8 Reasons to visit the Western Wilds

Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park / Jason Charles Hill

The Western Wilds is one of Australia's unique travel experiences. Here are eight reasons why you need to explore this jaw-dropping part of Tasmania.

1. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

Man looking out across wilderness
World Heritage Wilderness / Jason Charles Hill

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area covers a massive 20 per cent of the state and is one of the last great wildernesses on earth. With lush rainforests and rugged alpine peaks, winding rivers and waterfalls, this wild untamed environment is like nowhere else.

2. It's the ultimate road trip

Lake Burbury and Bradshaw Bridge
Lake Burbury and Bradshaw Bridge / We Are Explorers

In the Western Wilds, the journey is just as important as the destination. The Lyell Highway weaves its way from Hobart to Queenstown with the infamous '99 bends' as its finale. Whether travelling by car, motorbike or a bicycle, the ever-changing wilderness landscapes are sure to keep you captivated.

3. It's the home of adventure

Rafting on the Franklin River
Rafting the Franklin / Water By Nature

From the southern hemisphere’s highest commercial abseil at Strathgordon, to navigating the raging rapids at Franklin River, to four-wheeled adventures across massive sand dunes at Ocean Beach in Strahan, the Western Wilds takes adventure to the next level. There are great mountain bike trails, not to mention kayaking through World Heritage wilderness and fantastic walks through unique environments.

4. It's different

Person kayaking on Lake Pedder
Kayaking Lake Pedder / Gabi Mocatta

It's not just the wilderness; everything about the place is different – the weather, the scenery, the flora and fauna, and the people. The west coast is majestic, beautiful and diverse and has it all: from sand dunes to mountains to rivers to highland lakes to a wild and windy coastline. In Tasmania's west, you never know what's around the corner. Plus you’ll feel like you're in the middle of nowhere.

5. The characters

Miner smiling at camera
King River Rail, River & Raft Experience / Rob Burnett

It takes a special kind of person to live on Tasmania's west coast – individuals who enjoy the unpredictable and a not-so-easy way of life; who value a strong sense of community and solidarity. Non-conformity lies at the heart of the west and best describes the characters who live here.

6. Corinna and takayana / The Tarkine

Corrina historic village
Corinna / Rob Burnett

This remote historic mining settlement, sitting on the southern end of takayna / The Tarkine is home to some of the densest temperate rainforest in Australia and is often called the edge of the world. Walks in the area offer a living link with the ancient supercontinent Gondwana and feature ancient and rare Huon pines, shipwrecks, and climbs to mountain peaks.

7. The ghost towns

old photo of early mining town
Kelly Basin / Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

When the mining boom hit Tasmania in the late 19th century, Tasmania's west saw a flood of people arrive from all over the globe. Towns were built and communities flourished to cater to the influx of people. As the industries faded, the towns faded with them. Today, all that’s left are the lonely remains of those thriving communities dotted throughout the western wilderness.

8. The Thylacine

Tasmanian tiger
Tasmanian tiger / Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

Despite being declared extinct in 1930, there are many who believe the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, still roams the button grass plains of the Western Wilds to this day. As you travel through the epic wilderness landscapes and your mind starts to wander, you too may find yourself believing. Be sure to keep an eye out – just in case.