Southwest National Park
The magnificent Southwest National Park is the heart of the Tasmanian wilderness and contains some of the finest and most remote wilderness found anywhere in the world.
At a massive 600,000 hectares, this national park is Tasmania's largest, and with wild rivers, jagged mountain ranges, button grass plains and ancient rainforest, forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The park includes stands of rare Huon pine and a myriad of plant and animal species.
While much of the park is remote and hard to reach, it offers spectacular scenery that can be easily accessed on four wheels.
There are many other ways to enjoy this park, from scenic drives, picnics and short walks to breathtaking flights, multi-day wilderness treks and kayak adventures.
The northern access to the park via the Gordon River Road is one of Tassie's great drives, lined with towering myrtle, sassafras and celery top pine. Lookouts reveal the epic scale of the park's wilderness and allow encounters with local birds like scarlet and flame robins, honeyeaters, thornbills and wrens.
The alternative and equally fascinating Scotts Peak Road leads to spectacular views of Mt Anne – the highest peak in the south-west.
For an easy wilderness walk, the Creepy Crawly Nature Trail is a 20-min stroll through cool and mossy old-growth temperate rainforest. For the more intrepid traveller, the eight-hour return walk to Lake Judd is an adventure that requires wading through a river, taking a cable crossing and traversing muddy button grass plains.
Southern access to the park is by boat or light plane to Melaleuca, where an 84-km walking track out departs for Cockle Creek. This is one of the world's great wilderness walks, with stunning views, challenging inclines and all kinds of weather.
On the water, there is excellent fishing at Teds Beach and Edgar Dam, with boating and kayaking opportunities on Lake Gordon and Lake Pedder.
The Bathurst Harbour - Port Davey area is a drowned river valley that supports all kinds of fascinating marine species, including delicate sea pens.
Camping and accommodation
Picnic facilities are dotted throughout the park, and camping is permitted at designated sites.
At the end of the Scotts Peak Road, the Huon Campground is a secluded picnic and camping spot set in the forest, with short and easy walks and long tracks to the Arthur Plains and Port Davey.
Commercial accommodation is available at Maydena and the town of National Park at the northern end and at Southport and Dover at the southern end.
Southwest National Park is a 3-hr drive from Hobart.