Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested

If you are a lover of the great outdoors, then experiencing some of the walks in Tasmania should definitely be on your to-do list. The island is home to over 2000km of tracks dedicated to all types of walkers. From the fair weather type who enjoys a short stroll, to the avid bushwalker who likes to disappear for days at a time.

Walks in Tasmania

I clocked up a fair few miles during my walks in Tasmania. After noticing that I was unknowingly ticking them off the 60 Great Short Walks list, I thought I’d share my experiences and inspire you to get your hiking boots on! So, without further ado, here are the walks in Tasmania that I have completed:

Organ Pipes, Mt. Wellington

Tasmania Walks Mt. Wellington Organ Pipes

Location | Time | Distance

Just a 20 minute drive from Hobart (you can’t really miss it – it’s the big ol’ hunk of rock with a white pointy thing on top). As a circuit, it took us just over 4 hours (8km).

The walk

Of all the walks in Tasmania, this one is not to be missed! I hiked it as a circuit, encompassing the Sphinx Rock into my route. Starting and ending at The Springs, the hike takes you uphill through the trees until some fabulous views over Hobart begin to emerge to your right.

The track then flattens out as the route leads you directly below the Organ Pipes, which are recognisable by their fluted, columnar shape. There are then a few rocky sections to clamber over as you begin your gradual descent back down into woodland. Don’t miss the Sphinx Rock lookout for more incredible views but beware, it has a childproof gate which took me about 10 minutes to get through!

Tasmania Walks Mt. Wellington views

Overall thoughts

This walk is moderate-difficult. The beginning of the walk is a fair climb, the rocky sections require quite a bit of attention and patience and there is also a steep climb back down the other side. It has great views and fun, varying sections. I would definitely recommend walking it as a circuit rather than a return hike.

I stayed at The Pickled Frog , which is a cheap, sociable, bright green hostel in Hobart.

Cape Hauy and Cape Raoul

Tasmania Walks Three Capes Track ocean cliffs

Location | Time | Distance

Cape Hauy and Raoul can be accessed on the Three Capes Track on the Tasman Peninsula in east coast Tasmania. This epic walk spans 46km across 4 days.

The walks

Instead of hiking each cape individually, I hiked the Three Capes Track as a whole. This multi-day adventure was one of the walks in Tasmania that I was happy to spend a fair bit of money on. You can read all about my amazing experience in my separate blog post.

Overall thoughts

The hike is a lot harder than advertised. Never have I climbed, let alone seen so many steps! But it’s absolutely beautiful and a chance to see wild and rugged Tasmania at its best!

Other than three nights in the eco cabins you get to stay in as part of the walk, I loved staying at BIG4 Port Arthur Holiday Park in the bunkhouse accommodation. It’s cheap, the staff are friendly and the facilities are top notch – there’s even an outdoor pizza oven!

Fluted Cape Track

Tasmania Walks Fluted Cape cliff ocean views

Location | Time | Distance

Bruny Island is a small island off the coast of Tasmania. To get there, you have to travel via the ferry from Kettering. It’s roughly a 3.5 hour, 5.4km circuit.

The walk

Beginning at Adventure Bay in a small car park, directions to begin the walk aren’t particularly apparent, so just head along the beach and up into the trees where you will find sign posts for the Fluted Cape track. It is recommended that you walk the circuit in a clockwise direction. I couldn’t agree more with this and you’ll realise why when you do it yourself, so stick to the path that follows the cliffs.

The climb from Grass Point is pretty intense as you head up along the cliff edge. However, you’ll be greeted with countless photo opportunities of the island, the mainland and Tasman Peninsular in the far distance; which is the perfect excuse to take a rest!

The path then takes you down away from the cliff edge and through some lovely eucalyptus forest. It is also more gradual so a nice rest for your weary legs.

