Well blow me down, isn’t this thing called life just one big adventure?! If you love getting out in the wilderness and grabbing life by the [body part it consents to you touching], then we sure have some tips for you!
The Southern Trove has a huge variety of walks to choose from throughout the Channel, Bruny Island, the Huon Valley, and Far South Tasmania. Walking trails explore peaceful forests, towering mountain ranges, sweeping beaches, and gigantic sea cliffs.
With variety like this, there’s no need to do a hop, skip and jump – just put one foot in front of the other and she’ll be apples! Here are 10 of our picks.
1. Snug Falls
The Snug Falls Track (1hr/2km return) gradually descends through bushland to the cool, fern-lined gully beneath the waterfall. This one’s popular with locals and visitors alike (you can even take your dog). When it’s warm, you can frolic in the shallows (and maybe try and reenact the waterfall scene from Jurassic Park? BYO T-Rex). Bird enthusiasts, see if you can spot crescent, strong-billed and yellow-throated honey eaters, green rosellas, spinebills, and the very pretty pink robin.
2. Fossil Cove
This little gem is a short walk (30 mins/1km return) down some steep steps, through light bushland, and down to the lovely cove where you’ll enjoy some sweet views across to the Iron Pot lighthouse. In fine weather, go for a snorkel amongst the kelp beds around the shoreline. At low tide, get your geology on and explore the large rock archway, then switch into archaeologist mode and examine the fossil-filled wave-cut platform (dabbling in multiple careers is the norm amongst youths these days).
3. Alum Cliffs
The Alum Cliffs Track (2hrs/6km return) begins behind Tyndall Beach at Kingston and follows a coastal path towards Taroona long used by local people. Enjoy some good variety as you walk, from coastal blue gum forest, silver peppermint bushland, a fern-filled gully, and headlands with spectacular views over Storm Bay and the Derwent Estuary. You can also explore the linked Brickfields Track, which passes through the historic remains of the brick-making area of a nearby 1840s convict probation station.
4. Cape Queen Elizabeth
The Cape Queen Elizabeth Track (3hrs/12km return) will lead you on an enchanting adventure through the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve. You’ll wander past lagoons, climb over Mars Bluff, descend through dunes to the remote Miles Beach, slip through rocky crevices, discover a natural doorway in the sand, and trek onwards to Cape Queen Elizabeth for incredible views of Adventure Bay and beyond. Mutton bird rookeries can be seen along the way, and if you’re really lucky you might see a rare forty-spotted pardalote amongst the white gums.
5. Fluted Cape
The Fluted Cape Track (2.5hr/5km circuit) is not for the faint-hearted. The first half of the walk follows the coastline of Adventure Bay to Grass Point, where you can explore the remains of structures from the whaling industry (1820-40). After being hunted to near extinction, southern right whales have thankfully returned, and can be spotted off the coast during migration season.
From Grass Point, you’re in for a steep climb along towering dolerite sea cliffs to the summit of Fluted Cape. Gaze out to the distant Tasman Peninsula and keep an eye out for white-bellied sea eagles soaring majestically in the thermals. You might even spot a famous white wallaby! Oh, we should also mention the snakes…
6. Alonnah to Sheepwash Bay
The Alonnah to Sheepwash Bay Track (1hr/3km return) is an easy walk along the foreshore, following the old rock-walled carriageway between the two previous jetty sites. During the early years of settlement, this track was the main link from Sheepwash Bay to Alonnah. The walk passes some remains of early settlers’ occupation, including the remnants of a sawyers’ camp.
7. Tahune AirWalk
The Tahune Forest AirWalk (around 50 minutes) is next level – literally! You’ll be hustling along an elevated walkway suspended 30 metres above the forest floor. The final cantilever section sits at a height of 50 metres and offers spectacular views of the Huon and Picton Rivers and out to the distant peaks of the World Heritage Area. It’s an immersive experience deep in the heart of the forest, and is just one of the unforgettable activities offered by Tahune Adventures Tasmania.
Please note: Tahune Adventures are closed for repairs due to bush fire damaged. Please check their website for updates on the reopening date.
8. Hartz Peak
The Hartz Peak Track (3–5hrs return/3.7km one way) is the crown jewel of the Hartz Mountains National Park, and should be on every bushwalker’s list. The trek there will take you through some stunning alpine scenery, and you’ll pass photographer favourite, Lake Esperance. On a clear day, the views from the summit of Hartz Peak are sublime; spot Federation Peak to the south-west and Mt Anne to the north. Make sure that you are prepared for all weather (no one wants hypothermia).
9. Duckhole Lake
The Duckhole Lake Track (1.5hrs return/2.1km one way) weaves through a forest of stringybarks and rainforest species, so stop and smell the sassafras. The track follows a late 19th century sawmill tramway for much of the way, and the remnants can still be seen. Now, we can’t guarantee any ducks, but we can 100% promise you a hole – Duckhole Lake is actually a flooded sinkhole! It’s part of the surrounding cave and karst landscape. Whatever its origins, it is super scenic, with amazing mirror like reflections on a calm day.
10. South Cape Bay
Access to the South Cape Bay Track (4hrs return/7.7km one way) is via Cockle Creek, at the end of the southern-most road in Australia. It’s the eastern end of the famous seven day South Coast Track to Port Davey. Located within the wild and rugged Southwest National Park, the track allows you to experience the unspoilt, raw beauty of the region. Feel poignant standing on a clifftop, staring wistfully out to sea. Feel fierce gazing at Lion Rock. Feel free running along the beach with the wind in your hair. Feel the ache in your legs at the end of the day.
We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.
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Hartz Peak, @aaronchingaling/Instagram