The enormous mainland of Australia may make Tasmania look rather small, but don’t be mistaken. This is a huge island, covering almost 65,000 square kilometers (nearly 25,000 square miles). Although it’s an Australian state, it is completely different from the rest of the country. Tasmania is where you’ll find numerous waterfalls, glacial lakes, towering mountains, lush rainforests and unique fauna. And all of this is protected by the 19 national parks in Tasmania, the three greatest ones of which are featured in this blog post.
Top 3 National Parks in Tasmania
No less than 40% of island’s surface area consists of protected lands, including World Heritage Sites, nature reserves and the many stunning national parks in Tasmania. This makes it one of the world’s most protected regions. If you’re planning on visiting Tasmania, which I could not recommend more, definitely do not miss the following national parks.
The beauty of Tassie is that it’s super-easy to explore by car, its main highway essentially looping around the island. No matter which direction you drive, you’ll pass by all these three parks on your way. Make sure to stop for a visit. And give them at least one full day, preferably two or three.
3. Mount Field National Park
Established in 1916, together with Freycinet National Park (see below), Mount Field National Park has grown to become one of Tasmania’s most beloved national parks. A short drive from Hobart, the state’s capital, the park boasts impressive diversity in fauna and flora.
The valleys and foothills are home to dense rainforests and patches of towering fern trees, while the higher slopes accommodate alpine vegetation and tall swamp gum forests. The most famous natural attractions in Mount Field, however, are its gorgeous waterfalls. Don’t miss Russell, Horseshoe and Lady Barron Falls.
2. Freycinet National Park
It’s hard to imagine a place more stunning than Freycinet National Park. Situated in the middle of the east coast of the island, this sensational park encompasses a peninsula sticking out into the Tasman Sea. This is where you’ll find glorious sand beaches, barren granite mountain summits, boulder-lined coasts and lots of friendly wildlife.
Freycinet is a phenomenal destination for a few days of hiking, camping and swimming. A small, primitive campground at the end of Wineglass Bay beach offers basic accommodation in a spectacular environment.
1. Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Without question the greatest of all national parks in Tasmania, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park has everything you could possibly want in a park. Its natural diversity ranges from grasslands and ancient rainforests to alpine heathlands, deciduous beech forests and perfectly still mountain lakes.
There’s no road through the park that connects its two main areas—Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair. The Overland Track, however, does run between those places, one of the world’s most epic long-distance trails. If you’re not inclined to spend a week in the remote Tasmanian wilderness, you can still explore the park on one of its many shorter trails.