Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
© Paparwin Tanupatarachai/Getty Image
The wild heart of Tasmania
This boardwalk leads to one of the many lakes that dot Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, one of the crown jewels of the island’s Wilderness World Heritage area. Covering over 623 square miles (1613 sq km) in the interior of the island, the park is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Marsupials like Bennett’s wallabies, quolls, Tasmanian pademelon, and the legendary Tasmanian devils, as well as short-beaked echidnas, platypuses, wombats, and Tasmanian pygmy possums, can be found in its ancient forests and lakes.
In late April and into May, locals and visitors delight in the 'Turning of the Fagus' when the leaves of the deciduous Tasmanian beech trees turn brilliantly yellow, orange, and red. The Overland Track, as a 104-kilometre-long circuit of the park, is a popular route for visitors, whether exploring a portion of it over a day or taking a week to complete the entire route. Overnight hikers can stay in warming huts built along the way and spend the night dazzled by the stars and the aurora australis (aka the southern lights) in one of the island’s best stargazing locations.