Overall thoughts

This is one of my all-time favourite walks in Tasmania. I loved the challenge and the views were some of the best I’ve seen. This walk is hard going and the climb is incredibly steep and long. Take lots of water because you sure as hell are going to sweat!

There is limited accommodation catering to the budget backpacker on Bruny Island. I stayed at the Explorers Cottage – a cosy cabin with a lovely view.

Tahune Airwalk

Tasmania Walks Tahune Airwalk river and mountains

Location | Time | Distance

The Tahune Airwalk is about a 90 minute drive south of Hobart, making it a good daytrip and a chance to escape the city. I spent about 2.5 hours casually walking around the place. The Tahune Airwalk is a 1.6km circuit, McKays Track is a 3km circuit and the Huon Pine Track is 500m one way.

The walk

There are 3 walks you can do in total. The Airwalk itself is actually only 620 metres in length and takes you 20 metres above the forest floor on a large metal walkway. McKays Track takes you over the Picton and Huon rivers via two narrow, wobbly suspension bridges. The Huon Pine Track leads you through some beautiful rainforest.

Overall thoughts

This is one of the easiest walks in Tasmania that I have done. There are some inclines but the walks are very accessible for most people. They even provide transport to the Airwalk and have wheelchair access.

For me, this walk was a bit of an anti-climax. The entry fee was relatively expensive considering the size of the Airwalk and it became incredibly touristy as the day progressed (I have been spoilt with such quiet hikes elsewhere, I couldn’t help feeling disappointed).

Saying that, there were some lovely views of the river and surrounding landscape from the top and the Huon Pine Track was definitely my favourite. I think this walk is more suited to families or people who may not have the time or energy for Tasmania’s harder, longer hikes.

Lady Barron Falls Circuit and Russell Falls

Tasmania Walks top of waterfall

Location | Time | Distance

These walks are found within Mt. Field National Park. Incorporating both waterfalls will take about 2 hours around a 6km circuit.

The walks

The Lady Barron Falls Circuit is essentially an extension of the Russell Falls walk and includes two more waterfalls; Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls. The walk takes you through some delightfully mossy woodland, first reaching Russell Falls, which is just breathtaking.

You then climb to the top of the falls and carry on through the trees to the next two waterfalls. I actually didn’t complete the full circuit. At the time, the track had been closed just passed Lady Barron Falls due to burn-off, so I had to double back.

Overall thoughts

The circuit is moderate. There are a fair few steps, slopes and uphill sections to negotiate. Russell Falls was definitely the highlight for me. The two waterfalls after that were slightly less impressive, which was a shame, as it meant that I saw the best of the walk at the very beginning.

I camped at Mt. Field National Park Campground. It’s spacious, has good facilities, is cheap and the walks are on your doorstep.

Lake St. Clair

Tasmania Walks girl sat on log looking at Lake St. Clair

Location | Time | Distance

Located in the Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, the Lake St. Clair walks take about 2 hours and are a 4.7km circuit.

The walks

There are three short walks you can do at Lake St. Clair; Watersmeet Track, Platypus Bay and Larmairremener tabelti. I combined all three, making up a scenic, varied circuit. Watersmeet takes you along an old logging road amongst forest and over a bridge where the Hugel and Cuvier Rivers meet – hence the name.

This then leads you along the lake edge to Platypus Bay, where the more patient and quiet folk can hide behind a viewing platform and try spot the elusive little critters. The small beach just further up the track is a lovely spot to have a snack and listen to the calming sounds of the lake as it washes gently up against the sand.

Continuing on, you loop back to Watersmeet and can join onto Larmairremener tabelti, an Aboriginal cultural heritage walk, which was by far my favourite. Along the way you can learn about the indigenous people of the region and enjoy the gorgeous countryside.

Overall thoughts

These walks are easy. There are a few climbs on the Platypus and Larmairremener tabelti walks but nothing too demanding. Each walk is pleasant, but not overly exciting. I would definitely recommend doing all three for a bit of variety and purely because they are so short individually.

