Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
© Paparwin Tanupatarachai/Getty Image
The wild heart of Tasmania
This path leads to one of the many lakes that dot Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, the crown jewels of the island’s Wilderness World Heritage area. Covering over 623 square miles on the Australian 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, a 65-mile circuit of the park, is a popular route for visitors. Some explore a portion of it over a day while others spend a week completing the entire route. Overnight hikers can stay in huts built along the way and spend the night being dazzled by the stars and the aurora australis (aka the southern lights) in one of island’s best stargazing locations.