The Best Day Hikes in Northeast Tasmania

A state described as New Zealand’s little sibling. Famous for its slow pace, green and wild wilderness, snaking country roads, and simplicity. 

A state with this description surely means it’s flowing with adventure and exploration opportunities.

And it is.

The longer we continue exploring this incredible island state, the more we realise we will never be done. Never done with the adventure and beauty that we find each and every day while hiking in Tasmania’s alluring landscape. 

Many hikers flock to the west of Tasmania to immerse themselves in the wild terrain. And many forget or forgo the northeast. Though just because the northern mountains don’t rise as high or aren’t engulfed in as much green as the south, they have a beauty of their own. A beauty that can only be completely appreciated when you’re standing in the moment, drinking in the diversity of the hikes offered in northeast Tasmania.

But with less popularity comes fewer crowds, fewer man-made features, and more raw nature. These hikes in northeast Tasmania are a whisper, a word of mouth from a local that develops into a wild adventure.

Most of these hikes have been added to the Gaia or Alltrails app, but more information than that is scarce. Luckily, I can’t keep all these beauties to myself so sit back, grab a cuppa and start planning your northeast Tasmania hiking trip.

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Sunset over Mt Victoria on what is one of the best day hikes in North East Tasmania

Mt Victoria Hike

4.7 km return | 3 – 4 hrs | 1,213 m | 392 m elevation gain | Grade 4 – experience required

Mt Victoria is one of those hikes that you could do over and over again. Such a vast variety of vegetation lines the trail, which takes less than half a day to complete. It begins in ankle-deep mud, where clinging to the paperbark trees and using their roots as stepping stones is a must. The trail then breaks out of the mud and into a rainforest worthy of a children’s enchanted picture book; fungi and moss occupy every part of the forest to provide a green glow under the tall canopy. The rainforest then recedes to reveal an expanse of thick low-lying shrubs that creep up to the base of the mighty dolerite summit. 

And the summit. A jungle of tumbling boulders surrounded by tall dolerite columns, offering a game of rock hopping as you clamber closer to the peak. From the peak, the northeast is laid out beneath, with views stretching to the coast in the east and the sprawling Ben Lomond national park in the west. Either sunrise or sunset are the perfect times to climb Mt Victoria, as the 360-degree views offer much variety. 

We climbed Mt Victoria for sunset and marvelled in the sun setting over Ben Lomond and the western spires. It was that inspiring, we came back again the next afternoon to do it all again! And I’m sure it won’t be our last visit to this phenomenal part of northeast Tasmania.

Hiking to Mt Victoria Summit at sunset in North East Tasmania

How To Get To Mt Victoria

Mt Victoria is located 55 mins west of St Helens. An easy drive that takes you along Argonaut and Mt Albert Rd, dirt roads that are well maintained and easily accessible by 2WD. 

The trailhead is not obvious and easily missed if you’re not paying attention. There is a small sign indicating the beginning of the hike and a clearing on the opposite side of the road to park. Google Maps sometimes tries to take you further east along the road so be sure to keep an eye out. 

Tracks Less Travelled Hiking over fallen Dolerite rock to reach the summit of Mt Victoria Tasmania

Mt Saddleback Hike

6.5 km return | 4 hrs | 1,241 m | 415 m elevation gain | Grade 4 – experience required

3.2 km not including the fire trail | 289 m elevation gain | 2.5 – 4 hrs | Grade 4

Mt Saddleback is the definition of a northeast Tasmanian hike. It’s raw, hardly tracked, and certainly not one that is on many lists. But that is what draws us to this beautiful destination, the feeling of discovering something few have. 

The hike to Mt Saddleback’s peak begins on a fire road unless you’re lucky enough to own a 4WD that you’re not afraid to scratch! Overgrown shrubs and fallen trees litter the road towards the true trailhead, yet snippets of the mountainous region reveal themselves with every inch you climb. 

Once reaching the trailhead, already almost 1,000 m in elevation, the boulder gardens immediately begin. A frosty day can cause some precarious points to this hike as you scramble higher among the moss-covered landscape, using every possible tree to pull yourself closer to the summit. 

As the summit nears, the trail steepens and is replaced with scree. Tape and rock cairns help to guide you through the easiest route, sending you through one last boulder climb before the vast peak is reached. Wandering along the flat expanse can fill an afternoon, as you experience a new vista with each turn you take. 