I stayed at Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel (in the bushwalker cabins). They are cheap, basic but cosy single rooms in a great location.

Donaghys Hill

Tasmania Walks Donaghys Hill mountain views from platform

Location | Time | Distance

Donaghys Hill can be found along the Lyell Highway, between Queenstown and Derwent Bridge. Give yourself an hour (1.1km one way).

The walk

Being short, I squeezed this walk in between my journey from Strahan to Derwent Bridge. The route takes you uphill, mostly through forest, until you emerge on an open ridge with a fantastic view. Continue along the path and up the steps to the lookout to experience 360 degrees of rugged wilderness, distant mountains and the Franklin River running far below you.

Tasmania Walks red toadstool

Overall thoughts

Though it is advertised as an easy grade, expect to get a bit out of puff! The beginning of the track is pretty basic. It’s not until you start to climb through the trees, over roots and up steps that it gets fun. The views are stunning – even on a cloudy day I was really taken aback.

Nelson Falls

Tasmania Walks Nelson Falls waterfall

Location | Time | Distance

Nelson Falls can be found along the Lyell Highway, between Queenstown and Derwent Bridge. The walk is a 20 minute return, 700m one way.

The walk

You will be dwarfed by enormous ferns fanning in all directions as you follow the short boardwalk to the falls, twisting through a rainforest blanketed in moss. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for pretty fungi along the way. The waterfall is one of the most beautiful I have seen on my walks in Tasmania. I couldn’t resist ducking under the barrier for a closer look!

Overall thoughts

This is a delightful walk to a very impressive waterfall, especially when you consider how short and easy it is. It’s also the perfect excuse to get out of the car and stretch your legs.

Hogarth Falls

Tasmania Walks Hogarth Falls wooden boardwalk in rainforest

Location | Time | Distance

This walk is found in Strahan on the west coast of Tasmania. Give yourself about an hour tops; it’s about 1.2km one way.

The walk

Hogarth Falls is a short walk located a few minutes from Strahan town centre. It’s a lovely way to escape all forms of civilisation without much effort at all.

The temperate rainforest almost encloses the path and the big, old trees and huge green ferns give it a real Jurassic Park feel. At the end of the walk you will come to the waterfall, which although only small, is very pretty.

Overall thoughts

This walk is easy and mostly flat with boardwalk. If you are in Strahan I would highly recommend paying a visit to the falls, however, I wouldn’t travel from a long distance to see it.

Montezuma Falls

Tasmania Walks Montezuma Falls

Location | Time | Distance

Montezuma Falls is situated a few kilometres south of the town Rosebery, on the west coast. The route to the waterfall is roughly a 3 hour, 8km return.

The walk

This walk is actually steeped in mining history. It twists and turns through the rainforest, following an old, abandoned train track dating back to the late 1800s. This waterfall is found at the end of the walk and is one of the highest in Tasmania!

Overall thoughts

This walk is easy. It’s fairly long, but mostly flat the entire way. It get’s a little monotonous, but the waterfall at the end is a great reward!

Dove Lake Circuit

Tasmania Walks Cradle Mountain and lake

Location | Time | Distance

This walk is found at Dove Lake in the Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park. The lake alone takes about 2 hours and is 6km long.

The walk

This is the most popular of all the walks around Cradle Mountain with visitors. Being relatively short, I also encompassed the Ronny Creek walk into my route. You can read all about my time hiking around Cradle Mountain here: 5 Unmissable Walks Around Cradle Mountain.

Overall thoughts   

The Dove Lake circuit is easy-moderate. Be aware that there are a few steps and rocky sections. Many people seem to assume that the whole way is flat boardwalk, so I saw folks wearing ridiculous clothes and shoes – this definitely isn’t the case! Though very beautiful, it’s also one of the more touristy walks in Tasmania.

I stayed at Discovery Parks, in the cheap, bunkhouse accommodation and at Cradle Mountain Hotel, for a little more luxury. Both are in superb locations.

