Cradle Mountain National Park
Our first destination is located in the north of the island and the vegetation reminds of New Zealand rather than Australia. From the water’s edge of Dove Lake you have an amazing view on the extraordinary shape of Cradle Mountain.
There are different walks to do, I’d definitely recommend the summit walk though which takes you right on top of the mountain. It is quite a steep walk at some points (took me and my friends about 6 hours return), but it is also a lot of fun and you get rewarded with stunning views that seem infinite… and trust me, once you reach the top, you’ll forget how much of a hard climb it was. The whole mountain is surrounded by rock pieces that have a strange square shape. From its summit you are able to see the lakes and beautiful hill landscape around, you’re on the highest spot around.
For those who are fascinated by Australias wildlife: There is a good chance to see wombats in Cradle Mountain NP. I was lucky twice around the ‘Waldheim’ carpark, where there is a wooden track leading over flat grassland. Another interesting animal to meet out there is the infamous Tasmanian devil, the endangered marsupial who feeds on carrion. Drive especially careful around dawn so you don’t accidentally hit one while its having dinner on some roadkill!
Mt Field National Park
The next place you must see is Tasmania’s oldest national park. It is located a bit more than an hour north of Hobart in the southern part of Tasmania. This gem has a huge variety to offer in its landscapes, to me the most beautiful part were the famous waterfalls of Mt Field NP which lay in the stunning rain forest. The easiest to reach (wheelchair accessible track) are the Russell Falls which are simply picturesque. Apart from that, you have to take a hike to Lady Barron Falls and Horseshoe Falls if you really want to explore the marvelous green forest more deeply. Those two falls are definitely worth it as well though.
If you decide to stay on the campground there, you should walk the way to Russell Falls another time at night. Turn your torch off and stay quiet, then you might see glowworms illuminate around you – or maybe have a noisy possum sneaking up on you.
Freycinet National Park
Sleepy Bay can be reached directly by car and will impress you with its super turqouise water, at some spots blotched with deeply blue stains. The water hits a dramatic rocky shore on which you can climb around and get a better view.
Wineglass bay is the probably most remarkable bay along the coastline. On the track (which is not too hard) there is a lookout overviewing the whole bay from above (that’s when you can tell where it got its name from). The deeply turquoise water, white sand and big red-striped rocks along the coast are typical for the east coast of Tasmania but you won’t find them anywhere as overwhelming as they are here.
If you can spare more than a day, you should plan a bigger hike. We walked the beautiful way along Lemana Lookout to hazards beach on the first day. Hazards Beach is simply stunning: a long white beach with powdery white sand and it was only us there. We slept in the tent on the beach and woke up to crystal clear light blue water and wallabies playing about a hundred meters next to us. The second day, we left our tent and baggage on hazards beach (there was literally no one around anyways) and walked further south to the next beach. That one was even more breathtaking than all the others and we spent all day swimming in the crystal clear water, collecting some of the huge shells that can be found there and relaxing underneath the sun, isolated from the rest of the world. In the evening, we walked back and slept another night by the sea. As the sun rised, we packed up our stuff and searched for the beginning of the Isthmus track, which leads from Hazards Beach to Wineglass Bay. From there we finished the circuit and arrived back at the carpark- smelly but happy.
Trowunna Wildlife Park
Close to Cradle Mountain NP, there is our last destination. The Trowunna Wildlife Park in Mole Creek welcomes you with a huge Tasmanian devil sculpture so you basically can’t drive past it. If you haven’t been lucky enough to see wombats or Tasmanian devils at our previous destinations, you will now. The small park is a sanctuary for animals that for example got injured by cars or lost their parents. The friendly rangers will tell you a lot of interesting information about the wildlife and answer all your question- if you are lucky, you might be able to cuddle a wombat as well. Another highlight is the feeding of the Tasmanian devils (not for the fainthearted, these little guys look cute but have a lot of power in their jaws). If you can spare a few dollars, you have the possibility to feed the wallabies and try to take a selfie with them.