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Australia's largest expanse of cool-temperate rainforest blankets Tasmania’s north-west. 

It’s a mossy, magical place; an enchanted forest framed by buttongrass moorlands and a rugged, rarely seen coastline.

The wilderness spans a huge area, about half the size of Lebanon. From the south, takayna / Tarkine is entered by riding the Fatman Barge, a vehicle ferry that crosses the dark, mirrored waters of the Pieman River. From the north, the approach skirts the wild north-west coastline, passing the Edge of the World, where the Southern Ocean charges ashore. It’s all as evocative as it sounds.

The forest is filled with myrtle beech, celery top pine and blackwood, with the area’s wild rivers lined with Huon pines, one of the world’s oldest trees. The waterways can be explored in kayaks or on river cruises, and walking trails head deep into the fairytale forest or climb to low mountain peaks.

 

Highlights

Corinna

This one-time gold-mining town turned eco resort sits in the rainforest on the bank of the Pieman River, making for easy access to a river cruise, kayaks, accommodation and an array of walks.

Edge of the World

As the road hits the west coast at Arthur River, take the short detour to Gardiner Point to find yourself at the Edge of the World, staring across the longest uninterrupted stretch of ocean on the planet. Driftwood litters the shores, and waves hurtle onto the coast in wild scenes along a frayed and furious coast.

Tarkine Drive

Loop through northern takayna / Tarkine on this 60km drive from either Stanley or Smithton. The drive includes more than 20 stops, with highlights including the rainforest around Julius River, views into the forest from the Milkshake Hills, and the fern-filled natural archway and sinkholes at Trowutta Arch.

Incredible sunrise peeking over Gardiner Point, where the rocks meet the ocean.
Gardiner Point [Edge of the World]
Sean Scott
Stunning image of a person in the middle of a small bridge over Julius River, viewing river and the surrounding lush wilderness.
Julius River
Jess Bonde

Walks

Huon Pine Walk

A 600m return walk follows the forested bank of the Pieman River to an ancient Huon pine overhanging the river. The 20-minute stroll is on boardwalk, and is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.

 

Mount Donaldson

Get perspective on takayna / Tarkine, setting out through thick forest and then rising through buttongrass moorland to a sweeping view over the area from the summit of this 437m peak (3hr return, 7km).

 

Philosopher Falls

An easy trail follows an old mining water race through the forest to this multi-tiered waterfall, with a viewing platform reached at the base of a long set of steps (1hr return, 3km).

 

Tarkine Trails

Multi-day guided walks range from rainforest experiences to more challenging and remote coastal expeditions.

 

Other activities

Pieman River cruise

Set sail from Corinna on the historic Arcadia II, heading downstream on the Pieman River to the coast at Pieman Heads.

 

Arthur River cruise

Explore the northern edge of takayna / Tarkine on a 14km cruise along the Arthur River, disappearing deep into rainforest, with Arthur River Cruises

 

Kayak on the Pieman River

Hire kayaks from Corinna and paddle downstream, often through flawless reflections, to beautiful Lovers Falls or over the furthest inland shipwreck in Australia.

Need to know

Accommodation

Stay in takayna / Tarkine at converted miners’ cottages at Corinna and at Arthur River. Nearby towns with accommodation include Smithton, Stanley, Waratah, Tullah and Zeehan.

Access

Through-roads in takayna / Tarkine are the unsealed Western Explorer between Smithton and Zeehan and the B23 from Corinna to Waratah. The Fatman barge over the Pieman River operates daily 9am-7pm during daylight saving time (October-April), and 9am-5pm at other times.

Where

Corinna, at the southern end of takayna / Tarkine, is a 5hr drive (350km) north-west of Hobart, and a 3hr 30min drive (250km) west of Launceston. Arthur River, at the northern end, is a 3hr 30min drive (290km) west of Launceston.

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