Looking for the best hikes in Tasmania? You’re definitely in the right place! This guide covers the ten most popular hiking trails in Tasmania from Cradle Mountain to Cape Raoul!
Whether you’re looking for easy hikes you can do in a couple of hours or want to know more about the Overland Track, we’ve got you covered. Our post on the best hikes in Tasmania features forest hikes, coastal trails, and challenging ascents that reward hikers with breathtaking panoramic vistas.
Keep reading to learn about the ten best hikes in Tasmania, and figure out which ones are best for you!
Rent a car. Public transport in Tasmania consists mainly of buses, and those usually only take you from one large town to another. For most of the hikes listed here, you’ll either need to drive to the trailhead or join a guided hike for transport. If you prefer to do things at your own pace, it’s best to rent a car – preferably a 4×4 because the roads to some of the trailhead are mostly gravel and rock.
Beware of snakes. Tasmania is even worse than the rest of Australia in terms of bugs and reptiles. The lush forest vegetation is home to many different creatures including snakes, giant lizards, and massive spiders. When you’re hiking through forests, you should always be loud to alert any nearby wildlife of your presence. And if you encounter a snake on the trail, don’t poke it or throw stuff at it – either wait until it leaves or go around it.
The Overland Track is one of the most popular hikes in Tasmania. At least among avid hikers – this is a long-distance trail of almost 80 kilometers, suitable only for experienced and physically fit trekkers. The total elevation gain is over 2,300 meters, with the steepest incline right at the start of the trek.
It’s recommended to do the hike in the November-April season because the conditions on the trail are at their best during that time. This is peak hiking season in Tasmania, and you will need a permit, as well as an entrance ticket for the national park. Also, if you’re doing the hike during peak season, you must follow a southbound trail.
Hiking the Overland Track is a spectacular experience. You’re in for different views every day, as well as changing vegetation, wildlife, and geology.
The terrain is demanding though – there’s a lot of exposed roots and rocks along the way, so make sure to watch your step. It’s also likely that some segments will be muddy, but that depends on the weather. In any case, don’t forget to look up from the trail now and then, to admire the spectacular views.
If you can’t be bothered to do the entire Overland Track, at least do the Dove Lake Circuit. The short loop hike is part of the multi-day expedition, and it’s probably the most beautiful segment of the entire long-distance trail. Dove Lake is in Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Clair National Park and it’s surrounded by some of Tasmania’s tallest peaks.
The hike is short and sweet – it takes up to two hours to complete, and that’s if you stop now and then admire the views. It’s supposed to be walked in a clockwise direction, and the trail is well maintained. However, it’s common to encounter snow and ice on the trail, which makes the simple trail more difficult than you would expect.
In addition to that, the lush rainforest vegetation is home to all sorts of wildlife, including snakes. So, it’s best to wear sturdy hiking boots and tighter pants, just in case you do come across a snake. And don’t sneak around – make noise so that the animals are aware of your presence.
Dove Lake is exceptionally picturesque, and if you do this hike you’re in for some truly mesmerizing views. Plus, there’s a lot of other hiking trails in the area – if the 2-hour circuit is too short for your liking, you can always continue hiking to Marions Lookout, Crater Peak, Mount Campbell, etc.
Cape Hauy walking track is a moderately difficult out and back hike in Tasman National Park. You get to enjoy some phenomenal views along the way, but the sight of the cape is the most spectacular of them all. The first section is a standard bushwalk, but as you start to climb, the scenery and the views are entirely different.
The terrain is rocky at times, with quite a few stairs you must climb to make it to the end. It’s not extremely strenuous, but if done on a hot summer day it can be quite challenging. Be sure to watch your step, bring lots of water, and apply more sunscreen than you think you need!
The trail is mostly exposed, so you’ll want to wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun. Also, you will likely encounter lots of wildlife along the way, including hedgehogs and kangaroos!
Wineglass Bay, Isthmus, and Hazards Beach Track is a moderately difficult loop hike in Freycinet National Park. The trail circles Mount Mayson without ascending it, which is likely the main reason why it’s only rated as moderate. The total elevation gain on this hike is 334 meters, which is not too strenuous.
However, the steepest section of the hike is right at the start. If you begin the hike at Wineglass Bay carpark, you’ll start ascending after just 300 meters or so. The climb goes on for an entire kilometer, after which the trail quickly descends back to a lower altitude. After the first 2.5 kilometers, you will experience very few elevation changes – the most demanding part of the hike is right at the beginning. Once you’ve conquered that, it’s a relaxing walk back to the trailhead.
This hiking trail offers spectacular views of Wineglass Bay and Hazards beaches, both of which are known for the soft, white sand. You can go for a swim at Wineglass Bay if you want, but keep in mind that the water can be cold even in the summer, and a wetsuit is recommended.
Mount Amos is another thrilling hike in Freycinet National Park. It starts at the Wineglass Bay carpark, just like most of the other hikes in this NP. This is a relatively short trail, but it’s by no means easy – it’s about 2 kilometers to the top of Mount Amos, with a total elevation gain of 395 meters on such a short trail.
But it is without a doubt worth it – the view from the top is magical. A panoramic vista of Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach awaits at the top of Mount Amos, plus you get good views of the surrounding mountains as well.
The terrain is mostly rocky, and the trail requires some scramble. Also, most of the hike is on exposed terrain, and you’ll want to wear a hat and apply sunscreen before you hit the trail.
