Framed by rugged coastline, threaded by rivers, and studded with mountain peaks, Tasmania is a wilderness and wildlife haven at Australia’s southern edge. About 40% of the island is protected as national parks, conservation areas, reserves, and UNESCO World Heritage wilderness and Tasmania’s small size makes these wild places remarkably accessible, with numerous ways to get out and explore.
Criss-crossing diverse landscapes, including snow-topped mountains, button grass plains, rocky coastline, and ancient temperate rainforests, Tasmania’s bushwalking tracks have a well-earned place on hikers’ bucket lists.
There’s everything from short strolls to immersive multi-day hikes, including the renowned 40-mile Overland Track, 53-mile South Coast Track and 30-mile Three Capes Track. Experience the island’s craggy landscapes independently, or join a luxury guided experience.
Traverse the towering sea cliffs of Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula on the Tasmanian Walking Company’s Three Capes Lodge Walk, complete with private wilderness lodge accommodation, in-house massage and moody Southern Ocean views.
Connect with an ancient culture on the four-day guided wukalina Walk, owned and operated by Tasmania’s palawa Aboriginal community. Hike through the coastal landscapes of the larapuna / Bay of Fires area, while learning about bush tucker and the unique palawa perspective.
On the four-day Freycinet Experience Walk, explore the pink granite peaks and sheltered bays of the Freycinet Peninsula, wander the deserted shores of Schouten Island, snorkel in protected coves and climb the Hazards for expansive coastal scenery.
Across Tasmania, purpose-built mountain bike trails thread through forests of giant ferns and myrtle, across ridgelines and down to valley floors. The quality and diversity of this expanding trail network has cemented the island’s reputation as an exceptional mountain-biking destination.
Highlights include the epic 26-mile Bay of Fires Trail, starting high in the mountains and ending on the white sands of the east coast; the Mount Owen network, with its 22 miles of trail on the rocky slopes above Queenstown on the west coast; and Blue Derby’s 78 miles of forested enduro-style trails around a former tin-mining town.
Ride the world-class trails of Blue Derby with Blue Derby Pods Ride, discovering trails less ridden, feasting on local Tasmanian fare, adventuring by day, and resting in a private pod by night.
Down south, steep and technical Maydena Bike Park is considered the largest gravity park in the Southern Hemisphere, with more than 73 trails and a massive 2 690-foot vertical elevation providing 360-degree views over the south-west wilderness.
For more great views over southern Tasmania and a fun downhill roll, join Under Down Under Tours to ride from the summit of kunanyi / Mount Wellington down the forested slopes to Hobart’s busy waterfront.
On the Water
With its untamed rivers, and a long coastline of towering sea cliffs, sandy beaches and sheltered coves, exploring Tasmania by water is a must-do. Raft down rivers winding though rare temperate rainforest, kayak across tannin-stained waters, cruise past dolerite sea stacks and sail across sparkling blue bays.
At Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula, paddle below the tallest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere with Roaring 40s Kayaking. Peer into sea caves and spot Australian fur seals, sea birds and dolphins along the coast.
Traverse the rapids of King River Gorge and drift past rare Huon and King Billy pines in the remote western wilderness with King River Rafting. Listen for bird calls and look for an elusive platypus in the river.
For something less hands-on, float by Tamar Valley vineyards and experience the natural beauty of Cataract Gorge with Tamar River Cruises; or glide along the Gordon River’s mirror-like waters with Gordon River Cruises.
Island-hop along the east coast and explore Maria Island and the Freycinet Peninsula on the Tasmanian Walking Company’s Wineglass Bay Sail Walk – combining coastal day walks with the comforts of a 75-foot ketch.