6 Adventure Activities to Do in the Western Wilds

Lake Pedder / Ollie Khendun

Rafting, abseiling, mountain biking or kayaking – take your pick! The Western Wilds is the place to go for adrenalin-pumping fun. Here are six of our favourite adventure activities.

1. Raft through extraordinary wilderness

Raft on the bank of a river
Franklin River / Water By Nature

The Franklin River is one of the last truly wild rivers on Earth, weaving through the cherished wilderness of Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The King River offers an introduction to rafting on the rugged west coast with some fun challenging water.

Join experienced local guides for a life-changing, multi-day adventure navigating the serene gorges and exhilarating rapids of the Franklin River, or on a full or half-day wilderness experience on the King River.

2. Pedal Power

Two people on mountain bikes on a mountain
Mountain biking in the Western Wilds / Ollie Khedun

Glide down the world-class mountain biking trails at Maydena. The trail network at this gravity-focused park has an 820-metre vertical elevation, allowing for jaw-dropping alpine views and epic downhill shredding through rainforest.

Deeper in Western Wilds you will also find challenging trails around Zeehan, Trial Harbour and Queenstown. If you’re still keen to explore on your bike but prefer something a little more serene, ride the abandoned rail line into Montezuma Falls near Rosebery.

3. Don't look down

Person abseling a massive dam wall
Abseiling the Gordon Dam / Pete Harmsen

Get your heart racing and abseil the Gordon Dam wall, a 140-metre sheer drop in the southern end of Western Wilds and the highest commercial abseil in the southern hemisphere. As you make your way down, remind yourself that the wall at your feet is holding back over 12 million megalitres of water. That’s six times the volume of Sydney Harbour.

4. The slow glide

Person in a kyak on a river
Kayaking the River Derwent / Tassie Bound

If you prefer your adventures to be less adrenaline fuelled, choose paddle power and take to the water in a kayak. In the south, explore the silent vastness of Lake Pedder from Strathgordon or calmly float down the River Derwent with a local platypus as company. Further up the coast, explore ancient rainforests at Corinna by taking to the mirrored waters of the Pieman River.

5. Take the plunge

Person scaling a canyon wall
Canyoning at Cradle Mountain / Rob Burnett

Zip up a wetsuit, clip on a helmet, and walk, wade, climb, float and abseil your way through some of Cradle Mountain’s remote wilderness waterways on a canyoning adventure. Launch yourself off waterfalls, abseil down cliffs and shoot through nature's waterslides. Canyoning is hands-down the most exciting way to experience the World Heritage-listed wilderness.

6. Four-wheeled sand fun

Off road vehicles on massive sand dunes
Henty Dunes / Ollie Khedun

A short drive north of Strahan on the west coast are the Henty Dunes: a vast expanse of sand that reaches 15 kilometres along the coast and several kilometres inland. They’re formed by the legendary Roaring Forties, winds that blow uninterrupted from South America.

You can take to the dunes in a toboggan or if you prefer the four-wheeled version of fun, join a local all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tour. Either way, you’re guaranteed to be smiling!