One thing to note is that you can complete the hike and be back at the trailhead in about an hour – if that’s too short for you, I would recommend pairing this with the longer loop that circles Mount Mayson. That one eventually makes it down to Wineglass Bay, where you can have some fun on the beach!
Three Capes Track is a difficult point-to-point trek in Tasman national park. It’s just over 45 kilometers long, and it combines several trails to take you to two of the three capes in the NP – Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy, with a stunning view of Cape Raoul from Arthur’s Peak. Completing this hike will leave you richer for an amazing experience, and it’s without a doubt worth it to camp out for a few nights.
But it’s not as easy as just showing up at the trailhead. This trail begins at a small bay across from Port Arthur, which is not accessible by foot. You’ll need a boat to get to the trailhead, and there are only 48 slots available to hikers each day. If you really want to do this multi-day trek, you’ll need to reserve your place ahead.
From the enchanting little bay, the trail takes you to Arthur’s Peak on day one. It’s near the 8-kilometer marker, so you should reach it quite soon. After that, the trail continues to the edge of Cape Pillar, then goes back to the junction from where it goes on to Cape Hauy.
There are several campgrounds and lodging options on the trail, but they are far apart. You’ll have to plan where you’ll sleep and how long you’ll hike each day – otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where it’s 8 PM and you have an 8-kilometer hike to the nearest campsite in front of you.
The hike ends at Fortescue Bay, which features a vast, white sandy beach. Take some time to relax and recharge – you’ve hiked for 45 kilometers and you deserve it!
Mount Arthur walking track is a short hike near Lilydale. The 9-kilometer trail features a total elevation gain of 647 meters, and it can be done in under four hours. This is a demanding hiking trail over exposed, rocky terrain, with a steady ascent to the top of Mount Arthur.
Some segments of the trail pass through forests, where you have to watch out for exposed roots and rocks that protrude from the ground. Also, scramble is required at a few sections, but all your effort pays off when you make it to the top. The views from Mount Arthur are phenomenal, and unlike anything else you’ve seen in Tasmania.
There are several shorter paths at the top that will take you to observation decks, and you can even take a muddy detour to the summit cairn. Take your time to enjoy the wonderful views and admire the untouched nature, and start heading back down the same trail when it’s time to get back.
One thing worth noting is that the first half of the trail is marked well, but the latter half is not. It’s not very difficult to stay on the right path for experienced hikers, but you should probably have a map handy, just in case.
Cape Raoul is the only one that the Three Capes Track doesn’t cover. You can see it during the hike, but it’s not the same as standing right above those magnificent rock formations. This is a moderately difficult hiking trail near Stormlea and it features enchanting views, wildflowers, wildlife, and rocky terrain.
This cape is unique for the interesting rock formations that are slightly reminiscent of those at the Organ Pipes National Park near Melbourne. They tower over the blue ocean for a unique sight you’re unlikely to forget soon.
The hike is quite challenging, but nothing you can’t complete if you just take your time and hike at your own pace. It takes up to 7 hours to complete the 15-kilometer out-and-back trail, which is mostly because of the several middle segments that have steep ascents and descents. The elevation gain is gradual at the beginning, and you can avoid the steeper ups and downs entire if you don’t go past Raoul Cape.
But I wouldn’t recommend that – the trail past the cape takes you to Seal Lookout, which is absolutely phenomenal. You can see Seal Rock just below the cape, which is usually full of seals! And if you climb even further down, you’ll get an even better look at the unique rock formations of the cape.
Lady Barron Falls Track is a moderately difficult hike in Mount Field National Park. The loop trail is quite short and can usually be completed in about an hour and a half. The elevation gain is gradual and minimal, with the steepest ascent of the trail at the 800-meter marker.
This hike is supposed to be done counterclockwise, taking you to the Lady Barron Falls at the 3.8-kilometer marker. From there, it’s a shorter hike back to the trailhead, with gradual ascents and descents. In case you decide to do this circuit clockwise, you’ll be descending the stairs and ascending on the trail.
The trail goes through a forest and you need to be adequately prepared for trail conditions. It’s possible to encounter snakes, bugs are abundant, and the track crosses streams several times. That means you should wear sturdy hiking shoes that have traction on wet terrain, and that will protect you from any wildlife you might encounter on the trail. The waterfall views are beautiful and a great payoff for the effort. But the scenery on your way to the falls is not to be disregarded – as most of Tasmania, it is surreally green.
The loop hike to the top of Mount Wellington is perfect for hikers who enjoy a tough climb and spectacular views. The loop hike combines several shorter tracks to get you to the top of the mountain, with a gradual ascent over the first 5 kilometers. The path back to the trailhead is mostly downhill, with an optional detour near the 7-kilometer marker.
Here you arrive at a junction, and you can continue back to the trailhead or you can explore two other tracks – one takes you to Smiths Monument and the other to South Wellington. Both are short, and you can hike them in under an hour.
The circuit hike is rated as moderately difficult because of the elevation change and rocky terrain. Also, the trail is exposed, so you will need protection from the weather. And since the weather in Tasmania can change several times in the 4-5 hours it takes to hike this trail, you should be prepared for everything from a blizzard to extreme heat.
It takes a great effort to get to the end of the trail, but the views at the top of such a great payoff it’s worth it. The vista stretches south, all the way to the sea, rewarding you with a magnificent panorama of Tasmanian coast.