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Tasmanian Wilderness

The Tasmanian Wilderness area constitutes one of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world, including the renowned South West Wilderness. Also, important prehistoric aboriginal sites were discovered here.

The following National Parks and reserves make up the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area:

- Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

- Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

- Hartz Mountains National Park

- Mole Creek Karst National Park

- Southwest National Park

- Walls of Jerusalem National Park

- Central Plateau Conservation and Protected Areas

- Devils Gullet State Reserve

The sites's natural features have been compared to Fiordland, part of Te Wahipounamu (New Zealand) and Los Glaciares (Argentina).

Map

Visit April 2011

The Tasmanian Wilderniss WHS occupies a large part of Tasmania. For a daytrip from the Tasman capital of Hobart, Lake St. Clair (part of the Cradle Mountain/Lake St. Clair National Park) is the most accessible option. I rented a car and drove out there in 2.5 hours. It's a fine drive through the island's hilly landscape, with plenty of sheep along the road as well as signboards to watch out for kangooroos, wombats or Tasmanian devils.

I arrived at the visitor center at about 11 a.m. There's a 24 AUS dollar entrance fee (per car) that you have to pay there. And you can take your pick among the many walking tracks in the area. I was looking for a hike of about 3 to 4 hours. The one to Shadow Lake fitted nicely, so it seemed. So after having a quick look at the vast Lake St. Claire, I got going. The track is signposted very well. I did not encounter any other travellers, though there were about 10 cars in the car park. You can do hikes that vary in length from half an hour to 5 days, so it will not get crowded easily in a track.

After walking for about 45 minutes on a small path through the forest, I suddenly realized that I was not enjoying it. There were trees, trees and more trees around me. Most of them Eucalyptus, common in Australia. No colourful birds, no birds at all except for black crowes. And no mammals either. So I easily convinced myself to turn back and go find something else to do here.

On the way out I was already attracted by the sign "Platypus Bay" - the Platypus an animal that I would really like to see. There's a short circular walk that you can do that brings you to the bay where they are often seen. You just have to sit still and be very quiet, the instruction boards told me. Platypus Bay turned out to be a very fine beach at Lake St. Claire. So I sat down at a dead tree trunk, ate my lunch and stared at the water. Supposedly you have to look for a crocodile kind of movement in the water. Unfortunately, I saw nothing move in the half hour that I sat there.

At the visitor centre of Lake St. Claire they have journals where each visitor can write down his sightings of wildlife. People had seen wallibies, Tasmanian devils, wombats and echidna. And almost every day a Platypus or two at the Bay. I was not so lucky, and returned back to Hobart with only memories of dark forests. You definitely need more time on the ground and an overnight stay to see any wildlife here.

Community Reviews


John Booth - February 2015

Because of the limited public transport in Tasmania I travelled around the island by campervan. This enabled me to see remote areas of the Tasmanian Wilderness, especially at night when most of the wildlife is out foraging.

At the Cradle Mountain NP I used the Park's shuttlebuses to reach Dove Lake. Here I saw echidna and wombats, as well as a pair of platypus in the shallows of the lake. In the early morning my van was surrounded by wallabies.

From Strahan I took a boat trip up the Gordon River to see the remining stands of Huon Pine in that area.

At Lake St Clair I took a ferry to Narcissus Bay at the northern end of the lake. Here there was some interesting mountain scenery (though nothing as dramatic as in New Zealand's Southern Alps). Wombats and echidnas were common here too.

In the Southwest NP I visited Lake Pedder and the surrounding mountains.

The only Tasmanian Devils I saw were in a reserve near the Port Arthur Convict Settlement.


pauline ferguson - April 2009

Cradle Mountain is another world!! stunning scenery and wildlife - does not need to change. we went there in winter and had just missed a snowfall but it was still magestic and magical. everyone should go there for peace of mind and to get away from our hectic lifestyles


Emilia Bautista King - February 2006

Never did the Overland Track but friends of mine who've done it said that it was grueling yet exhilirating! I did go to Cradle Mountain, which was beautiful. Tasmania is such a jewel of a place!


Sophie

I went to tasmania for a school trip and it was good. we saw everything and the heritage was spectacular.


Rob Wilson

Gorgeous! This must be one of the most beautiful places on the entire planet. The Tasmanians should be very proud of their state. The Overland Track between Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair must be one of the finest hikes on Earth. I can't recommend it higher. But, if you do attempt this hike, please be fully prepared. The weather in this part of the world can be absolutely lethal. Oh and also, Tasmania, please STOP THE LOGGING!


Ben Fraser

An area of spectacular natural beauty. Easily accessable at Cradle Mountain, and Lake St Claire. The Franklin river is amazing and it is scandelous that there was pressue to flood and destroy it in the 1970's. The flooding of Lake Pedder, which is also part of the World heritage area, was an unbelievable act of government anti environment policy


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Site Info

Full name: Tasmanian Wilderness

Site History

  • 1989 - Name change

    From "Western Tasmania Wilderness National Parks" to "Tasmanian Wilderness"
  •  
  • 1989 - Extended

    To include 2 more national parks (Walls of Jerusalem, Hartz Mountains) and additional areas
  •  
  • 1982 - Inscribed

    Reasons for inscription
  •  

Locations

The site has 1 locations.

  • Tasmanian Wilderness

Connections

The site has 25 connections.

Damaged

Ecology

  • Critically endangered fauna species Orange-bellied Parrot - "The current wild population is estimated at under 50 individuals" (wiki)
  • Dripstone Mole Creek Karst National Park - King Solomons Cave & Marakoopa Cave
  • Eucalypts extensive tracts of tall eucalypt forest (AB ev)
  • Peat "Some features, such as striped bogs and peat mounds appear to have characteristics that make them globally unique" (Nom File)
  • Penguins Little (or "Fairy")
  • Rainforests 
  • Seals fur seal
  • Significant Karst Features Many small areas of karst in limestone and dolomite, some in alpine zone (AB ev)

Geography

Timeline

Trivia

WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process