How To Get To Mt Saddleback

Mt Saddleback is located quite close to Mt Victoria, actually making it possible to conquer both in a day if you’re up to it! The trailhead is 1 hr 10 mins west of St Helens. Again, follow Argonaut and Mt Albert Road all the way to Mathinna Plains Rd, where you will turn left and head south. All of these dirt roads are well maintained and accessible by 2WD. 

Google Maps actually does a pretty good job at locating Mt Saddleback, although there is no real parking spot – only a few clearings big enough to fit one or two cars. 

Stacks Bluff Hike

9.5 km return | 6 – 8 hrs | 1,527 m | 704 m elevation gain | Grade 4/5 – experience required

Stacks Bluff is certainly not for the faint-hearted. But if the idea of rock-hopping and scaling precipitous cliffs brings excitement, this is the perfect hike in northeast Tasmania for you. Not only does the hike to Stacks Bluff bring adrenaline and adventure, but it also brings some of the most spectacular landscape vistas I have witnessed to this day.

A hike that is almost entirely covered in a mess of dolerite boulders, you can expect to earn the views at the peak. Stacks Bluff hike begins with a steep climb through a giant eucalypt forest, where red markers and rock cairns lead the way along the elusive trail.

Once the treeline hits alpine, it fades away with the last splash of green courtesy of a collection of snow gums seemingly growing from the bed of rock. A boulder garden bigger than any we’ve seen in Australia fills the entire scene, with peaks piercing the sky above.

As you hop along the precariously placed boulders, Tranquil Tarn reveals itself to the right, sitting prettily beneath the precipitous cliff and shimmering a brilliant blue. A side trip to the tarn takes approximately 30 minutes return and would be a refreshing dip in the height of summer.

After tackling the rough and rocky chute beside Denison Crag, you’re welcomed with a vast plateau full of alpine shrubs of all colours and the many peaks of Ben Lomond national park shimmering on the horizon. 30 minutes of wandering through the plateau, attempting to keep your feet dry, delivers you to Stacks Bluff.

Words cannot describe the incredible scene that awaits atop the peak, the jagged mountains flow into verdant green valleys and on a clear day, you can see as far as the east coast and all the way to Kunanyi/Mt Wellington in Hobart.

Beautiful golden hour sunset over the pillars of Stacks Bluff in Ben Lomond National Park

How To Get To Stacks Bluff

Stacks Bluff is located at the southeastern corner of the Ben Lomond National Park. The hike is 1 hr 45 mins southwest of St Helens. To reach the trailhead, follow directions to Avoca and then turn right onto B42. The road turns to dirt at the turn-off towards Storys Creek and is accessible by 2wd until you reach the abandoned town. From the ruins of Storys Creek, a sign will direct you to the Stacks Bluff trailhead and this is where the road becomes quite rough.

I’m sure 2wd vehicles have made it to the car park at the trailhead but I wouldn’t recommend it!

Hiking up Stacks Bluff in a snow storm while travelling North East Tasmania
A cliff top sunrise on the best hike in north east tasmania, Stacks Bluff

Cube Rock Hike

5 km return | 2 hrs | 360 m | 304 m elevation gain | Grade 3 – some experience recommended

Beginning at Little Blue Lake, another wonder in northeast Tasmania, the trail to Cube Rock is short, sharp, and filled with beautiful rock formations worthy of exploration. Markers lead the way through a labyrinth of paths leading towards the beginning of the push to Cube Rock. 

The cruisy climb through coastal shrub, where the trees thin just enough for a sneak peek of farmlands below, is surrounded by unique rock formations and slabs seemingly out of place in this terrain.

As the trail wanders deeper into the gully, the forest fills with ferns and larger eucalyptus trees that fill the air with the beautiful Australian scent. Watch out for echidnas here, they love the coastal forests of Tasmania. 

Cube Rock can be reached in less than an hour, and once standing beside the massive boulder, you can really appreciate its size and precarious position on the slab beneath. Views cascade over the coastal farmlands, providing a glimpse of the famous Bay of Fires and the Little Blue Lake from where you began.

Hiking past Cube Rock at Sunset overlooking Little Blue Lake in north east Tasmania

How To Get To Cube Rock

The Cube Rock trailhead is located at the Little Blue Lake car park, in South Mount Cameron. To find the trailhead, follow the fire road on the southwestern corner of Little Blue Lake and keep your eyes peeled for the obscure pink tags. Little Blue Lake is an hour northwest of St Helens and some of this route is unsealed.

