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Areas of Outstanding Nature Beauty in Tasmania

Ellie Swain

Contributor

Australia is known for its sprawling white beaches, diverse (and sometimes scary!) fauna, and the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Sitting off the coast of Melbourne in the South, the small island of Tasmania often goes overlooked. However, the state is a haven for nature lovers, offering dramatic landscapes, spectacular hikes, and wonderful wildlife. Grab your camera and hiking gear, and get ready to explore these stunning areas of beauty in Australia’s fascinating Tasmania.

Freycinet National Park

No visit to Tasmania is complete without trekking the world heritage listed Freycinet National Park. Sitting on Tasmania’s sunny east coast, the national park is famous for its picture-perfect Wineglass Bay. The beach is often praised as one of the most beautiful in the world, and when you catch a glimpse of it up close, you’ll soon discover why.

Wineglass Bay is a perfect curve of caster sugar-white sand cuddled by verdant rainforest-covered mountains. The gleaming azure water contrasts beautifully against the pale beach.

Many hikes offer panoramic views of the famous bay. For breathtaking views from sky-high heights, consider tackling the Mount Amos trail. From the top of Mount Amos, you’ll be treated to elevated vistas of the sparkling blue water and the delicate curve of Wineglass Bay. But be warned, the hike demands plenty of rock scrambling and uphill trekking, so it’s best suited for fit or experienced walkers.

Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, too. Freycinet National Park is abundant with caramel-coloured wallabies, fluffy-faced kookaburras, and plenty of exotic seabirds.

The Bay of Fires

Another must-visit spot on Tasmania’s picturesque East Coast is the striking Bay of Fires region. The shimmering white-sand beaches, iconic lichen-encrusted granite rocks, and lapping aquamarine blue waters team beautifully together.

For some of the best views of the area, head to The Gardens area. Take your time to stroll around, admiring the vast, looming boulders and the sparkling sea. There are many tiny, secluded beaches and pretty inlets to explore and if you’re lucky you’ll be entirely alone.

If you dare, take a dip in the chilly ocean with a snorkel and search for the slow-moving stingrays that frequent the waters. The colourful offshore reefs are teeming with rich and exciting marine life that attracts divers and snorkelers from all over the country and further beyond.

Cradle Mountain

In the north of Tasmania lies Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, a hiker and nature-lovers dream. Cradle Mountain seemingly has it all, filled with glittering lakes, soaring mountains, and stretching beech forests.

Hiking in Cradle Mountain is legendary. One of the most popular trails is the 13km Cradle Mountain summit. The route involves passing a plethora of deep blue lakes and endless greenery and hiking up to the beating heart of the national park: the highest peak of the place, Cradle Mountain.

Be aware that this trek is quite the challenge, though. You’ll need suitable hiking gear, excellent rock scrambling skills, and a head for heights.

When you finally reach the summit of Cradle Mountain, you’ll be gifted with mountainous views that look like they’re straight out of a blockbuster movie.

Cradle mountain national park is also one of the top spots in Australia to spot roaming wombats, so keep your eyes peeled for the furry creatures wandering in the grassland. But remember, while these friendly-faced critters may look like they’d love a big cuddle, they can become aggressive when approached. Always admire wombats from a safe distance, no matter how sweet and soft they look.

Bruny Island

Around an hour’s drive from Tasmania’s capital of Hobart is Bruny Island, a spot loved by nature-buffs and foodies alike. Head to The Neck where North and South Bruny join and clamber up to the lookout spot to gawk at 360-degree views of the extending pale beaches and mossy green foliage.

A 40-minute drive away from The Neck lookout sits Cape Bruny Lighthouse, the longest continually staffed lighthouse in Tasmania. Climb to the top to soak in the serene coastal views across the ocean and look out to the striking Hartz Mountain Range.

Between hiking and exploring, don’t miss the chance to sample Bruny Island’s delectable gastronomic treats. The island is famous for its artisan cheeses, handmade chocolates, and succulent seafood. For mouth-watering oysters bursting with flavour, head to the legendary oyster farm and bar, Get Shucked. From there, you can peek through the windows to watch the local workers hand-shuck the oysters in front of your very eyes.

Tasman National Park

On the rugged Tasman Penisula, Tasman National Park is home to some of the country’s most remarkable coastal scenery. A place of raw natural beauty, expect to see plunging cliffs, striking rock formations and stretches and stretches of the twinkling blue sea.

The Three Capes Track is an epic four-day hike in the area, spanning more than 48 kilometres of primal, craggy magnificence. Trek along the edge of the continent, soaking up spectacular panoramas from the rocky cliff-top trails. The lengthy hike can also split into shorter walks focusing on the highlights of the area.

Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including the likes of Australian fur seals, dolphins, possums, whales, fairy penguins, and a host of rare bird species.

When you scramble to the top of Cape Hauy, the last of the rock peaks on the Three Capes Track, you may feel like you’re standing on the edge of the world.

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