Mindfulness and Walking: 5 Stunning Tasmanian Walks to Experience this Winter
Did you know that walking is one of the most beneficial acts of mindfulness?
In our fast-paced society, it’s important to slow down, breathe in and take a moment to be wholly present in our senses and the surrounding environment. Walking is a way to fully immerse ourselves in the nuances and idiosyncrasies of the natural landscape. With 19 national parks, Tasmania is abundant in natural beauty and boasts some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. In celebration of Discover Tasmania’s Off-Season campaign, offering great winter-only specials on accommodation, here are five breathtaking and mindful nature walks to experience this winter.
1. Meander Falls, Great Western Tiers
Meander Falls is considered one of Tasmania’s most spectacular waterfalls, and as the temperatures drop in winter it freezes over into an exquisite glacial wonder. Starting from the Meander Forest Reserve, this hike is a 10km return trek that requires some surefooted bushwalking experience, especially in winter. Winding through the wet and rocky rainforests of the Tasmanian Great Western Tiers, this track follows the Meander River upstream and boasts plenty of little natural cascades and pools along the way. Enjoy the ancient serenity of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area and keep an eye out for a rare sighting of the shy local platypus.
North of the Meander Falls track is Falls River Eco-Luxury resort, a secluded couples only retreat nestled amongst 60 acres of lush Tasmanian forest. Offering stylish furnishings, a wood-fired oven, and private outdoor hot tubs with waterfall views, the chalet is the perfect place to unwind after a day of hiking. This Off-Season they’re offering a complimentary gourmet hamper of local cheese, wine and produce with every booking.
2. Fluted Cape Walk, Bruny Island
Bruny Island, a 20-minute ferry ride off the south coast of the mainland, is Tasmania’s little microcosm, boasting a diverse abundance of native flora and fauna and offering some of the most spectacular coastal walks in the state. Down in the South Bruny National Park, the Fluted Cape Walk is the best way to experience the picturesque views of the island’s mottled igneous rock cliffs and sweeping turquoise oceans. Starting and ending in Adventure Bay, the moderate 4km circuit track traces around the cape and offers unique clifftop views of the Tasman Peninsula cliff-lines. Keep an eye out for the rare White Wallaby, native to Bruny Island, ambling around the eucalyptus forest. On a clear winter’s day at the Fluted Cape Lookout, you won’t find fresher, crisper air anywhere.
Hotel Bruny is a favourite of both locals and visitors to South Bruny, and this Off-Season they are offering discounted prices on their architecturally designed lodge rooms, including a gourmet dinner for two at their gastronomic bistro. With sweeping uninterrupted views of the landscape, freshly shucked oysters and locally produced wine, who knew an island getaway in winter could be so warming.
3. Newdegate Cave, Hastings Caves Nature Reserve
On the south coast is Hastings Caves Nature Reserve, and an exhilarating opportunity to head underground and experience Tasmania’s subterranean ecosystem. As one of Tasmania’s most ancient environmental spaces, the complex features Newdegate Cave, the largest accessible dolomite cave in the southern hemisphere and a site of major cultural significance to the Indigenous community. Open for informative guided tours, the immersive walk through the cave system features spectacular formations such as stalagmites and stalactites, as well as rare cave-dwelling insects that have adapted to the dark environment. After the cave visit, take some time to wander through the surrounding eucalyptus trees and appreciate the tranquillity of the old-growth forest.
Ashdowns of Dover, located a short 20-minute drive from the Hastings Caves Nature Reserve, is a multiple award-winning boutique bed and breakfast that embodies the quaint countryside hospitality of the Huon Valley and surrounds. This Off-Season they are keeping guests warm with complimentary mulled wine and locally made liqueurs.
4. Diamond Island, Bicheno
The east coast town of Bicheno, though one of the most popular beach resort destinations in the summer, becomes a quiet and languorous place in the colder months. With its crisp air, active marine life and vibrant landscape, it is the perfect canvas for outdoor exploration and boasts a myriad of unique nature experiences. One such experience is the Diamond Island Nature Reserve walk. Set only a few hundred metres off the coast of the mainland, the reserve is only accessible by foot, and only walkable during low tide when the ocean ebbs to reveal a wide sandbar. Spend a few hours clambering around the fiery-red lichen-covered rocks and exploring the dozens of shell sheeted island enclaves. This little piece of paradise is home to a shy settlement of Fairy Penguins, so avoid stepping on the greenery and keep a respectful distance from their nests.
Just 10km from Bicheno is Sea Stacks, the ultimate accommodation experience to compliment a mindful getaway. Architecturally inspired by the minimalist concept of the Danish Hygge movement, the three ‘stacks’ are individually designed based on the properties of different minerals – Quartz, Feldspar and Mica – and boast roaring wood fires, luxury bathtubs self-contained amenities and private views of the Denison Rivulet. This Off-Season, Sea Stacks are offering a 15% discount on accommodation and a complimentary gourmet hamper brimming with local produce.
5. Dove Lake Circuit, Cradle Mountain
It’s impossible to talk about Tasmania’s natural charm without including Cradle Mountain National Park, one of the most stunning Tasmanian walks. A tourist drawcard at any time of year, the national park becomes sheeted with ice and snow during the colder months and is transformed into a winter wonderland. The popular Dove Lake circuit walk, beginning at the northern end of the park, is the perfect way to get a sense of the magnitudinous beauty of this renowned wilderness region. Winding around the glacial lake and beneath Cradle Mountain’s majestic snow-capped peaks, the track is an easy 6km boardwalk stroll and is surrounded by lush regional flora.
Cradle Mountain Lodge is an iconic wilderness establishment and this Off-Season they are offering a Winter Waterfall Wonder Escape package, including two nights’ accommodation and a guided walk to three of the park’s most incredible waterfalls. With four different styles of accommodation and an exclusive variety of spa, dining and outdoor experiences, it is the perfect base to explore all that Cradle Mountain has to offer. For the ultimate luxury experience, stay in one of their stunningly designed King Billy Suites, boasting a double-sided wood fire, king size bed and a private outdoor hot tub.
With hundreds more winter only specials on offer, Discover Tasmania is inviting you to take a break, take a walk and lose yourself in the rich natural beauty of the land.
For more information no Tasmanian walks, head to https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/off-season.