National Parks / State Reserves
There is a diverse range of National parks in the Huon Valley, Far South and Bruny Island regions. You can get a taste of it all walking into the dramatic Southwest, admiring the superb views from the subalpine Hartz Mountains, or even exploring in the coastal South Bruny National Park. There are a range of activites available for everyone from short walks and picnic spots to longer day walks and overnight stays.
Park Passes are required for entry into all National Parks
All National Parks Passes are available at the Huon Valley Visitor Centre
Hartz Mountains National Park
Hartz Mountains is 84km south-west of Hobart and a leisurely 90 minute drive. Follow the A6 highway to Huonville and continue down to Geeveston, a great little town to stop and explore. From Geeveston turn right onto the Arve Road (C632) and drive 13km through the Southern forests to the turn off for the Hartz mountains, the road into the national park is gravel and the last section can sometimes be closed due to snowfall.
Waratah Lookout - 5 minutes return. Easy walk on a gravel track leads to viewing platform overlooking the forests and Huon Valley.
Arve Falls - 20 minutes return. A leisurely walk on a gravel pathway meanders you through the alphine plants to a viewing platform looking back at the falls and where the falls tumble into the valley below. There are a number of stairs leading down to the platform.
Lake Osborne - 45 minutes return. A gentle walk through a variety of forest and moorland leading you to the lake.
Longer Day Walks
Lake Esperance - 90 minutes return. Follow the track up to the high country, you will pass a memorial along the way and make your way to the lake.
Hartz Pass - 2 hours return. A steep uphill climb leading you to magnificent views of the area.
Hartz Peak - 3 to 4 hours return. This is a walk for fit, experienced walkers only, as it is a steep uphill climb and the route is very exposed to weather and strong winds. In fine weather the summit offers some of the best views of the south-west.
Southwest National Park
GETTING THERE: VIA COCKLE CREEK
The Southwest National Park at Cockle Creek is located at the end of the most southerly road in Australia, about 2 hours drive from Huonville following the A6 highway. Follow the Huon Highway (A6) from Huonville, a great scenic drive south, onto the C635, then once you reach Lune River (C636) follow the now gravel road to Cockle Creek. The last few kilometres of this road can be fairly rough but are accessible by two wheel drive cars.
Bronze Whale Sculpture - easy 5 minutes. Starts at the very end of road about 800m past the Cockle Creek bridge.
Longer Day Walks
Fishers Point Navigation Light and Pilot Station Ruins - 2 hours return. This moderate walk starts at the bronze whale sculpture and continues along the foreshore. Excellent views and a popular walk. Visit the remains of the pilot station and see the evidence of the past whaling practices in this area.
South Cape Bay - 4 hours return. This moderate walk starts at the Cockle Creek bridge. The walking track is well marked and a large part of the track is actually board walk to the coast. Steps lead down onto the beach - good spot for lunch.
South Coast Track - 6 to 8 days - 85 kilometre walk. The majority of walkers walk from Melaluca to Cockle Creek. The walk has a range of conditions including steep climbs, muddy sections, board walk sections and much more. The South Coast is a spectacular, remote wilderness walk.
South Bruny National Park
Bruny Island can be reached by vehicular ferry departing Kettering at regular intervals throughout the day. The ferry arrives at Roberts Point on the north end of Bruny Island, from there travel by road to the southern end of the island. For more information on the ferry service contact the Huon Valley Visitor Centre or go to www.brunyislandferry.com.au
The South Bruny National Park offers plenty of opportunities for walking and plenty of spectacular scenery.
Remember to be prepared - bring warm clothing and sturdy walking boots. At anytime of the year the weather can change suddenly and quite dramatically - be prepared for cold conditions, even in summer