9 top adventures you have to try in Northern Tasmania

The stunning beauty of Northern Tasmania’s natural wilderness makes it pretty much the perfect adventure playground. Here are nine activities that will get your heart pumping.

Three kayaks on a mirror-like Pieman River in Tasmania.
  • Jetstar
  • February 2020

The stunning beauty of Northern Tasmania’s natural wilderness makes it pretty much the perfect adventure playground. Here are nine activities that will get your heart pumping.

Kayak on the Pieman River

Dawn on the Pieman River is special, with the dark, rainforest-edged waters as reflective and calm as meditation. Hiring a kayak from Corinna, a former gold-mining town, you can paddle downstream to Lovers Falls, where the giant ferns seem almost as tall as the waterfall itself. As you paddle back, turn into Savage River to drift over Australia’s most inland shipwreck, the steamship Croydon, sunk in 1919. The bow of the ship still pokes above the river surface.

Explore Tarkine Forest

Blanketing Tasmania’s north-west corner is the mighty Tarkine, the world’s second-largest tract of temperate rainforest. At its northern edge, 32 kilometres from Smithton, you can hurtle down a 110-metre-long slide into the green depths of the southern hemisphere’s largest sinkhole. The slide begins in the forest canopy and ends 55 kilometres per hour later at the rainforest floor, where there’s a kilometre-long boardwalk to extend the adventure.

Climb Wukalina

Tasmania’s palawa (Aboriginal) culture lives on in this four-day guided walk along the vibrant Bay of Fires coastline. The first tourism venture from the palawa community begins by climbing Mount William (known as wukalina) near the state’s north-east tip and then threads along the white beaches and lichen-covered granite headlands. Stay the night in an award-winning, architect-designed camp and cottages on Eddystone Point, while the rich history and palawa culture – middens, creation stories and bush tucker – are unveiled along the journey.

Fish with RiverFly 1864

Tasmanian trout has a reputation for being the craftiest and most cautious on the planet, so let the hard-earned knowledge of RiverFly 1864’s opens in new window guides be your secret weapon on the rivers and lakes of northern Tasmania. The one- or three-day fly-fishing trips venture from Launceston to places like Brumby Creek, with its world-class sight fishing, to the wilderness of the Western Lakes, where accommodation is in RiverFly’s private huts at the edge of the breathtaking Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

Hike the Walls of Jerusalem

Adjoining Cradle Mountain is a national park with peaks so epic, it took biblical names to describe them. The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is a stunning enclosure of mountains that can be reached from Lake Rowallan, 120 kilometres south-west of Launceston. Here, you can enter the Walls through a pass named Herod’s Gate (a four-hour walk). Once inside, there are mounts to climb (try the Temple, Solomon’s Throne and Mount Jerusalem) or you can simply ponder the scenery – and life – from beside the idyllic Pool of Bethesda. It’s important to note that walks and climbs within the park are challenging, best suited to experienced hikers and campers.

Discover Cataract Gorge

One of Launceston’s most striking natural features is Cataract Gorge, a deep incision in the hills right at the city centre’s edge. Running through the gorge is a walking trail that leads to the former Duck Reach hydroelectric power station. From here, you can make your way to Trevallyn Dam, one of Launceston’s favourite water playgrounds. The return walk takes around five hours but once you’re back at the gorge’s mouth, you can turn up the adrenaline factor by climbing the cliffs or leaping off them at Penny Royal Adventures.

Two hikers enjoying the view at a clifftop lookout at the Alum Cliffs in Tasmania.
The Alum Cliffs is listed as one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.

Walk Alum Cliffs

The town of Mole Creek, 75 kilometres west of Launceston, is best known for its limestone caves but by the town’s edge is a 1.6-kilometre walking track to the spectacular Alum Cliffs – listed as one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. The track crosses a lightly forested ridge and ends at a two-tiered wooden platform staring straight down into a gorge carved by the Mersey River, 200 metres below, and across to the sharp-toothed Alum Cliffs.

Descend Cradle Mountain Canyons

Most people gaze upwards when visiting Cradle Mountain but one of the national park’s finest adventures actually takes place in the depths of the rock. Beneath Dove Canyon’s quartzite cliffs are a maze of caves and hollowed out formations, which you can explore with Cradle Mountain Canyons. You’ll descend through six waterfalls, leaping, sliding, walking, abseiling and floating downstream. Highlights include a six-metre jump into a churning pool from Freestyle Falls and water-sliding through a smooth rock sluice known as the Laundry Chute.

Kangaroos on a grassy field in Narawntapu National Park.
Narawntapu National Park is rich in both Aboriginal and European heritage, as well as offering the visitor a unique opportunity to discover some of the animals that make Tasmania a haven for wildlife.

Watch native wildlife at Narawntapu National Park

It has been described as the “Serengeti of Tasmania”. Narawntapu National Park opens in new window, 95 kilometres from Launceston on Tasmania’s north coast, is home to a profusion of native wildlife. Camp behind Bakers Beach, then at dawn and dusk, make your way to the clearings at Springlawn to wander among the Forester kangaroos, wallabies and wombats that nibble the grass to a golf-green-like finish.

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