With 1,584,000 hectares of World Heritage Area, it doesn’t really matter which direction one heads, there’s wild walking paths to follow. No surprises that those who own a good pair of boots often step in Tassie’s direction for their premium walk experiences. wukalina Walk is the latest multi-day offering to join the Tasmanian fold. A first of its kind, wukalina is a Tasmanian Aboriginal owned and operated walk in the Bay of Fires region on the East Coast.
It’s a walk with a story to tell – a story that dates back 40,000 years to a time when Tasmania was still connected to the mainland of Australia. The palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) culture is shared through this four-day guided experience in North East Tasmania, featuring the idyllic Bay of Fires coastline.
Tucked up in architecturally-designed dome huts followed by the final night in a lighthouse keeper’s cottage, the wukalina Walk features everything from a traditional Smoking Ceremony and how to find locally sourced palawa foods to summit-topping climbs complete with dreamtime stories. If you’ve got 26 kilometres of walking in you across four days, the palawa elders are ready to share their homeland.
Image Credit: Rob Burnett
THREE CAPES TRACK
It was hailed Australia’s premier coastal walk before the track officially opened and has since lived up to its cliff-high hype. This southern Tasmanian four-day experience along the Tasman Peninsula’s drama-filled coast is raw, remote and its seascapes cleansing. The 46 kilometre journey of the Three Capes Track begins with a boat trip and features some of the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere.
Environmentally-sensitive cabins are home base for each evening, offering comfy sleeping quarters and spacious dining hubs to meet fellow walkers. Keep an eye out in late 2018 for the Tasmanian Walking Company’s guided offering of this well-crafted track.
Image Credit: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service
BAY OF FIRES LODGE WALK
Those who dream of long empty beaches in Tasmania’s remote North East, with barely a soul for kilometres, this is your walk. There’s good reason Lonely Planet named this region one of the world’s hottest destinations. The signature orange lichen-licked boulders, broad blue skies and white sands are something else.
This season, there’s a brand new fire pit at the Bay of Fires Lodge to settle around. It adds to the ever popular foot baths on the back deck that await weary feet. Coastal walking, Tasmanian fare, lodge spa treatments (complete without outdoor bath) and the kayak experience are hallmarks that hold this walk as a much-loved fave.
Image Credit: Mark Lane
CRADLE MOUNTAIN HUTS WALK
If you are thinking of a Tasmanian bushwalk, why not start with the trek that is most hailed. Tasmania’s Overland Track. But there’s no need to rough it. Go with the Tasmanian Walking Company and stay in private huts along the multi-day experience. There’s no need to pack your tent and prepare your dehydrated food when walking with this crew – instead there’s Tasmanian Pinot poured at dusk along with three course meals.
The overland adventure begins at Cradle Mountain, delivering walkers to Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest freshwater lake. The trek meanders through glacially-carved valleys and alpine meadows with side-walks for the more adventurous. Go it alone or let the guides lead your way, complete with flora and fauna interp and huts exclusive to the company.
Image Credit: Great Walks of Australia
FREYCINET EXPERIENCE WALK
Position yourself on Tasmania’s East Coast and add walking to the mix. With Freycinet Experience Walk day one begins (weather permitting) with a visit to Schouten Island on the southern end. This is the part where dolphins and Tassie’s birdlife are a likely welcome party. It’s not all about walking here, you can even drop a line and bring in a Flathead in Schouten Passage.
The four day walk features Bryan’s Beach, the all famous Wineglass Bay and pinnacle of Mount Graham. That’s 579 metres above sea level and provides a vista well worth your upward climb. The walk offers lower level alternatives including the rock climber’s haven of White Water Wall. Bluestone Bay, Quartzite Ridge, Friendly Beaches are all on the itinerary as you walk in the footsteps of the Oyster Bay Tribe.
Image Credit: Tourism Australia & Hugh Stewart
THE MARIA ISLAND WALK
It’s been described as the Noah’s Ark of Tasmania. Today, Maria even features insurance populations of the endangered Tasmanian devil. The four-day Maria Island Walk isn’t just about meadows of wombats and rare wildlife, nor staggering beautiful walking on this island National Park. You’ll even sleep in a former convict station that pre-dates Port Arthur and be introduced to a history that includes bold characters, cement works, silk dreams and more.
