With over 51% of Tasmanian land is currently under reservation classification, consisting of 19 National Parks and over 800 other reserves within the state you are never going to be far from a typical Tasmanian short bushwalk. The majority of these are managed by Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. Collectively they offer a wide range of recreational opportunities and play an important role in maintaining the diversity of Tasmania's natural and cultural heritage.
There are many short walks around the region from beach strolls to dense rainforest hikes and spectacular waterfalls. To access some of these parks you will require a pass which can be purchased online through the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Website.
Here at SEA STACKS we have selectively curated a group of walks all within a 90 minute drive from The Denison that embody the SEA STACK lifestyle
Goblin Forest – Blue Tiers
Goblin Forest is a short 500m loop walk through some of the most beautiful regenerating rainforest nestled within the sub-alpine Blue Tiers Mountain Reserve. The area has previously been ravaged by tin mining and clearfell logging. The Blue Tiers provides numerous walks from short wheelchair friendly walks through to full day treks. The Goblin Forest Walk hosts many small rivulets and waterways, gurgling and meandering its way through the moss, ferns and alpine reserves.
The White Knights walk at Evercreech National Park is a brief 30 minute loop that takes you through the majestic white gum forest, the tallest of its species in Australia. Some of these trees reach over 90m high, their bark peeling away to reveal thick white trunks soaring towards the blue sky. This grade 2 walk takes you on an elevated walk to view the gum trees and there is an option of continuing your time in Evercreech and walking to the Evercreech Falls near the head of the South Esk River.
St Columba Falls
Only 30 minutes west from St Helens is the spectacular St Columba Falls. At more the 90 metres St Columba is one of the highest falls in Tasmania. Walking through cool shady rainforest brings you to the base of the falls on a walk that is canopied with some of the tallest Tree and Man Ferns in the state. Staring up towards the top of the falls the South George River tumbles town a series of cascading pools weaving its way through rocky outcrops. Returning to the top of the falls is a grade 2 walk but can be slippery due to the moist conditions.
A short and easy 2.4 kilometre circuit through a densely forested mossy tacks leading to Tasmania’s highest waterfall, Ralph Falls drops 100 meters dramatically from a rugged escarpment as a ribbon floating in the breeze. From the falls you can continue to walk through to Cash’s Lookout hugging close to the escarpment in places, providing the most majestic view. Heading on the landscape changes taking you through Teatree forests and buttongrass fields. The extended loop to Cash’s Lookout is a 4 kilometre grade 3 walk taking approximately 1 hour.
Douglas-Apsley National Park
Douglas-Apsley National Park is a place of contradiction. Flat buttongrass and heathlands giving way to rainforests. Tranquil waterholes meandering to thundering waterfalls set amongst towering eucalypt forests. Deep river gorges cutting through granite cliffs.
The crystal waters run through the park and swimming is encouraged in summer. Apsley waterhole is a popular picnic and recreation spot for families and visitors. Around the waterhole there are a number of long and short walks through the dry sclerophyll forest plants, including a beautiful array of seasonal wildflowers.
A gentle open woodland stroll to the waterhole officially marks the start of the rest of the walk through to Apsley Gorge. The grade 2 walk crosses the river and leads up through dry, open forest descending back down to the river at the Gorge.
Freycinet National Park
Rising majestically from the sea is the rugged granite mountains of the Freycinet Peninsula. The park is surrounded by azure bays and white sand beaches, is home to a superb array of plants and animals. It provides visitors with the opportunity to walk along the most picturesque and pristine coastlines, culminating in a memorable walk to the famous Wineglass Bay.
The launch site for the Freycinet Peninsula is the Visitor Information Centre, a 40 minute drive from Sea Stacks on the Denison. At this point you can choose from a number of walks. We recommend a camera and small pair of binoculars.
This is our shortest walk at only 600 metres but it packs a punch. Walking the circuit around the Cape Tourville Lighthouse perched high on a raised boardwalk sitting on top of the cliffs with uninterrupted views of the Hazards, Wineglass Bay and The Nuggets. Sea birds, hawks and falcons are a common sight on this side of the peninsula as well as dolphins, seals and whales. Wheelchair friendly.
Wineglass Bay Lookout
One of the most popular and iconic walks on the Tasmanian East Coast, the Wineglass Bay Lookout boasts one of the best views in Tasmania. This is a steep uphill walk through granite rock outcrops and coastal brush and woodlands. Take advantage of the resting seats along the way as this walk has quite a few steps as you climb to the lookout with the most spectacular views of Wineglass Bay. This is a very popular walk and can get very hot in the summer, so this walk is best done in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat and crowds. At just over 2.5 kilometres return this Grade 3 walk is definitely on the must do list.
