The Best Day Hikes In Western Tasmania

You’ll never forget the first time you enter the Western Wilds of Tasmania. Feeling as if you’ve been transported to another country rather than simply driving from east to west. A landscape of glacial valleys, rugged mountains, and untouched temperate rainforests awaits in the wild west – luring you in with a raw and wild beauty unmatched anywhere else in Australia. 

A rich history of glaciers and volcanoes help to create the incredibly unique and intriguing topography found in Tasmania’s west. And of course, by default, this means the hiking possibilities in western Tasmania are beyond breathtaking and abundant. 

Some of these great hikes are well known and some trails are marked with nothing more than a pink tag or a handmade sign. No matter which you choose, each will offer untamed wilderness and mountain peaks worthy of each uneven step. 

Every time we visit the western wilds, we add to our never ending list of mountains to explore. And as a result, this post on the best day hikes in Tasmania’s west is far from complete. Every west coast hike that blows our mind will be added here so be sure to keep checking back for continuous inspiration.

Hiking along a rocky ridge on one of the best day hikes in West Tasmania, Eliza Bluff

Mount Murchison

7.3 km return | 4 – 5 hrs | 786 m elevation gain | 1,275 m highest elevation | Grade 4

The beautiful View of the top of the Mt Murchison walk, thick fog on one side of the cliff and bright colours on the other

The rugged summit of Mount Murchison can be seen long before you reach the trailhead, igniting the stoke before even stepping foot on the enchanted trail. But the minute those boots hit the ground, It’s on!

From a small opening in the forest flanking Anthony Road, multiple species of moss and lichen cover gnarled beech trees and boulders in a blanket of green. I don’t believe there has been any other west coast hike that begins quite so spectacularly as Mount Murchison’s dense rainforest. 

The path, soft with decaying leaf litter, steeply follows the southeast facing spur towards the first ridgeline. And once that ridgeline is reached, you’ll understand why this hike is number one on our list. 

A deep blue tarn sits in a precipitous basin, fed by a waterfall flowing from a higher tarn hidden from view. The trail continues along the ridge towards the base of Mount Murchison’s peak, methodically unveiling hidden vistas the higher you climb.  

Climbing the sketch rock section with ropes on Mount Murchison in Western Tasmania

A fixed rope assists with the trickiest section, however some rock scrambling skills are required once you drop into the glacial cirque. The glacial cirque is what makes Mount Murchison so incredibly unique and mind blowing, the dramatic crater created by millions of years of erosion is filled with wildflowers, alpine tarns and crumbling boulders. Tendrils of clouds twisting in and out of the slanted rock slabbed peak is a usual sight for the 1,275 m tall mountain, the tallest in its range. 

Mount Murchison is a 7.3km return hike that tests your skills and fear of heights, but if you prevail you’ll be rewarded with an experience unlike any other in Australia. 

Visit the entire hiking guide for Mt Murchison here. 

Mount Farrell

8.7 km return | 3 – 4 hrs | 563 m elevation gain | 711 m highest elevation | Grade 3

Watching the sunrise at Mt Farrell as an inversion sits along the low lying peaks

Don’t let the fact that this hike begins in town deter you, or its smaller stature. Mount Farrell packs a punch that we were completely blindsided by. 

Beginning in a dry eucalypt forest and in true Tasmanian fashion, the trail shoots straight up the western spine passing a couple of old mines along the way. After half an hour, the trees recede to reveal a vast buttongrass moorland surrounding the ridgeline. 

Wildflowers and conglomerate slabs peek out from the tall grasses as the trail turns to the right and begins its ascent to the jagged ridge. The tiny town of Tullah occupies the valley to the west, sitting on the banks of the sprawling Lake Rosebery. 

Hiking along the ridge of Mt Farrell on an epic Day hike in western Tasmania

The landscape continues to unfold as the trail traverses along the rocky ridgeline. Far below on the eastern slopes a deep blue lake, Lake Mackintosh, sets a striking contrast against the golden hills. 

Moments before the first rise is reached, the trail forks providing the option to continue straight ahead to the summit or to visit Lake Herbert via the left track. If time permits, I suggest visiting both. If time is short, summit the first rise before turning back to take the trail down to Lake Herbert, a better spectacle than the actual peak. 

Both sunrise and sunset provide a spectacular show from the first peak or the southern rise above Lake Herbert. The soft light casts shadows over the conspicuous shape of Mount Murchison’s summit in the south, while illuminating the golden buttongrass clad mountains in the north. 

Eliza Plateau

11 km return | 5 – 7 hrs | 946 m elevation gain | 1,289 m highest elevation | Grade 4

Hiking along the Ridge line of Eliza Plateau in a moody sunrise

Deep in the Southwest National Park, the largest reserve in Tasmania, the Eliza Plateau stands among a congregation of obscure mountains flowing into the mighty yet controversial Lake Pedder. The dammed lake stretches for miles, with strikingly similar characteristics of a giant Norwegian Fjord.

Due to restoration after a raging wildfire in the summer of 2019, the entire trail to High Camp Hut consists of boardwalks and stairs. While this may take away the raw nature of the hike, the necessity of nurturing regrowth and sticking to the trail is extremely important. 

