Hike through a eucalyptus forest and climb big-view mountains.
Our scouts recommend a 4-day route combining campsites at Wild Dog Creek, Dixon’s Kingdom, and Lake Adelaide.
Day 1: Start at the trailhead off of Mersey Forest Road (follow the Mersey Forest Road to Lake Rowallan, and then take the gravel road on the left just after the Fish River). Hike uphill, through dense forest, toward Wild Dog Creek campsite. After a steep climb, the route levels off and passes Solomon’s Jewels, a collection a cool, clear-water pools. About three hours from the start, reach Wild Dog Creek campsite. Use the tent platforms to protect the fragile environment. An outhouse is located here.
Day 2: Follow the trail through Herod’s Gate and either a) stay on the trail to reach Dixon’s Kingdom, in another hour or two, or leave the trail and climb up and over Solomon’s Throne to reach Dixon’s Kingdom via a cross-country route. Either way, it’s a short hike, so you’ll have plenty of time to climb Mt. Jerusalem from here. At Dixon’s, camp near the hut (but not in the pencil pine forest). This camp also has an outhouse.
Day 3: Hike cross-country to Lake Ball (about 30 minutes) and a track running along its shore. Turn right and take this trail a couple of hours to Lake Adelaide. You’ll pass another historic hut as the trail winds up and down from one lake to the next. Camp at Lake Adelaide in a spacious shoreline site (no outhouse).
Day 4: Complete the loop back to the trailhead. The route back passes a number of cushion plants (avoid stepping on them and stay on the trail, even in muddy/wet conditions). Turn left when you reach the junction with the track you came in on, pass the Trapper’s Hut, and return to the trailhead. Allow about four hours for the hike from Adelaide to the trailhead.
Freycinet National Park
Enjoy beach camping, swimming, and whale watching on one of the world’s best coastal hikes.
Day 1: Start the 19-mile Peninsula Circuit at the new Visitor’s Center at the end of Freycinet Drive, south of the Cole’s Bay. The trail begins at the walker’s parking lot. Hike on the Hazards Beach Track heading southwest toward Fleurieu Point, where the track descends from the top of the cliffs and traverses the white sands of Hazard’s Beach. At the southern end of Hazards, you’ll pass a small campsite (about 6 miles along the trail); keep going another 3 miles along the track to Cook’s Beach. Cook’s Corner, at the southern end of the beach has a half dozen campsites tucked into the trees above the beach.
Day 2: Hike back to Cook’s Beach and head east on the Peninsula Track 7.5 miles to the campsite at Wineglass Bay. The trail climbs over the East Freycinet Saddle and Mount Graham. Drop your pack at the base of Mt. Freycinet and scramble the quarter mile of steep switchbacks up the granite rock to the summit for beautiful views of the Tasman Sea and Great Oyster Bay. There’s generally water at Graham Creek, about a mile before you reach Wineglass.
Day 3: Hike north for a half-mile along the postcard-perfect Wineglass beach, then intersect with the Wineglass Bay Track. From there, follow the wide, gently sloping trail 3 miles back to your car.
Tasman National Park
Tour a rugged coastline with big views and lush rainforest.
Day 1: Start at Fortescue Bay trailhead (at the end of Fortescue Road on the Tasman Peninsula; there’s a campground at the trailhead). Hike uphill on the Cape Hauy Track. At the junction with the Mt. Fortescue Trail (about 30 minutes), detour out to Cape Hauy and see the Totem Pole. (Start early so you have plenty of time for an hour or more for this side trip, as this is a long, 13-mile day if you camp at Perdition Ponds as recommended. You can also camp at Bare Knoll to shorten the day by a few miles.) Return to the junction and take the Mt. Fortescue Trail over its namesake mountain, through lush rainforest, to the Cape Pillar Track. Turn left and hike out to Perdition Ponds, where you can camp just an hour’s walk from Cape Pillar.
Day 2: Get up early and hit the cape at sunrise. Spend the day exploring the Blade and all the rocky cliffs rounding the cape.
Day 3: Take the Cape Pillar Track back to Fortescue Bay (stay left at the junction with the Mt. Fortescue Trail). This is another long day (about 12 miles), but the terrain is mostly flat and easy-going, as you’re going around, not over, Mt. Fortescue.
TASMANIA TRIP PLANNER
Season: Tasmania’s maritime climate is temperate, but wet and windy weather can occur any time. Spring through fall is best (December to March is high season).
Get there: Fly to Hobart (or take a ferry from Melbourne).
Guide: Tasmanian Expeditions; tasmanianexpeditions.com.au
Park Pass: Rates vary with period (example: $30/person for 8 weeks)
Park info: parks.tas.gov.au
Travel info: discovertasmania.com