A destination synonymous with outdoor adventure, there's no better place to embark on an exciting national park tour than Tasmania. From dramatic coastal landscapes and secluded beaches to towering mountains and expansive snowfields, this compact island state has it all. Ready to go into the wild? From the top to the tip, follow part one of our National Park Explorer to discover the most amazing national parks on Tasmania's east coast.
Only an hour's drive from Launceston, the towering mountain peaks of Ben Lomond National Park are the perfect introduction to the rugged wilderness Tasmania has become known for – but getting to this impressive alpine destination is half the adventure.
Grab a car hire Launceston city centre and wind your way to the top on Jacob's Ladder – a precipitous, clifftop passage etched into the side of the plateau. After you've taken the awe-inspiring trip to the summit, make your way back to the bottom by ski, snowboard or sled before tackling the next national park on your list.
A stark contrast to the snowfields a mere 70 kilometres west, the bright orange boulders and clear blue waters of the Bay of Fires create a dynamic ocean landscape that has to be seen to be believed. Immerse yourself in the surrounds by boating, swimming, bushwalking and birdwatching or opt for the Four Day Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, where experienced guides take you from the fringes of Mt. William National Park to the far north-eastern corner of the bay.
Home to the legendary Wineglass Bay, this popular national park is a must-visit on any Tassie itinerary. Make the three kilometre return trek to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, keeping your eyes peeled for native species like wombats, echidnas and wallabies along the way, or, take to the skies on an unforgettable scenic flight, providing uninterrupted views down to the perfectly shaped basin below. Got a bit of extra time to spare? Detour en route to your next destination on a self-drive tour of Cape Tourville and the Friendly Beaches, where endless stretches of sand hug the highway at every turn.
Feel like taking your east coast adventure off shore? Make a beeline for Maria Island, located just four kilometres from the mainland. One of Australia's first convict colonies, Maria Island's punitive past has given way to a fascinating, history-filled destination, rife with ancient forests and heritage sites. Whether you're trekking past colonial ruins or discovering the centuries old relics embedded in the Fossil Cliffs, this island-sized national park is teeming with activities of all kinds.
A two hour journey further south from the Freycinet Peninsula, this diverse nature reserve brims with more than 100 square kilometres of rare flora and fauna, with everything from fairy penguins to fur seals calling the park home. Amble your way through the labyrinth of natural rock formations or try your hand climbing, abseiling and rappelling down cliff sides. Up for an even bigger challenge? Test your endurance on the Three Capes Track – an intimidating, 46-kilometre excursion trailing from Port Arthur to Cape Pillar.
Nestled on the southern tip of Tasmania's Bruny Island, this remote, offshore sanctuary is home to sweeping sea cliffs, dense rainforest and abundant wildlife. While it was once a prominent whaling station, this tranquil retreat is now best known as a day trip destination, welcoming locals and tourists for afternoons jam-packed with surfing, swimming, boating and more.