Walks of the North West
North West Tasmania is a productive farming and forested region with a wide variation in topography. The rugged coastline, alpine areas, network of rivers and limestone karsts, make it an attractive and challenging place for bushwalkers. The region is one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania, with many coastal, mountain and riverine walks to satisfy the most experienced, or novice walker. Tasmanians are very proud of their island home. Take care of the bush; be aware of sudden changes in the weather; notify someone if you are walking into an isolated area and on your return. Be prepared, know your ability and enjoy safe walking. Some popular north west walks and private operators are listed below. Walks to waterfalls can be found here.
Tarkine Wilderness Walks - Meunna
Enjoy escorted nature walks into Tasmania’s sensational wilderness area - the Tarkine, accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Tailored to all levels of fitness and degree of difficulty, opportunities are also available for accommodation packages with nocturnal spotlighting trips and personalised 4 wheel drive tours, for walkers staying at the Tarkine Wilderness Lodge.
Increasingly attractive to bushwalkers and nature conservationists alike, this pristine area is visited by environmentalists from all over the world.
Experience this northern edge of the rainforest whilst still in it’s natural state.
Drive 7km along Dial Road, south from the Bass Highway turn-off. Pass the motocross track on the left and park at the end of the road, where there are walking signs. Walkers need to keep to the tracks as trail bikes, motocross, horse riding and bushwalking all co-exist here. Refer to the brochure, ‘A Visitors Guide to the Dial Range’ for more information on the walks. The Leven River walk takes 45 minutes return but the extended walk to Mt Dial and Mt Montgomery is realistically a full day.
Dip Falls Walk and the Big Tree
Take the C225 from the Bass Highway, just East of Black River for 24kms. Drive 2km on a gravel road to the Dip Falls Reserve. Barbecue facilities and public toilets are provided here. It is a 10 minute walk to the base of the falls, via steep steps. From the car park at the top of the falls, cross the bridge and walk for 5 minutes to the Big Tree - a Brown Top Stringybark eucalypt measuring 62 metres in height and 16.46 metres in girth. Leatherwood honey from this region produces about 140 tonnes, or one quarter of Tasmania’s harvest. Call in at Blue Hills Honey nearby and taste a variety of local honeys produced by the company.
A highlight of a trip to the northern end of Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is the view across Dove Lake to Cradle Mountain, a jagged, dolerite peak which dominates the area. There are a number of excellent walks in the area, including Dove Lake Loop Track which takes you through the stunning Ballroom Forest, an area of cool temperate rainforest. Other walks include the Weindorfers Forest walk and the famous Overland Track, one of Australia's premier wilderness walks. The Visitor Centre at the park entrance provides details on walks and other activities.
The walk starts at Gutteridge Gardens located at the eastern end of Goldie Street, Wynyard. A track follows the Inglis River from the town to Fossil Bluff. Cross a swampy area of tidal flats at Cape Bridge, where the walk follows the Bicentennial track and signage to Fossil Bluff. West of the Bluff is Table Cape, a volcanic plug and to the east, a flat rock called the Wynyard Tillite, an ancient glacial deposit. At low tide walk around the Bluff to the seagull rookery at the mouth of the river.
Take the B15 from Ulverstone, for 43km, through Sprent and Castra to Nietta. Turn right at Nietta and follow the signs for Leven Canyon. Take the steep 15 minute walk, from the main car park up to the viewing platform, overhanging the Leven River. The path is an easy but steady uphill climb, with many steps. Continue on the same track for the downhill return trip. It is a 10 minute walk down to the floor of the canyon, but take care when crossing the bridge and climbing the steel ladders. There are excellent rest room facilities and barbecues at the carpark.
Travel south from Smithton on the B22 to Edith Creek through excellent, fertile, dairy country. Take the C218 to Kanunnah Bridge over the Arthur River. Travel east via Julius River and the Rapid River Road and follow the signage to the Milkshakes Forest Reserve. Total distance is 80km. Shelters, picnic area and barbecues are available at the car park. A signposted track leads to the lookout on the Milkshakes Hills; a worthwhile climb.
Julius River Rainforest Walk
Continue on to the 30 minute Julius River Rainforest Walk, situated in a beautiful reserve, set in sinkhole country. There are two easy walks into the mossy, myrtle forests, found throughout the Tarkine. BBQ facilities, picnic shelter and a toilet are provided.
Lake Chisholm Reserve
Keep on driving to Lake Chisholm Reserve where a turnoff leads to the car park. A 500 metre track leads to the lake, a permanently flooded limestone sinkhole, resulting in a large, still, deep pool of water in the middle of the forest. Return to Smithton, via the Tayatea Bridge, where there are picnic and camping facilities; a good place to catch blackfish and trout.
The Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair is a 6 day wilderness walk,travelling 65 kilometres through the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. You will need to book in advance with the Parks & Wildlife Service and carry a good tent and warm sleeping bag, as well as all your rations. While the route has eight stove-heated huts, there is no guarantee of space. The best time to walk the track is between November and April, when the weather is milder and the days are longer. This walk is a physical challenge and you will see lakes, forests, gorges, mountains and moors, spectacular waterfalls and steep, stony peaks, before finishing at Lake St Clair, Australia's deepest lake. Catered tours are available to walkers who do not wish to carry their food and heavy loads, with private huts, containing hot showers, available along the route. Private tours need to be booked well in advance.
Rocky Cape National Park
Rocky Cape is a small, but interesting national park, of 3,064 hectares (7,572 acres), west of Table Cape and east of Stanley. Turn off the Bass Highway (A2) onto the C227, at the petrol station and travel for a few kilometres, partly on a gravel road. A national park pass is required. Established in 1967 to protect the prehistoric caves, the park has a rugged stretch of coastline with reefs, small offshore islands, beautiful beaches and unusual flora and fauna. The hillsides are full of wildflowers and birds with forty orchid species blooming in the spring. Evidence of 8,000 years of aboriginal habitation has been found by studying the middens in the caves. Sacred to indigenous people, please observe the information on the interpretation panels and do not enter the caves. Facilities include toilets, picnic tables and barbecues at Mary Ann Cove; drinking water is not provided.