If you would count yourself as a nature lover, then there's no better place in Tasmania to experience its wild beauty than in the west!
Lace up your hiking boots, fill up your hydration packs and water bottles, and let out your inner explorer to discover the wealth of amazing short walks available in the island's 'Western Wilderness'. A national parks pass will be required before you set out.
Let your eyes wander around the spectacular view offered by a ferry cruise on Lake St Clair – the deepest lake in Australia – with the "the beauty of the highlands of Tasmania" enveloping the location.
There is a choice of 3 short walks waiting to be enjoyed. The shortest of these trails is just 2.4 km return, however, the walking distance can easily be extended by combining this with the other walks – something than many visitors choose to do.
In total, the 3 combined walks form a loose figure of eight that is just a fraction under 5km in length. All of the Lake St Clair walks are rated Level 2, which means that they are an easy walk suitable for most levels of fitness. Level 2 tracks generally have occasional steps and a formed gravel or hardened surface.
You should make sure that you have suitable footwear and clothing, including sun hat, sun block, sunglasses along with a jersey or jacket. The weather can be exceptionally changeable with wind, rain and snow occurring in any month of the year. This is highland Tasmania!
Allow up to 1.5 hours if intending to complete the figure eight circuit. The shortest of the walks completed by itself will take approximately 40-minutes.
To reach the lake. Turn off the Lyell Highway (A10) onto the C193 on the Queenstown side of the Derwent Bridge. It is approximately a 6km drive to the car park and facilities at the start of the track system.
A more strenuous walk – a short 5-7 hours (16.5km) length, it will take you through ancient cool temperate rainforest, open woodland, buttongrass plains and thick pockets of tea-tree. This track is the southern most section of the famous Overland Track and you will need to interact with the ferry operator to arrange getting out there and for pick-up. This walk takes some planning, compared with the shorter ones.
Make sure to pack your best camera for this journey, where you will enjoy sweeping views of mountain tops and the Franklin River.
The track will see you climb a small hill at an easy grade which will see you arrive at a "perched and protected" rocky lookout point.
Donaghys Lookout offers a "spectacular window into the wilderness" of the popular Wild Rivers National Park.