Wineglass Bay & Hazards Beach
This is a full day walk and bushwalking experience is recommended. Continue on from the Wineglass Bay Lookout and a downhill bushland walk to Wineglass Bay. Once arriving walk along the pristine beaches in a secluded place few people experience. Crystal clear waters and white sand greet you after a steep descent, giving you time to relax on the beach with a picnic lunch.
From Wineglass Bay you will turn inland crossing the peninsular to Hazards Beach. This is a completely different view and experience as you walk along a rocky coastline with magical views across Great Oyster Bay. Staying close to the coastline you will walk back to your starting point through cool coastal woodlands. Take plenty of water and snacks to keep you going on this 5 hours circuit.
Here at Sea Stacks we love this walk because it’s right in the heart of town and only a 40 minute drive. This relaxing walk offers unbelievable views across Great Oyster Bay to the Freycinet Peninsular and Shouten Island. An easy 2.5 kilometre circuit leaves from the main street at Waterloo Beach, weaves around the coastal headland at Waterloo Point before arriving at Shouten Beach. The track continues through a protected Muttonbird breeding area where the birds can been seen at dusk during summer as they return from feeding at sea. The final part of the walk takes you past some of the most beautiful and early colonial homes in the town.
Maria Island National Park, a World Heritage Listed Site is a 30 minute ferry trip from the Triabunna terminal approximately 1 hour from The Denison. The Ferry has a regular sailing schedule and tickets can be booked online at the Encounter Maria Island website and has a number of walks ideal for day visitors.
A day at Maria Island is magical, but with no restaurants of shops you will need to take all your food and drinks with you onto the island.
The stone Commissariat Store is only 150 m from the jetty and is the island's oldest building. This building houses the visitor reception, displays and historic information. Park entry and Penitentiary fees can be paid here. Just behind the sand dunes of Darlington Bay is a large open-sided shelter with gas barbecues and picnic tables. Water and toilets are nearby.
The buildings and ruins around Darlington don't all come from the early convict era. There were two separate convict periods in the 1800’s and this was followed by two distinct industrial periods in the late 1800’s and 1920’s. A walk around Darlington offer insights into the island’s varied history and is the most intact example of a probation station in Australia. 14 convict buildings and ruins are preserved in a layout that reflects the key features of the probation structure in Van Diemen’s Land. The site has remained relatively unchanged since the convict era.
The Reservoir Circuit
This easy walk is sheltered from the coastal winds and provides a glimpse of Maria Island’s wildlife and history. This walk is one of the best places to see Australia’s smallest bird the Forty-spotted Pardalote that is threatened with extinction. This 90 minute walk takes you through open woodlands into tall eucalypt forest, returning past the ruins from the old cement works.
This stunning set of cliffs offer insight into the past environment and history of Maria Island. Extending along the northern shores of the island this 2 hour walk leads from flat grasslands to dramatic cliffs plunging sheer to the sea. This walk takes you to the edge of the cliffs where you can see expansive views of Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island. A short steep track takes you to the rock shelf where a close inspection reveals a vast number of animals, shells, sea lilies and coral immortalised as fossils in the rocks. These sedimentary rocks are so lime-rich that the cliffs were mined in the 1920’s for cement. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes as the path can be slippery underfoot.
The Painted cliffs are a beautifully coloured and patterned sandstone outcrop, carved and moulded by the sea, and bordered by rock pools teeming with marine life. The cliffs are best visited within 2 hours of low tide. Tidal information is available from the visitors information centre near the ferry.
A return trip from Darlington to the Painted Cliffs takes approximately 2 hours and leads to a number of convict and environmental relics along the way. Mrs Hunt’s Cottage you will walk through the cleared paddocks where Forester Kangaroos, Cape Barren Geese and native hens are often seen grazing. At Hopground Beach where the creek meets the sea Pied and Black Oystercatchers, crested terns, Pacific Gulls and Hooded Plovers are commonly seen racing along the beach all protecting their territories.
Arriving at the Painted Cliffs walkers are confronted by the natural colour of this sandstone outcrop. Although not uncommon, it is rare for painted cliffs to be so extensively and beautifully exposed. These patterns are caused by ground water percolating down through the already formed sandstone and leaving traces of iron oxides. Crystal formed by salt have further caused the rock to weather in honeycomb patterns This natural formation occurred millions of years ago when Tasmania was in a monsoonal climate. These beautifully patterned sandstone cliffs give way to peaceful beaches and shoreline home to a wealth of fascinating tidal-zone marine life.