Bush walking in Tasmania is one of my favourite things to do when I visit the state.
Tasmania, also known as TAS, or Tassie, is located to the south of the Australian mainland. It’s officially the 26th-largest island in the world and similar in size to that of Sri Lanka. Another 334 smaller islands are surrounding Tasmania, many of which are unpopulated.
Tasmania doesn’t have a large population, only around 519,100 people, which about forty percent live near or around the state’s capital Hobart.
Some sources say 42% (others up to 45%) of Tasmania’s land is made up of reserves, national parks, and World Heritage Sites. Which means one of the best ways to see Tasmania is with your own two feet
Bush Walking in Tasmania
Bush walking in Tasmania is not just about roughing it in the wilderness. There is over 2,800 km of managed walking trails and 880+ walks to enjoy. Everything from short walks, to full-on multi-day hikes with camping gear such as the Overland Track.
Tassie is also home to four of the great walks of Australia.
One of the things I like in Tasmania is it’s possible to see an array of wildlife. There are plenty of opportunities to see animals such as Wallabies, Wombats, and maybe a Tasmanian Devil too!
I’m not a big fan of snakes, and the real blessing is there fewer species of the land snake than the Australian mainland. In fact only three: The Tiger snake, Lowland copperhead, and White-lipped snake.
Tasmanian snakes are shy and will only attack if provoked.
Getting Around Tasmania
Since 1998 there have been no regular scheduled international flights to Tasmania, so visitors either usually fly via Melbourne or Sydney. Jetstar and Virgin Australia offer regular flights daily along the Melbourne to Launceston and Melbourne to Hobart route.
Airfares tend to be a little cheaper to Launceston.
For those who wish to bring their car from the mainland, the Spirit of Tasmania ferry links Melbourne to Devonport. Qantas also fly’s from Melbourne Airport to Devonport Airport daily.
Public transport in Tasmania is extremely limited. If you plan on catching a train, you’re going to be waiting a while! Rail services are focused primarily on bulk freight, with no commercial passenger services in operation.
Those visiting the Island usually find themselves driving from one of Tasmania’s transit hubs, such as Devonport, Launceston or Hobart.
A road trip is by far the easiest way to reach most places, and the usual car rental brands such as Budget, Thrifty, Hertz, Europcar and Avis are available.
National Parks Pass
Most of the hikes have a car park in which you can walk from, but it’s important to remember to check into a visitor centre.
Some will be disappointed to hear that fees apply to all entering Tasmanian National Parks. Remember that the money spent is going back into keeping the parks looking the way they do now and for the future.
Parks passes can be purchased at all Parks and Wildlife Service offices, Tasmanian Travel Centres, on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry and many other places. The Holiday Pass is the best value for interstate or international visitors and is the one I typically prefer. It’s valid for eight weeks and covers multiple entries into all of Tasmania’s National Parks
Tasmania has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The weather can be notoriously unpredictable and fast changing. Walkers can sometimes experience a bit of everything during their day hike. Depending on the time of year there can be sunshine, rain, wind, or snow – sometimes all of the above on the same day!
Warmer weather occurs from November to April. During this time the sun is stronger, and temperatures average 20 °C (68 °F) to 24 °C (75 °F)
The winter months are June, July, and August, and are commonly the dampest and coldest months in the state, with most of the mountain areas receiving plenty of snow. Winter temperatures range from 12 °C (54 °F) along the coast all the way down to 3 °C (37 °F) on the Central Plateau.
Experienced hikers should only attempt long winter bush walks as days are shorter (sunrise 8 am / sunset 5 pm) and heavy snow can cover mountain areas. Cases of hypothermia have happened during winter months.
What to Take
Bushwalking in Tasmania is fun, but it can also catch those out who are unprepared. As well as any personal items such as medication and prescription eyewear, at the very least it’s recommended you bring:
- A daypack or backpack
- Plenty of water
- Backup water filter such as a LifeStraw
- Smartphone with offline maps (Telstra network has the best coverage in Tasmania)
- Lightweight, comfortable clothing for summer and more layers for winter
- Rain jacket
- Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
- Camera and a waterproof case such as Pelican or a dry bag
- Worn in hiking shoes or boots
- Lunch and snacks
- Some longer hikes may require a map
The following places are perfect for first-time visitors who are planning on trying out bush walking in Tasmania:
One of Tasmania’s most photographed views will take you to the beautiful white sands of Wineglass Bay. The track is a short, moderately steep climb to the saddle between Mt Amos and Mt Mayson. If there is time or you’re feeling more daring, you can climb down the other side to the beach.
Find out more about Wineglass Bay trips
Mount Wellington is a mountain in the southeast coastal region and based within the Wellington Park reserve. Located next to Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart, it’s a favourite for those wanting to take panoramic photos.
Mt Welling offers a range of tracks and trails. Shorter walks in the eastern foothills are well suited to families, while exposed tracks extend beyond the summit and offer many choices for those who fancy something more challenging.
Find out more about Mount Wellington trips
At 1,545 metres (5,069 ft) above sea level, Cradle Mountain is the fifth-highest mountain in Tasmania and popular with the locals. The area around the mountain has a large number of day walks, as well as being part of the Overland Track. The mountain can be climbed by walkers all year round and is challenging.
To the summit, the return hike from the Dove Lake car park takes around six-and-a-half hours. The climb up the top part of Cradle Mountain can be tricky but rewarding, involving clambering over large boulders near the summit, and again on the way down.
Find out more about Cradle Mountain trips
Looking for more bush walking in Tasmania ideas?
You could try any of these 60 Great Short Walks.
Trekking, Hiking, and Bush Walking in Tasmania images created by toolsoftravel.com