Crater Lake Circuit

Tasmania Walks Crater Lake wooden hut

Location | Time | Distance

Crater Lake circuit is found in Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park. It takes about 2 hours and is a 5.7km circuit.

The walk

With the majority of tracks around Cradle Mountain joining up, there are a number of ways you can do this walk and I loved it so much, I did it twice. The first time I started and ended at Ronny Creek. The second time I started at Ronny Creek, added Marions Lookout into the mix and then finished at Dove Lake.

Tasmania Walks Crater Lake and mountain reflections

Overall thoughts

Effort wise, it’s a moderate walk. There is some considerable climbing to do, but you should be so distracted by the beautiful surroundings, that you don’t really notice how hard you’re working. This walk is fun with lots of variety; from wombats, waterfalls and lakes, to rainforest and stunning views. Again, you can read more in my 5 Unmissable Walks Around Cradle Mountain blog post.

The Nut, Stanley

Tasmania Walks Stanley Nut

Location | Time | Distance

The Nut is found in Stanley in north-west Tasmania. Depending on your fitness level; I did the whole walk (which includes climbing the Nut and walking the circuit track) in 1 hour. It’s roughly 3km in length.

The walk

The climb to the top of the Nut is incredibly steep, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, you can jump on the chairlift (open seasonally and weather dependable). The Nut is 143 metres high and the views from the top are simply breathtaking.

There’s the entire town below you; the beautifully blue ocean meeting the sandy beaches and rolling green fields as far as the eye can see. Just be prepared to be blown about a bit on top! The circuit walk around the plateau is a pleasant 2km and takes you to a number of viewpoints. To my amazement, I even saw a wallaby up there!

Overall thoughts

If you choose to walk to the top instead of getting the chairlift, then expect a short but intense, fun climb. You’ll be rewarded with some incredible views!

I stayed at Stanley Cabin and Tourist Park in the hostel. It’s cheap, comfortable, in an amazing location (you can walk everywhere), there’s a beach on your doorstep and the staff are really lovely.

Liffey Falls

Liffey Falls in Tasmania

Location | Time | Distance

Liffey Falls is roughly an hours drive from Launceston. Be aware that you will need to drive on a long, bumpy, hilly dirt track, which may be quite dangerous in bad weather. It’s a 45 minute return and 2km.

The walk

Quite possibly my favourite waterfall walk in Tasmania. The rainforest is enchanting, with different fungi sprouting up absolutely everywhere. Visiting in late autumn meant that the waterfall was in full flow.

Overall thoughts

This short walk is easy-moderate and there is a bit of a steep walk down to the waterfall. The drive there and the walk down was almost as impressive as the waterfall itself. The drive to Liffey Falls takes you through some really spectacular countryside with quaint farms, mountains and streams around every bend.

I visited Liffey Falls via my drive from Launceston to Stanley. I stayed at Arthouse Hostel in Launceston.

Cape Tourville

Tasmania Walks Cape Tourville boardwalk by ocean

Location | Time | Distance

Cape Tourville is located in Freycinet National Park. It’s a brief 20 minute, 600 metre circuit.

The walk

This walk is a short circuit around the lighthouse. Along the way there are some lovely views out to the ocean and distant coastline. Make sure you have a peek through the binoculars – I saw a colony of seals basking on a distant rock.

Overall thoughts

This is one of the quickest walks in Tasmania. It’s suitable for most people and the stroll around the lighthouse is very straightforward. Viewing the seals through the binoculars was the highlight for me.

During my time at Freycinet National Park I stayed in two locations: Iluka Backpackers (YHA), a small, comfortable hostel in the centre of Coles Bay and within walking distance of shops and the beach; and Freycinet Lodge.   

Wineglass Bay and Mt. Amos

Tasmania Walks Mt. Amos mountain view

Location | Time | Distance

Wineglass Bay and Mt. Amos are in Freycinet National Park. The climb and descent took about 3.5 hours in total. 

