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Tasmania's 8 most toughest treks

River crossings on Tasmania's South Coast Track | John Dalton
River crossings on Tasmania's South Coast Track | John Dalton

There’s no shortage of hiking trails that explore Tasmania’s stunning landscapes and if you like your treks a little more challenging, this list offers you the chance to get out of your comfort zone and really test yourself.

We’ve narrowed down Tasmania’s best and most hardcore hikes, which are tough, long and breathtaking, and not to underestimated. But all your efforts will be rewarded tenfold – from the pristine wilderness and new friendships formed to the supportive guides who will help you tackle the elements on and off the track.

While you don't need an Olympian level of fitness, previous outdoor experience is essential and you will need to train for these trek. So get inspired and start training with our pick of the most challenging trails.

Tasmania’s hardest hiking trails: 8 of the best


South Coast Track

The South Coast Track is undoubtedly one of the last great wilderness treks in Australia and is also known as one of Tassie’s toughest multi-day treks. Crossing the unspoiled wilderness of the island's southernmost shores, this challenging, 9-day trek covers 85 kilometres over a variety of landscapes – from empty beaches, towering rainforests, and alpine heights.

Trekking towards the Ironbound ranges on the South Coast Track in Tasmania |  <i>John Dalton</i>

You can expect to carry a full pack of up to 20kgs, walking 10-15 kilometres each day across remote walking tracks, sometimes across river crossings, muddy moors and steep ascents. The rewards, however, are tenfold. The ever-changing landscape, pristine wilderness and abundance of wildlife make it all worthwhile – not to mention the feeling of elation and pride as you finish the trek!

Expect river crossings when trekking Tasmania's South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i> The vast expanse of Tasmania's South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i> Looking towards South Cape Rivulet from the high clifftops down the coast   |  <i>Phil Wyndham</i> Trekking behind a waterfall on the South Coast Track |  <i>John Dalton</i> Trekking from Little Deadman's Bay to Osmiridium Beach |  <i>Jon Herring</i> Remote trekking from Melaleuca to Cox's Bright |  <i>Jon Herring</i> Vantage point along the South Coast Track |  <i>Steven Trudgeon</i> Tasmania's South Coast Track is one of Australia's most epic bushwalks |  <i>John Dalton</i>

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: The South Coast Track >

Mount Anne Circuit

The classic Mount Anne Summit is one of Tasmania’s greatest bushwalking challenges, with all of the ingredients that make up an epic wilderness trek. With deep forests, idyllic lakes, sub-alpine crags and exposed scrambles, the iconic hike tackles terrain in areas that are subject to some of Tasmania’s most changeable weather.

Looking over Lake Judd towards Mount Anne |  <i>Tourism Tasmania & Geoff Murray</i> Views over Lake Judd from Mt Anne, Tasmania |  <i>Roz Barber</i> Looking out from Bechervaise Plateau towards Mt Anne |  <i>Brian Eglinton</i>
 

The four-day itinerary includes a summit of the highest peak in Tasmania's remote southwest, with exhilarating views across most of the southwest of Tasmania.

While it is a demanding bushwalk where you need to be comfortable with carrying a full pack, the support of our experienced wilderness guides will help you tackle the elements on and off the track.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: Mount Anne Summit >

Frenchman’s Cap Trek

Frenchman’s Cap is one of the top walks in Australia and is a 46-kilometre moderately challenging return journey that gives trekkers some of the best views across the entire World Heritage Wilderness area. With extraordinary side trips to high peaks, trek over varying terrain including button grass plains, mossy rainforests, trickling creeks and windy rock faces.

You will be tested as you manage the unpredictable weather, mud and climb a steep 450-metre ascent to the summit of Frenchman's Cap. Recommended for experienced trekkers, each hill climb will be worthwhile as you welcome the panoramic surroundings of Mt. Ossa, the Arthur Range and Macquarie Harbour all from the summit.

