Follow the roaring Sorell and Tamar Rivers north to the Bass Strait, and you'll find the peaceful Narawntapu National Park. Consisting mostly of inlets, wetlands, sand dunes, lagoons and tiny islands, Narawntapu National Park contains a jaw-dropping number of coastal animals and plants. The boundaries of the park are marked by the Tamar River and Greens Beach to the east and the Sorell River and Baker's Beach to the west.
And while this National Park is marked by the confluence of freshwater rivers colliding with the saltwater of the Bass Strait, there are still plenty of land creatures to marvel at. At dusk, you'll be able to see kangaroos, wallabies and wombats grazing on the park's grasslands. And you'll be able to hear the screeches, growls and grunts of the world-famous Tasmanian Devil.
The drive to Narawntapu National Park from Devonport is rather beautiful. It will take you by rolling hills, through lush farmlands and over roaring rivers. Tasmania's north coast city is 42 kilometers to the west and the drive takes about 40 minutes.
Narawntapu National Park is 44 km². Head to the visitor's center in Springlawn where you'll find informational displays, toilet facilities, picnic facilities and park rangers. Pick up a pamphlet to familiarize yourself with the park before exploring the coastal heathlands, dry woodlands, herb land, grasslands and salt marshes.
Narawntapu National Park is colloquially known as the Tasmanian Serengeti. It is one of the best places in the world to view wildlife in its natural habitat. And with its proximity to robust northern towns such as Devonport and Port Sorell, this park is popular among tourists. Plan your visit well ahead of time.
Horse riding is a popular activity in the park. The 26-kilometer horse riding trail work requires a permit and bookings must be made at least 48 hours in advance. In fact, horse riding is so popular in the park that there are Horse Yards for overnight coaching.
Swimming can be done at Bakers and Badger Beaches. Swimmers should be aware of the Rocky coastlines at Griffiths Point and the Port Sorell estuary. Rocky coastlines are especially dangerous when the tide is going out.
Boating and fishing are popular activities in the park. Springlawn Beach is reserved for boats entering and exiting the water. There is a boat ramp at Bakers Point where no swimming is allowed either. Line fishing can be done at Bakers and Badger Beaches where you'll have to be aware of swimmers in the water.
Rangers lead walks, talks and other educational activities throughout the year. It's a great way to learn about the vast array of wildlife in the park while staying safe and getting a little bit of exercise.
There are a variety of walking trails throughout the park that range from short, easy and flat to all-day adventures. Complete the 9-hour Coastal Travers trail that spans from Bakers Beach to Greens Beach to see the entirety of the park. Point Vision Track takes you up to the top of Mount Asbestos for views over the entire area. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Brian Dullaghan
The Narawntapu National Park has a few different geographical areas. The 400-meter Mount Asbestos towers over the park inland, and at its feet, you'll experience swaths of grassland. The grassland eventually gives way to inlets, headlands, wetlands, dunes and lagoons until finally ending on soft sandy beaches at the Bass Strait.
The grasslands are where you want to be at dusk. Dubbed the Serengeti of Tasmania, this area is one of the best places in all of Australia to view wildlife. Here you'll find kangaroos, Bennett's Wallabies, Tasmanian Devils, Quolls, Tasmanian Pademelons, Echidnas and platypus.
You'll experience a temperate maritime climate in Narawntapu National Park ranging from 17°C at the height of summer t0 9°C in the depth of winter. The park can be windy and weather can change dramatically in an instant. Always check the weather before heading out for a walk. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Latrobe Council
Wildlife and Birds
The grasslands of this park come to life at dusk every day. It has a high density of marsupials including grey kangaroos, Bennett's Wallabies, Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Quolls and Pademelons. Closer to the shore you'll find platypus living in the inlets and rivers. And you'll have to watch where you step because Echidna is common in this area.
There are plenty of threatened species of birds living in Narawntapu National Park. Bird lovers flocked to the area to experience the Hooded Plover, Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle and Swift Parrot. Birds enjoy the northeast of the park which serves as a foraging area and makes up part of the Rubicon Estuary Important Bird Area. That's where you'll spot migratory waders and pied oystercatchers.
Facilities and Camping
There is quite a nice visitor center within the park. That's where you'll find picnic and toilet facilities, informational displays, a small souvenir shop and a public use payphone. You can also find picnic tables at Bakers Point and Badger Head. Toilet facilities are available at Bakers Point and Griffiths Point.
You can camp at Springlawn, the Horse Yards, Bakers Point and Koybaa. Head to the Springlawn Visitor Center to pay at a self-registration system before heading to your campsite. All campsites have tables and toilets and fires are permitted in designated areas. You'll find pay showers at the Springlawn Visitor Center as well as electric barbecues. Image Credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
This Park was once known as the Asbestos Range National Park. Minerals such as asbestos were mined from the mountains just beyond the park. The park was founded in 1976, but in 2000 the name was changed to Narawntapu National Park. The name was changed because the government feared the word asbestos would serve as a deterrent to tourists. The word Narawntapu is Aboriginal for the coastal lands between West Head and Badger Head.