The walk

Mt. Amos makes up part of the Hazards mountain range, dominating the landscape in the national park. Unlike the walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout, this track is far less frequented. The 450 metre high hike to the summit is a steep, strenuous, sometimes slippery scramble and should definitely not be attempted by the inexperienced, ill-equipped or faint hearted.

The hard slog to the top (and back down) is absolutely worth it for the world class view; treating you to a 360 degree panoramic of some of Tasmania’s finest sandy beaches, surrounding mountains, sparkling ocean and thick, green forest.

The hike begins simply enough, setting off from the carpark at a manageable incline through the trees. The initial obstacles you’ll face come in the forms of tree roots and oddly shaped rocky steps. As you climb higher, the beautiful Coles Bay will come into view, twinkling in the sun and dotted with tiny white boats.

Then things begin to get interesting. You’ll come out onto your first rock face section. The rock is granite; worn smooth and brilliantly striped by the trickling of water over time. Luckily for me, I had chosen a dry day; the National Park gives numerous warnings about the dangerously slippery rocks you’ll encounter along the track.

As you climb higher, you will need to scramble and climb up the rocks. Navigating can also be a challenge and the trail is marked with sparse orange plastic arrow markers, bright ribbons tied into the trees and faded arrows painted into the rocks.

When you eventually reach the top, you will be rewarded with possibly the most iconic view in the whole of Tasmania. It may also be one of the finest views you have ever seen in your life!

Overall thoughts

This was one of the most challenging walks in Tasmania for me. You are practically climbing the entire way. I suggest that you wear good, supportive hiking shoes. Maybe even consider taking gloves to protect your hands when you grip onto the rocks (I didn’t, and lost a bit of skin in the process).

By no means should you attempt this walk in the wet; it would be an absolute death trap. Also, do be aware that the markers are not very clear – I had to help direct some people back onto the correct path; but don’t let this put you off!

The Hazards Beach Circuit

Tasmania Walks Hazards Beach sand and sea

Location | Time | Distance

This walk is also located in Freycinet National Park. The circuit takes just shy of 4 hours (though they recommended 4-5 hours) and is 11km.

The walk

This moderate 11km hike begins by taking you down to one of Tasmania’s most photographed destinations, Wineglass Bay. You just have to tackle a good amount of steep, crooked steps first. The reward? A postcard perfect stretch of soft, white sand and clear blue waters.

However, this is just the beginning. Once you managed to tear yourself away from paradise, you then head to Hazards Beach on the opposite side, via fern-laden forest and scrub.

As the name suggests, Hazards Beach is a real contrast to the tranquil Wineglass Bay and as you crest the hill, you’ll see why.

For the rest of the walk, you will mostly find yourself away from the cliffs and out of reach of the ocean. The terrain is a mixture of dirt track, rocky steps and tree roots, varying in flat sections and the odd uphill climb. Eventually, Coles Bay and the Hazards will come back into view and you’ll know that you’re on the home straight.

Overall thoughts

This walk is moderate-hard, depending on your level of fitness. There are lots of steps and inclines, but also some really nice flat sections. I think in the end, it was the overall distance which tired me out! Wear good, supportive boots to avoid twisting your ankle on the numerous steps and tree roots. Also, watch out for slippery granite in later sections of the walk and take water and snacks.

. . .

Remember, you will require a park pass for a number of walks in Tasmania and a valid pass is required when visiting the states national parks. As a backpacker, I opted for the holiday pass. This was definitely the most cost effective choice as a short term visitor and it covered my vehicle and anyone in it for up to 8 weeks.

Now, get off your butt and go enjoy some of the fantastic walks in Tasmania!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Butler says:

    Nice collection of experiences and memories. X

  2. Sue Butler says:

    Well written, very informative and probably very useful for visitors. x

  3. Lovely write up of a few of my favourites of the island.

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