Punks – I’ve only been in Tassie 18 months, so there’s heaps of shizzle I don’t know. Lucky for me, my friends are generous with their knowledge as well as being great writers. Thanks to @gypset_rover for this fab guest post! She even took the pics! M xMy family moved to Tasmania back when it was really unfashionable.
My parents cited fresh air, blue skies and green forests as the reason, so, fresh off the boat, mum decided she had to act upon this explanation and we spent weekends walking through Tasmania wearing japaras that flapped around our ankles and blunnies, which back then put you firmly in the dag zone.
Mum even took my brothers and I on the Overland track when I was eight, only turning back when we ate all the emergency chocolate and started pushing each other into every available lake and complaining about the leeches.
Then, there was a period of time (aka -to my parents- I fell in with the wrong crowd and dated bad boys) when I neglected Tasmania’s seriously beautiful wilderness in favour of jiggling on crowded dance floors, drink in hand and sleeping off the resultant hang overs and weekend.
But now coffee trumps pre mixers and awkward pick ups- plus we have tinder now so no need to go clubbing, you can just swipe yourself a mate- but basically, I get out of bed on the weekends and prod my friends up mountains and sandy beach paths (with the result that some of them no longer answer my “wanna walk” messages.)
Here are my three favourite bushwalks near Hobart*
My first tramp into Lost Worlds was disappointingly short on dinosaurs but filled with the kind of views that make you say smug sentences like “all this in our own backyard” and “we’re so lucky” while swigging your ice cold, freshly bottled water that you collected from a mountain spring.
Located in Wellington Park, a 30-minute drive from Hobart, Lost Worlds is accessible from the Pinnacle road at the Big Bend carpark
It’s a short walk, roughly 45 minutes’ return, where you’ll pass through native flowers and towering gums. Your destination is a large collection of boulders that have collected under cliffs.
On a good day you have a view right across Hobart, on a cloudy day, it’s like descending into… well, you could almost say, another world.
For extra smug points, grab a coffee from the van at the Springs- pro tip, bring a thermos, your coffee will be better sitting on a giant boulder at Lost Worlds rather than trying to climb down with a cardboard cup in hand.
The walk is steep and rocky and includes a lot of scrambling and climbing, it’s graded medium in difficulty- my adventurous mum only went halfway when we visited at Christmas so we left her at a big rock with a dinosaur sized tranquillizer gun just in case.
The walk to Tarn shelf is arguably best when the Fagus is turning. (no, not Oliver Twist, get your mind out of the 19th century gutter and back into the 21st century wilderness)
The fagus is Tasmania’s only native deciduous tree, found in a few locations in Tasmania. It turns in Autumn and the shrubs are ablaze in red and gold.
But whether the fagus is turning or just hanging out being green, the trail, starting at Lake Dobson is like walking through a montage trying on Tasmania’s best flora; and occasionally fauna- handy hint, don’t have heated arguments about Donald Trump, the wombats don’t like it and you’ll realise too late that they’re hanging out by the duckboards and all you’ll get for Instagram is a photo of their rumps disappearing into shrubs. (Australian fauna= smart)
The walk takes you through squat Pandani gathered like Jim Hensen muppets on the shore of the Lake, through the twisting ghostly snow gums and down onto the long tarn shelf itself with its many glassy tarns.
(Ignore the fire trail, I mean you have to walk it, but it’s the worst bit that many people can’t hack- put your head down and pretend you’re a pack horse, or a bird migrating, whatever will get you up that hill)
Mt Field National Park is approximately 1.5 hours from Hobart, you need a parks pass which is available at the ranger office. There’s also a cracking great fire, good coffee and lovely rangers who will check the weather for you and let you know if your car’s going to make it up the 18 km road to Lake Dobson.
The walk to Tarn Shelf is a medium grade walk, it’s approximately four hours long and the weather can change suddenly.
There are shorter walks to gorgeous waterfalls with potential platypus sightings if you’re unprepared for the Tarn Shelf walk.
Picking a walk on the Tasman Peninsula isn’t easy- any of the Three Capes Tracks will give you spectacular views and echidna spotting opportunities so let’s leave them for another day.
Crescent Bay is a lesser known walk that takes you across sandy cliffs and through low lying Tasmanian shrub.
It’s an easy grade walk, aprox 4 hours return.
I took some friend on this walk and told them there was only one big hill. We started up the first part of the walk which consists of many slopes and they as one they said in hopeful tones “So this is the big hill?” NOPE, NOT EVEN CLOSE GUYZ.
The walk leaves from the Remarkable Cave car park- which you can walk through at low tide so totally check it out, but don’t stay too long because Crescent Bay is way cooler (IMO) and takes you past the unfenced Maingon blow hole (but don’t take that as an invitation to sit on the edge like my brother does because that’s scary and it looks like it could crumble any day now) and down into a white sand, turquoise blue bay that, surprise! Looks like a crescent moon.
Bonus tip: the beach is surrounded by high dunes so totally pack that sheet of cardboard, just make sure you take it back out.
Bonus Tip ++ On the drive in, stop at the Pirates Bay look out for coffee and gluten free, sugar free but surprisingly, not fun-free cakes AND a wondrous view of Pirates Bay.
On the way home, pause at the Tessellated pavements at Eaglehawk Neck to marvel at the symmetry and play on the tyre swing**
Safety first in the Tassie wilderness. Ensure you have the right equipment, sneakers and gym leggings don’t cut it.
Tell someone where you’re going and what time to expect you back.
The weather can change rapidly- check here: http://www.bom.gov.au/tas
** Note the dodgy looking frayed rope, maybe don’t play on the tyre swing.
Follow @gypset_rover here.