The trail steeply ascends east along Mount Eliza’s long spur, passing scores of buttongrass and charred skeletons of past trees. Each time you turn around, your jaw will drop with the extending view of Lake Pedder and the distant Franklin Range sketched in blue along the hazy horizon. 

Hiking the steep trail of Eliza Plateau with a view of Lake Pedder down below

The man-made trail ends at High Camp Hut, replaced with a field of boulders cascading from the vast summit. Potentially more treacherous than Cradle Mountain’s summit, this section is not for the faint of heart and requires some skill as you cling to dolerite slabs and haul your body towards the peak.

All your effort is rewarded once you’re standing atop Mount Eliza’s colourful alpine plateau, marvelling at the 360 degree panorama. Mount Anne engulfs the northeast, while the Eastern and Western Arthurs range dominate the southwest horizon. Lake Judd shimmers directly below in a field of wildflowers, surrounded by the rugged veins of the mountain range. 

If you’re up for the challenge, you can extend this hike into a multi-day to conquer the mighty Mount Anne circuit, the highest peak in the Southwest National Park. Or simply wander back the way you came, allowing enough time to breathe in the incredible landscape that surrounds the entire mountain range. 

Mount Tyndall

6.8 km return | 3 – 4 hrs | 673 m elevation gain | 1,179 m highest elevation | Grade 4

Moody Sunset overlooking Strahan and the West Coast of Tasmania from the peak of Mount Tyndall

Mount Tyndall is the perfect example of a raw and wild Tasmanian hike. Untouched by tools, this trail has been etched into its surroundings by nothing more than human footprints. Thick and spiky scrub threaten to take over the trail at any given moment, while the deep mud below will try to suck you in. Long pants, boots and potentially gaiters are staple items for the beginning of this hike. 

But once you overcome the muddy climb through tight and twisted trees, the terrain shifts to the much loved open fields of button grass and flowering honey myrtle. The unobstructed west coast rests below, with layered mountains blending into the distant ocean.

The trail, marked by sporadic rock cairns, weaves higher among a rubble of colourful boulders, some larger slabs creating a sketchy climb in wet weather. Once the rambling plateau of the Mount Tyndall’s Summit is reached, the track all but ends and a game of hopscotch commences, arduously trying to avoid the precious bright green cushion plants. 

Walking the beautiful ridge line along the Mount Tyndall Range with Cradle Mountain National Park in the backdrop

Finally crossing over to the east side of the ridgeline, the inner world of the Tyndall Ranges reveals itself. Rocky spines lead to distant mountains and alpine tarns mirror their surroundings. Beyond the sprawling range, the iconic peaks within the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park paint the skyline with remarkable strokes from nature.

If time and experience permits, the Tyndall Ranges is the perfect destination for an extended stay in the alpine. Lake Tyndall, to the summit’s south, offers a collection of breathtaking campsites and Mount Geikie in the distance is a popular choice for an off-track adventure. 

Visit our entire hiking guide for Mt Tyndall

Cradle Mountain Summit

12 km circuit | 5 – 7 hrs | 747 m elevation gain | 1,545 m highest elevation | Grade 4

Hiking to the base of Cradle Mountains Summit on the Overland Track

Cradle Mountain is the icon of Tasmania’s west and arguably the most famous mountain in the state – maybe even in Australia. The reason for this is obvious once you step foot in the national park. 

The mountain can be viewed from the car park, its dolerite peak rising high above a vast alpine plateau that plummets into the glacially carved Dove Lake. But to truly experience its magnificence, you must walk among the giant boulders covering the summit. 

The trails surrounding Cradle Mountain offer vast diversity. From ancient temperate rainforests with waterfalls tumbling into pristine streams, to boundless alpine heathland harbouring clusters of snow gums and the endemic king billy pine.

Ropes and stairs guide the way towards the crest of Cradle Mountain, offering assistance in the steepest of sections. But once you reach the last ascent, it’s all on you and your bouldering skills as you tackle one of our favourite scrambles in Tasmania. 

Cradle Mountain’s 1,545 m peak presents 360 degree vistas of neighbouring mountains and scores of glacial remnants, I’ve been told…

Unfortunately we scaled this peak in a complete whiteout, with sleet drenching our summer attire. We are yet to experience the phenomenal view atop Cradle Mountain but hope to be blessed by the sight this year!

There are multiple ways to reach the Cradle Mountain summit but our favourite route is to begin at Ronny Creek, follow the Overland Track to Crater Lake and summit Marion’s Lookout before crossing the plateau to climb Cradle Mountain. On the return, take the Face Track down to Lake Wilkes and finally, the Lake Wilkes track to Dove Lake. 

Visit our entire hiking guide for Cradle Mountain to learn how to avoid the crowds.

Beautiful view of Cradle Mountain from Hansons Peak hiking in leggings

If you have a hike you believe we will love, please let us know in the comments below. And remember, this list of the best hikes in Tasmania’s west is far from finished. Be sure to check back for continuous inspiration. Until then, happy hiking!

Best day hikes in western Tasmania