Tasmanian weather is renowned for being unstable. She can be icy cold, and brutally hot… and that is just before lunch!
In the central highlands (Overland Track, Walls of Jerusalem, Lake Sinclair, Mt Field etc) the best time to hike is Tasmania is December through to April. It can still be bitterly cold, maybe even snow during these months, but it is the most stable time of year. You need to be prepared for cold conditions even in the middle of summer. That means gloves, beanies and the whole nine yards.
On the East Coast, October-December and March-April tend to be the best. Places like Maria Island and the Three Capes Walk can get really hot in January and February. They can also be perfect mid 20’s… You just never know with Tassie!
Hiking Tasmania – Where?
There are lots of options in Tasmania and there are some great publications with many many trails listed. Here are just a few of the big ones.
The Overland Track
From Cradle Mountain to Lake Sinclair, the Overland Track is one of the world’s great hiking trails. It is not for the faint hearted though. It’s a tough walk with potentially challenging weather conditions. At 65km most people walk the trail in 6-8 days. There are options for those who don’t want to or can’t carry a full pack with hikers huts set up a days walk apart. If you are planning on walking between October and May you will need to book the walk with Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife, otherwise its free…. and freezing!!
Three Capes Track
The three Capes track is quickly gaining the reputation for being another world class Tasmania walk. This is another one where you need to carry your gear but you can stay in the government huts which are excellent. The trail starts with a boat ride from Port Arthur over to the Tasman Peninsula. From there it is a 46km, 3 night hike along some of the most spectacular coastline in the world. 100m high sea cliffs, with pounding surf below. It’s absolutely stunning. Fore more information visit the Three Capes Track website.
Maria Island Walk
Just off the east coast, a short ferry ride from Triabunna is the beautiful Maria Island. Originally a penal colony, and then a farming settlement, there are still a few historic buildings in old town of Darlington. The walk starts at the southern end of the island and mainly follows the coast the 41km to the north. The absolute highlight of this walk is scaling to the top of Bishop and Clerk. On a clear day, the view is unsurpassed.
Wine Glass Bay
One of the most popular places to visit in Tasmania. There are a number of walks on the Freycinet peninsula but the Wineglass Bay walk is by far the most popular. At 11.5km it is mostly easy going, but there is a one whopper of a hill (or you can go down). The walk along Hazard’s beach on the right day can be absolutely stunning. Be prepared for a crowd when you get to the Wineglass Bay lookout.
Hiking Tasmania – How?
Independently: Hiking in Tasmania is relatively easy because eco-tourism is a real focus for the government. It is one of the few places in Australia where you will be asked, “Which walks are you thinking about doing?” when you go to a visitor’s centre. The campgrounds and facilities are generally excellent and maps, gear hire and helpful rangers are ubiquitous. If you are a confident and experienced, then Tasmania really is a hikers paradise.
On a tour: There are lots of walking tour companies operating in Tasmania (like us!), and there are some great benefits to being on a tour. It is social, often you can have experiences the independent people can’t and you also have the support of trained staff in case anything goes wrong. There are some very remote hikes in Tasmania so whilst it is unlikely anything will go wrong, it is nice to have peace of mind.
Want to see more images of Hiking in Tasmania. Go to our flickr page.
Interested to joining a Hiking Tasmania Tour? Check out our Tasmania’s Best Day Walks Tour.