When mainlanders think of Tasmania, they often think trees. Lots of trees. But amid those trees are magnificent landscapes whether it be rolling hills, rocky mountains or glistening lakes.
For lovers of scenery who haven’t visited the gym in a while, here are the top Tasmanian walks where you get the new artistically scenic profile picture without looking sweaty and red-faced:
Dove Lake Circuit – Cradle Mountain
Tasmania renowned for Cradle Mountain. The Overland track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair was listed on Buzzfeed’s ’16 Astounding Backpacking Trips To Add To Your Bucket List‘. But if 80km and six days hiking is likely to leave you collapsed on the floor in the middle of nowhere calling for your mother, then the Dove Lake Circuit is more suited to you.
Hire and car and take the 2.5 hr drive from Launceston to Cradle Mountain – it’s a mountainous drive but there’s also a sense of adventure in knowing you’re driving further and further into the wilderness.
Once there, you’ll need to buy a park pass (as with all Tasmanian national parks) and with it, a free shuttle will take you to the last stop – Dove Lake. The entire walk (return) is just under 6 km and about 2 hours long. It’s generally quite flat with a few hills and stairs but with plenty of rest-stops to sit in awe of your surroundings, the walk is definitely doable. There’s always a pathway so you won’t have to beat your way through bushes and most of the time, the pathway is a boardwalk.
Along the way, you’ll see a plethora of landscapes and flora. One moment you’ll be on a little beach dipping your toes in crystal-clear water and the next you’ll be surrounded by thick, magical forest.
If your time allows, you can also fit the lovely Enchanted Walk, which is about 20 minutes through what looks like a fairy’s home. But though lovely, this walk pales in comparison to Dove Lake and you’ll regret having gone all the way to Cradle Mountain only to have done the 20-minute walk.
Wine Glass Bay Lookout – Freycinet National Park
Out of these three walks, Wine Glass Bay is probably the most difficult. Keep in mind that there is a hill to climb up to get to the lookout point. There is a point where you might get a little delirious in the face of a seemingly never-ending set of stairs. But once you reach the look-out, filled with very friendly tourists, you’ll see that it’s worth it.
The water is crystal clear, the sand is white and the surrounding mountains and rocks are spectacular. The amount of gigantic boulders that surround the walk are reminiscent of a Fred Flintstones cartoon.
Walking down to the beach at Wine Glass Bay is definitely recommended- if you managed to survive the uphill, the downhill walk should be a breeze. Have a swim (or even a snorkel!), meet a wallaby and her baby (just don’t feed it!) and mingle with friendly people from all around Australia and the world.
The walk to and from the beach is about 2-3 hours but be sure to take a rest at the beach for a few hours as a reward to yourself! The walk to and from the lookout is about 1-1.5 hours. Again, you’ll need a park pass.
After the walk, Honeymoon Bay is a perfect place to relax with sand, giant rocks to lie on and crystal clear water.
Russell Falls and HorseShoe Falls – Mt Field
An hour drive from Hobart, the walk to Russell Falls is certainly the easiest out of these three walks. Apparently the most photographed waterfall in Australia, Russell Falls is an easy 400 metres away from the Visitor Centre. For so little work, you’ll feel like you cheated when your eyes catch hold of the glorious, towering waterfall. The steep stair climb to the top of the falls is optional and if you make it, a quick minute or so detour will take you to the lovely HorseShoe Falls.
So there you have it – the best of Tasmania’s scenery without the agony! Don’t forget to take pictures of magical landscapes to show people how athletic and meaningful you are!