The Top 10 Places to See in Tasmania
With Tasmania's 3.4-million acres of protected wilderness, this alluring isle feels close to heaven—Tasmanian devils included
- By Tony Perrottet
- Smithsonian.com, April 17, 2012
(© Ian Paterson / Alamy)
If The Lord of The Rings had been filmed in Tasmania, the otherworldly Cradle Mountain would have made the perfect backdrop. The dolerite summit—wild, wet and jagged, battered by winds and often shrouded in mist—is the highest of four peaks that tower over the glacial Dove Lake. The surrounding shores are laced with ancient alpine vegetation, making it the centerpiece of the enormous Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area. Stay at the Cradle Mountain Lodge and hike the four-hour Dove Lake Loop Track, which leads through the twisted “Ballroom Rainforest” and across spongy moss-covered streams at an altitude where it seems possible to touch the sky. (Keep in mind that the weather can change at a moment’s notice from sunny blue skies to ice storms.) More intrepid travelers tackle the 50-mile Overland Trail, a five-day hike to Lake St Clair in the south. But if lugging your own tent and food seems too ambitious, the guiding company Cradle Mountain Huts operates comfortable refuges en route.
Contributing writer Tony Perrottet, who was born in Australia and now lives in New York, has been visiting Tasmania since the 1980s; www.tonyperrottet.com.