The Tasmanian Wilderness is a massive, multi-national park area that collectively is one of the largest wilderness preserves in Australia. Nine parks, partially interconnected, make up the Tasmanian Wildernss, covering one-fifth of the island of Tasmania and including everything from mountain to rainforest to coastal areas. Almost all of Tasmania’s unique animal species can be found within this beautiful area.
The island of Tasmania is one of the most remote landmasses in the world, and one os the last to remain a relatively pristine wilderness. Large scale settelement did not take place until the late 19th century, and the government began to establish numerous conservation areas before they could be exploited. The first, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, was established in 1908, and numerous others followed. In 1989, nine of these national parks were consolidated into the Tasmanian Wilderness world heritage site, becoming one of the largest protected areas in Australia.
The Tasmanian Wilderness sprawls over a huge area, but the most popular parts from a wildlife standpoint are Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park in the north-center and Harz Mountains National Park in the south. The former is home to species including Wallaby, Wombat, Possum and the island’s namesake Tasmanian Devil. The latter is home to the same as well as to the Platypus. Of course, most of these can also be found throughout the wilderness area.
Tasmanian Wilderness is huge, covering nearly 16,000 square km in areas all over the island. The main destination, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair, is about fifty miles west of Launceston. All of the parks are open year round. The cost of admission to most parks is A$24.00 per car load. Web: www.parks.tas.gov.au (official website).