Type Little Blue Lake into Google Maps rather than Cube Rock as it isn’t so popular in comparison.

Local tip* Avoid Terry’s hill Rd. While it is accessible for a 2WD, this unsealed road is in poor condition. Take Either of the other two options instead if you are driving in a 2WD.

Standing underneath the huge cube rock on one of the best day hikes in north east Tasmania

Carr-Villa Track To Legges Tor – Ben Lomond National Park

7.6 km return | 4 – 5 hrs | 1,572 m | 351 m elevation gain | Grade 3 – some experience recommended

The Carr-Villa Track is one of many exploration options within the expansive Ben Lomond National Park, known for being the only chairlift-operated ski resort in Tasmania – though enough snow to ski on is sometimes scarce.

The drive to the Carr-Villa car park is phenomenal in itself, with snow gums and tree ferns lining the road as you wind closer to the alpine. Beginning in the alpine above 1,000 m, a giant garden of fallen dolerite columns welcomes you at the trailhead. Small shrubs of scoparia grow from the ancient rock as you wander above the treeline, marvelling at the creased mountains below. Watch out for curious wallabies hiding behind the stunted trees, we spotted many peering out from behind the branches. 

A path has been formed within the boulders, providing an easy walk to the saddle between Misery Bluff and Old Bills Monument. From the saddle, the landscape shifts to alpine moorlands full of cushion plants and tussock grass. With a vast plateau, you could spend days wandering among the mountain range. 

The trail up to Legges Tor slowly inclines, offering an easy walk through the beautiful landscape with posts leading the way. From the summit of Legges Tor, the tops of the chairlifts can be seen along with some historic shacks – some still used. Legges Tor is the highest peak within the Ben Lomond National Park and offers a spectacular view of the surrounding peaks all the way down to the farmlands far below. 

We chose to spend a night in the alpine, completing this hike in two days and witnessing a wondrous sunset and sunrise all to ourselves. However, it is absolutely doable in a day if you rather not remote camp.

*Please note, there are no facilities on the plateau and while camping is allowed, it is imperative to follow the leave no trace principles and understand which plants are delicate so as to avoid trampling these. 

How To Get To The Carr-Villa Track

The Carr-Villa Track is located halfway along the road to the Ben Lomond Village. It is 2 hrs 10 mins west of St Helens, making it the furthest on this list but still extremely worthy of the drive. Parts of this road are steep and unsealed, however, it is well-groomed and accessible by 2WD.

Being a popular destination within a national park, Google Maps does a cracking job at getting this one correct. 

Tent set up off the Carr Villa Track at sunset in Ben Lomond Tasmania

St Patricks Head

6 km | 1.5 – 2 hrs | 680 m | 348 m elevation | Grade 3 – some experience required

St Patricks Head is my favourite hike on this list when you’re short on time and need a dose of fresh air and insane views. Combining mountains and ocean, this coastal hike takes less than two hours to complete and provides a 360-degree view of the east coast and Fingal Valley. 

The walk itself is what you will learn to expect from northeast Tasmania; short, sharp, steep, and full of boulders once you reach the summit. The trail begins in a meadow before entering a dense forest full of myrtle beech and blanket leaf trees, all covered in a layer of moss. 

Once you near the peak, clambering over giant boulders is essential and one tricky section has a stake in the rock below to help you up. Completing this hike for sunrise or sunset is a must to experience the pointed peak of St Patricks head cast a perfect triangle either over the farmlands at sunrise or the ocean at sunset.

Admiring the view with a PLB of a cloud inversion at St Patricks Head in St Helens Tasmania

How To Get To St Patricks Head

St Patricks Head is located in St Mary’s, a town in the Fingal Valley 45 minutes south of St Helens. The trailhead looks as if it’s at somebody’s house though there will be a sign indicating you’re at the right place. 

Google Maps does not get this one correct, leading you down Gillies Rd which ends at the Lumera Chalets – with no entry to the trailhead. To get to the trailhead, turn off the Esk Hwy at Irish Town Rd and after following that for a couple of minutes, turn left onto St Patricks Head Rd.

Hiking to Mathinna Falls in the beautiful surrounding forests of North East Tasmania

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the hiking possibilities within the northeast of Tasmania, and each time we tick another off we will add it here! If you have any rippers you’ve climbed that aren’t on this list, we would love to know in the comments below.

Happy Hiking!