Ancient forests give way to candlelit dinners come nightfall, prepared by guides who transform from hikers to cooks to story-tellers of the landscape. Some days you’ll be walking white sands and remote coastlines, others require a dash more exertion like the pinnacle of Bishop and Clerk on day three. Fresh Tassie scallops, roo sausages and wine from local East Coast vineyards to the sound of nature’s evening orchestra make for a special island experience.
Image Credit: Great Walks of Australia
THE BRUNY ISLAND LONG WEEKEND
Shouldn’t every weekend be a long weekend? Be whisked from Hobart’s CBD to the doorstep of Bruny Island by boat to begin three days of adventure, walking and produce direct from the source. Day one of The Bruny Island Long Weekend begins with a Cape Queen Elizabeth sojourn, a first glimpse into the wild beauty due to unfold. Your guides will be sure rock formations, fossils and tree leaves of interest do you go unmissed. Back at the standing camp, their attention to detail is transferred to your three courses.
At your off-the-grid standing camp, no luxurious touches have been compromised. After a day in the wilderness, a hot outdoor shower keeps nature close. Head for the communal hut and a long dining table hints at the feasting in store. Not all eating is done here, though. Prepare to enjoy freshly shucked oysters direct from the farmer’s hand and wine straight from the source at Australia’s southern-most vineyard. Your experience also includes an adventure cruise beneath towering sea cliffs and of course plenty more hiking trails including the wild southern reaches of the island. Delivered back to Hobart, it may feel as if it were a fleeting Bruny dream.
Image Credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
THE SOUTH COAST TRACK
Some say it’s the most challenging yet most rewarding walk here. The South Coast Track isn’t for those who want to jaunt off on their first bush walk. This track requires a light plane flight to the start at Melaleuca and is a place where there are no roads or access other than by foot, boat or aircraft. It’s what makes it special.
Go this challenging trek alone or with the trusty guides of Tasmanian Expeditions. It was once a far flung escape route for shipwrecked sailors but today is walked by many as an escape route from modern life. Across nine days, prepare to walk around 10-15 kilometres per day carrying a pack of up to 20 kilos. As mentioned, this isn’t a walk in the park, but opens up rare and unspoilt wilderness few will ever access. Pristine rivers, rainforests towering above, and even a spare day built into the itinerary for swimming at your own private beach. Your company? Wombat, pademelons, quolls, perhaps rare orange-bellied parrot and South West silent bliss.
Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Don Fuchs
THE TARKINE RAINFOREST WALK
It’s the largest tract of temperate rainforest in the Southern Hemisphere. Some who have walked beneath its towering canopy talk of a spiritual experience. With Tarkine Trails, prepare for comfort in the wilderness on The Tarkine Rainforest Walk. A Japanese-style washroom, well-appointed sleeping quarters and a central hub complete with roaring fire that transforms into an evening venue of warmth, conversation and great Tasmanian fare.
Days are spent exploring the Tarkine without the need to carry ‘home’ on your back. Experienced guides are at the ready, keen to point out the likes of freshwater crayfish mini-mansions and secrets of the rainforest. Come nightfall, head back to home base where King Island cheese and a local wine, beer or cider drift into a shared meal in the heart of the Tarkine.
Image Credit: Pete Harmsen
WALLS OF JERUSALEM EXPERIENCE
This experience has more than just one biblical name attached, and some heavenly wilderness to match. The six-day Walls of Jerusalem Experience with Tasmanian Expeditions is an opportunity to experience Tasmania’s highlands and wild camping without the need to lug your full backpack across multiple days.
Accessible only by foot, the experience begins with your trek to Wild Dog, your camp base for this alpine wilderness adventure. Each day, summit options range from Mount Jerusalem and The Temple to Solomons Throne. Those keen to delve further into the ‘The Walls’ area might even walk into the remote reaches of Golden Gate and Zion Vale. Each night return to camp for shared tales and hearty Tasmanian meals.
Image Credit: O&M St John Photography
Wild Pedder is the dream of two best mates, Cody and Lou, who forged a friendship guiding along the deserted Bay of Fires beaches. With a shared passion for the endless pleasures and benefits of the wilderness, it wasn’t long before the Wild Pedder idea became reality. The Pedder experience is designed to give the intrepid traveller a taste of all that South West Tasmania offers. Jagged mountain peaks strewn with flora, temperate rainforests lined with mosses, fungi and ferns as well as a day out kayaking to a remote island on Lake Pedder. It’s all topped off with premium Tassie fare back at the lodge each evening and the company of two fine lads.
Image Credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
Banner image credit: Joe Shemesh