If you want to beat the crowds, take Tasmania’s paths less travelled

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We’ve all seen photos of the iconic Wineglass Bay, the boat shed at Cradle Mountain or the Neck Lookout on Bruny Island.

Tassie is the place to be this summer, and popular spots can get a little crowded.

It’s a big island, so here are some lesser-known day trips that veer away from the tourist trail, leaving you to take in the scenery in peace.

The Big Tree and Dip Falls

Tasmania has hundreds of waterfalls to chase, but if you find yourself between Wynyard and Stanley in the north-west, Dip Falls is worth a look.

A humble sign on the Bass Highway alerts you to the turnoff to Dip Falls, so keep an eye out.

A mostly sealed road winds through rich farmland and bush until it reaches the falls.

There are multiple viewing areas for all ages and abilities, including stairs that take you right to the bottom of the falls, and another platform at the top.

The bonus is that just five minutes away is the Mawbanna Big Tree, with a circumference of 17 metres.

The spot is a favourite of Launceston’s Sam Woodward.

“I enjoy Dip Falls and Mawbanna because of its unique remoteness and stunning scenery, which is best seen after it’s been raining, and the bloody huge tree which [is] well worth seeing as it’s enormous and has survived for so long,” he said.


There are multiple viewing areas at Dip Falls. (ABC Radio Hobart: Georgie Burgess)

Duck Hole Lake

Duck Hole Lake near Hastings is a tranquil oasis in Tasmania’s south.

The 1.5-hour return walk is for all abilities, and weaves through stunning forest, following an old saw mill tramway.

At the end of the walk you reach a still lake perfect for a picnic, and the stunning forest is reflected on the water.

Duck Hole Lake is also an excuse to visit the quaint seaside town of Dover.


Duck Hole Lake is a tranquil oasis. (Instagram: Letsgodare)

Ringarooma and Mt Victoria Regional Reserve

The iconic Blue Derby trails in Derby get enough of the limelight, so why not say you’ve been to Ringarooma and climbed a mountain?

There are several options in the area such as Ralph Falls, one of Tasmania’s highest falls, which has received accolades as a great short walk.

If you’re up for something more challenging, Mt Victoria is a prominent north-east peak, which can be done in three to four hours.

Launceston photographer Scott Gelston enjoyed the view from the top.

“In terms of the exercise, Mount Victoria is not that different to climbing Cradle Mountain, but you have the place to yourself,” he said.

The walks can be accessed via Ringarooma, or through Pyengana, north of St Helens.


Mt Victoria rises up from an expanse of buttongrass along Mathinna Plains Road. (Supplied: Scott Gelston)

Tamar Island

Spotted crake? Bald-headed coot? Get your twitch on and head to the Tamar Island Wetlands, where you’re in for a chance to see 60 different types of birds.

An impressive visitor centre tells you everything you need to know about the local bird life.

There are binoculars to borrow from the visitor centre to see what you can spot.

The boardwalk takes you through thick reeds to the Bird Hide and further on to Tamar Island.

The charming little island was once farmed, and old machinery has been eaten up by trees.

There are barbecue facilities and picnic tables to take in the island’s peaceful offerings.


The Tamar Island Wetlands is a bird hotspot. (ABC Radio Hobart: Georgie Burgess)

The Coal Mines

Everyone’s heard of Port Arthur and its spooky history, but another important convict site is arguably just as beautiful, and you’ll skip the crowds.

The Coal Mines Site is free, and situated on the edge of the beautiful Norfolk Bay at Saltwater River.

You can walk among old solitary confinement cells and barracks.

There is a pleasant loop that includes a walk on the beach.

Water-washed coal can still be found on the beach, and it is easy to picture hardened convicts working in the mines almost 200 years ago.


The Coal Mines Historic Site at Saltwater River is an ideal day trip from Hobart. (ABC Radio Hobart: Georgie Burgess)

The Trowutta Arch

Where’s that? I hear you ask.

The arch is a stunning geological feature at the end of a magical rainforest, but the journey there is just as interesting.

The walk is less than an hour return, and suitable for all ages.

To get to the arch you’ll need to take a road trip past some of the state’s biggest dairy farms as well as logging coupes, using the Tarkine Drive.

It’s a 45-minute drive from Stanley via Irishtown and Edith Creek, so fuelling up beforehand on the local fish and chips fresh off the boat is recommended.


Trowutta Arch is a stunning geological feature at the end of a magical rainforest. (ABC Radio Hobart: Georgie Burgess)

St Patrick’s Head

For a 360-degree view of the Fingal Valley and east coast, St Patrick’s Head is a challenge worth taking on.

The track is accessed near the small town of St Mary’s.

ABC Radio Hobart’s Lucy Breaden recently climbed the summit.

“We made the trek to the top of St Patrick’s Head a few months ago and we were blown away by the view, when we finally reached the top,” she said.

“It’s a three-hour return trip but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted — it was quite a steep walk to the summit and can be dangerous if you lose your footing.

“We only spotted one other couple during the entire walk, so it’s safe to say it’s yet to be discovered.”


The ABC’s Lucy Breaden on top of St Patrick’s Head. (Supplied: Lucy Breaden)

Hartz Mountains

On a fine day, the Hartz Mountains National Park looks out onto some of Tasmania’s most wild and remote scenery.

On a cloudy day, not so much — but you’ll still enjoy stunning glacial lakes and alpine vegetation.

Don’t be put off by the word ‘mountain’. Hartz Peak is doable by most, and if you’re not up for a climb there are several other pleasant short walks.

The park is 84 kilometres south-west of Hobart, and close to Geeveston for snacks and supplies.


Even on a gloomy day the Hartz Mountains National Park is scenic. (ABC Radio Hobart: Georgie Burgess)

Montezuma Falls

For a walk really off the beaten track, it’s hard to go past Montezuma Falls near Rosebery.

The walk is three hours return through thick rainforest, which follows an old mining railway.

If you’re afraid of heights, take the swinging suspension bridge only if you dare.

A viewing platform gets you up close and personal with the falls, which are an impressive 104 metres high.


It’s hard to go past Montezuma Falls near Rosebery. (ABC Radio Hobart: Georgie Burgess)

Dora Point to Skeleton Bay

If you want to share remote beaches with only a hooded plover, the coastal track between Dora Point and Skeleton Bay on Tasmania’s east coast is a must.

The walk can be started from either end of the track, which weaves along pristine coves and orange lichen-covered rocks.

With dozens of little beaches along the way, chances are you’ll have one all to yourself.

If you’re up for a longer walk, the Humbug Point Loop is about 10 kilometres.


Cross the suspension bridge to Montezuma Falls if you dare. (ABC Radio Hobart: Georgie Burgess)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news