Talk to anyone who has been and they’ll say one of Tasmania’s highlights is the untouched wilderness of its extraordinary national parks. Between them, the differences that set them apart is the perfect reason why you must visit them all! Here’s a taste of what you’ll encounter.
Cradle Mountain National Park
In the north west of Tasmania and home to Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake and Lake St Clair, Cradle Mountain National Park has a rich Aboriginal heritage dating back to the last ice age (approximately 10,000 years ago). It is also home to early European heritage including hunting, mining and logging.
This region features the jagged contours of Cradle Mountain reflecting the feel of a wild landscape, while ancient rainforest and alpine heathlands, buttongrass and colourful deciduous beech trees provide a range of environments to explore. Icy streams cascade out of rugged mountains, while stands of ancient pines are mirrored in the still waters of glacial lakes.
Rich in flora and fauna, the vegetation varies from rainforest to grassland providing habitats for endemic Tasmanian mammals, birds and invertebrates. The area is home to the world’s largest carnivorous marsupials including the Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tailed quoll and the eastern quoll. Two of the world’s only three surviving monotremes – the most primitive group of mammals in the world – are also found in the area, the platypus and the echidna.
Freycinet National Park
Located on the east coast of Tasmania, Freycinet is considered one of the state’s most picturesque coastal areas and it attracts many visitors each year. The winning formula of imposing granite peaks and white sandy beaches lining azure bays – coupled with a mild maritime climate – has made this park home to many bird species including the rare white-bellied eagle and yellow-tailed black cockatoos.
Some of the highlights of the park include the variety of granite deposits, the pinky orange boulders at The Hazards, and the fine silica sands of Friendly Beaches which are highly-sought for glass production.
Tasman National Park
This region is renowned for dramatic landscapes from spectacularly tall sea cliffs, diverse forest and pristine coastline as well as the abundant wildlife including seals, penguins, dolphins and whales. Australian fur seals inhabit the rugged coastline for breeding and resting, while fairy penguins nest along the foreshore. Many birds including gannets, scarlet robins plus endangered wedge-tail eagles and white-bellied sea eagles call this park home.
For budding botanists, the park also contains a number of plant species found nowhere else in the world, including three beautiful and rare species of euphrasia, found only in coastal heath communities of the Tasman National Park.
Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park
This national park lies in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. It is a region of dramatic mountain peaks, beautiful rainforests, deep river valleys and spectacular gorges. The park is famous for the pristine rivers that twist their way through the wilderness.
In addition to being the home of the last remaining wild rivers of Australia, it contains many Aboriginal sites which are a testimony to Aboriginal heritage extending back over 36 thousand years. This park has also been the backdrop to a rich European history of convicts and piners and, more recently, it has been the stage for the largest conservation battle in Australian history which prevented the damming of the Franklin River.
1982 saw the national park receive UNESCO World Heritage Listing, where it had satisfied more criteria than any other World Heritage area on earth. This listing gives recognition to the natural and cultural values that makes the area of outstanding universal significance.
As one of only three remaining temperate wilderness areas in the southern hemisphere, the region provides pristine habitats for a range of plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world, including many rare and endangered species.
All these parks offer vistors the opportunity to seek joy and inspiration amidst the grandeur of nature, and find refuge from an increasingly artificial world. It is waiting for you to discover and, perhaps, to even discover a part of yourself.
Jam packed with outstanding natural beauty, ancient and recent history, unique flora and fauna, and landscapes that differ at every turn, Tasmania is just a short flight away. Discover these national parks and more on Evergreen’s 10 Day Tasmanian Spectacular or 12 Day Tasmania Explorer.