You can also combine this epic summit with a rafting expedition of a lifetime along the Franklin River, recognised by many as one of the greatest wilderness experiences on earth.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: FRENCHMAN'S CAP TREK >

Port Davey Track

The Port Davey Track is a winner for those looking to avoid foot traffic and truly immerse in sublime World Heritage wilderness. Enter into the Lost World Plateau and surrounding ancient mountain ranges; walk to rare pockets of rainforest, camp on the banks of the mystical Crossing and Spring Rivers, cross the magical Bathurst Harbour by rowboat and summit Mt Hesperus in the Western Arthur Range.

Approaching Bathurst Narrows on the Port Davey Track |  <i>Stef Gebbie</i> Port Davey Track, Tasmania |  <i>Leon Bedford</i> Trek the remote Port Davey Track |  <i>Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman</i> Views to Mt Rugby, Port Davey Track |  <i>Leon Bedford</i> Walking on the Lost World Plateau |  <i>Stef Gebbie</i>
 

Come open-minded and ready for a wonderful remote experience whatever the weather. You can combine this trek with the South Coast Track for an epic traverse of the entire southwest of Tasmania.

Walls of Jerusalem Circuit

Only accessible by foot, remote alpine herb fields, highland lakes and glacial moraines await! The Walls of Jerusalem hike is a full-pack trek requiring experienced walkers to carry between 15-20 kilograms of their gear on their back – including a portion of the groups food and equipment. You'll hike through a natural fortress of peaks and crags that take you along a biblical theme through Tasmania’s only true alpine National Park, but be warned, Tassie's weather at altitude is known for its unpredictability so come prepared for the unexpected!

 

Despite being next door to the Cradle Mountain National Park, 'The Walls', as it is often referred to, sees much fewer visitors.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: WALLS OF JERUSALEM CIRCUIT >

Federation Peak

Federation Peak (1224m) rises dramatically from the heart of the Eastern Arthurs Mountain Range within the wild Southwest National Park. Alongside its close cousin the Western Arthurs, the ascent is described as one of Australia’s toughest bushwalking challenges. The first ascent of Federation Peak was completed by John Bechervaise in 1949 and to this day the exposed and technical mountain offers even the most hardened adventurers a thrilling objective.

Hanging Lake, Federation Peak |  <i>Roz Barber</i>

Counting in multiple contingency days gives maximum opportunity to summit in fine conditions. The extreme undertakings to Federation Peak are considered some of the toughest on the island, so much so that while guided trips can be operated in these locations, it's by special request only and an extreme vetting process is undertaken to ensure trekkers are experienced and capable.

A high level of fitness and technical introductory rock climbing skills are required to take on such an expedition. Ideally, to attempt the Federation Peak ascent people should first complete the Western Arthurs or Mt Anne Circuit or have had extensive unsupported full pack carrying bushwalking experience.

 

Western Arthurs Traverse

There's no denying that Western Arthurs deserve a spot on Tasmania's most challenging hikes list. Located in the remote Southwest of Tasmania the Western Arthurs Traverse presents one of the world's great bushwalking objectives.

The Western Arthurs Traverse is an extremely demanding full pack carrying bushwalk, so contingency and rest days for the full traverse of the range should be included given the region's capricious weather conditions. Trekkers who are confident in difficult geographical and weather situations and with previous hard bushwalking experience is a must.

 

The Great Tasmanian Traverse

Be one of the first to complete Tasmania's ultimate long-distance, multi-activity adventure, which combines five of Tasmania's great adventures via land, sea and air. You'll need plenty of endurance as you cover close to 300 kilometres over 6 weeks, explore the ‘Apple Isle’ of Tasmania from end to end.

The epic expedition will see you walking four of Tasmania's greatest multi-day treks through World Heritage Listed wilderness, including summitting the iconic Cradle Mountain and Tasmania's highest peak, Mt Ossa, and paddling down the mighty Franklin River. But if you can't do it all in 39 days, you can always complete a section.

  • TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE: THE GREAT TASMANIAN TRAVERSE >

Walk past spectacular landscapes on Tasmania's Overland Track |  <i>Mark Whitelock</i>

Australia, Tasmania, challenging, hiking trails, treks, full pack

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