The Western Wilds
Immerse yourself in Tasmania's rugged Western Wilds
Explore the rich history and heritage of Tasmania’s Western Wilds by taking a road trip back in time to the land of Australia’s most hardened convicts and the unforgiving wilderness that refuses to be tamed. From jaw-dropping landscapes to adrenaline-pumping activities, the Western Wilds is the ultimate adventure-filled road trip!
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Start your adventure in one of Australia’s oldest cities, where near-perfectly preserved colonial architecture combines with pockets of inner-city wilderness. Spend the morning exploring Australia’s largest regional gallery or the expansive bushland of the Cataract Gorge, then pick up your car hire and get ready to hit the road.
Cradle Mountain 141km
With its prehistoric rainforests and alpine landscape, Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park is an unforgettable first stop on your journey. And while you may not be able to tackle the world-famous Overland Track with little ones, there are a variety of shorter walks that wind through the park, from the scenic Dove Lake Circuit to the trek to Weindorfers Forest Walk. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife while you explore, including Tassie devils, quolls and echidnas, or set out on the Aboriginal Cultural Walk to visit historic Indigenous sites within the park.
After soaking in the breathtaking landscapes of Cradle Mountain, make your way to the small, scenic town of Waratah which is known for its rich mining history, remoteness and unique setting. Be sure to visit the Waratah Courthouse Museum which has an eclectic collection of local artifacts, photos and stories. Itching to get back into the great outdoors? Go platypus spotting around Lake Waratah or take a beautiful bushwalk to Hellyer Gorge or the dramatic Philosopher Falls.
Once a thriving gold mining town, now an eco-tourism haven - Corinna is an oasis for nature lovers wanting a genuine wilderness experience. Set in pristine rainforests and surrounded by stunning wilderness, the best way to explore Corinna is by taking one of the iconic walks such as the Huon Pine Walk or Mount Donaldson Walk. Not much of a walker? No problem. Take a river cruise aboard a historic Huon pine riverboat along the crystal clear waters of the Pieman River.
Nicknamed ‘Silver City’, Zeehan is a town hidden in a valley of rugged hills and rainforests, with a rich mining history. The West Coast Heritage Centre and Pioneers Museum is a must-see, with its incredible displays on the area’s indigenous, pioneering and mining past. After all that exploring, unwind at Lake Pieman with some Trout fishing.
Located on the shores of Macquarie Harbour and considered the gateway to the World Heritage listed Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Strahan is a laid-back fishing village with a dark and fascinating convict past. Visit Sarah Island, once home to a notorious convict prison, and explore the legendary Gordon River; take an hour-long return walk to Hogarth Falls for platypus spotting; or embark on a rail journey like no other on the West Coast Wilderness Railway.
Surrounded by dramatic hills and mountains, Queenstown is the largest town in Tasmania’s west. Take the scenic drive into Queenstown along a spiralling road with over 90 bends that stretches across a spectacular landscape. The town prides itself on once being the world’s richest mining town, so be sure to explore the underground mines and local history museum.
Derwent Bridge 85.8km
Derwent Bridge is the gateway to the southern end of the wilderness and wildlife of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Stop for a hearty meal at the local pub; explore the region’s stunning landscapes on one of several short walks; or check out the Wall in the Wilderness – a stunning 100 metre long wood carving depicting the area's history.
New Norfolk 140km
Situated on the River Derwent, the bustling town of New Norfolk is rich in history and known for its quality produce and rural scenery. Be sure to visit Mount Field National Park for stunning vistas, great walks and abundant wildlife.
Hobart 33.5 km
Nestled amongst the foothills of Mount Wellington, Hobart is where heritage buildings are at home with modern architecture and where fine dining is studded with fresh local produce. But with so much to see on the city’s doorstep, your adventure doesn’t have to stop in the CBD. Cross Hobart’s must-see attractions off your list, from Salamanca Place’s restaurants and markets to MONA’s weird and wonderful art exhibits, then set your sights further afield to take in the rest of Hobart’s splendour.
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