5 Day Takayna / Tarkine Hiking Tour

5 days - Hiking Tour Package
Day 1 - Launceston to Tarkine - 5km, 2hrs approx. easy grade

Our trip departs from Launceston, from where it is a 1½ hour drive to the small seaside town of Penguin. Here we stop for a short break, before leaving the busy world as we know it behind. Continuing west, we turn onto a minor highway – pausing for a short riverside walk at Hellyer Gorge. This circuit features many of the rainforest species that we will soon come to be familiar with. It’s then onto the historic tin mining township of Waratah, where we break for lunch above the local waterfall.

From here, our main hike for the day takes in the silent surrounds of Philosopher Falls, a lovely 1½ hour return walk through primeval rainforest close to the headwaters of the Arthur River – the generally accepted northern boundary of the Tarkine region. Here we pass under a canopy of ancient myrtle beech, interspersed with leatherwood, sassafras and ferns, before reaching a viewing platform looking out over the waterfall. This easy walk is a fantastic introduction to the area.

On returning from our hike, it’s only another hour or so before we arrive at the rainforest retreat of Corinna. This old mining town has been lovingly converted into visitor accommodation, and is a gorgeously peaceful spot to spend the next three nights. Located on the banks of the mighty Pieman River – the site features a pub and restaurant, kayak hire, and a variety of shorts walks which you can explore at your own leisure.

Tonight’s dinner is at the Tannin Restaurant (Drinks at guest’s own expense)

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Day 2 - Explore the banks of two major tributaries of the Pieman River - 9km, 4-5hrs approx. moderate grade

Today we undertake two separate walks through impressive temperate rainforest, travelling along the banks of two major tributaries of the Pieman River. After breakfast and lunch making, we walk straight from our cabin doors and immediately onto the trail.

Our first destination is the Savage River, located north of Corinna on the far side of Ahrberg Hill. As our ascent is made, tangled vegetation gives way to a more open understory – revealing large old trees with a gnarled solitary appearance. Here there is a real ethereal atmosphere, particularly after rain – as low cloud tends to hang around the ridgetop.

A long descent brings us to the river bank, where we take a well-earned break and soak up the ambience of this peaceful location. Throughout autumn, this trail in particular is a hotspot for fungi hunting – and anyone into macro photography could easily find themselves lost in their pursuit for many hours. From here we can either retrace our route back to Corinna, or take an adventurous journey up river to explore a little further.

Once back at Corinna we have lunch, followed by another 1½ hour walk to the mouth of the Whyte River. This trail takes us past many close-up examples of Huon Pine – a Tasmanian endemic and one of the longest living trees in the world, some reaching in excess of 2000 years old! This is also a great place to look for platypus, most commonly seen around dusk or dawn.

Finishing our loop, the trail brings us directly back to our cabins. There should be ample time this afternoon for a bit of relaxation before dinner, consisting of nibbles and a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Day 3 - Tarkine Coast - 8-10km, 4hrs approx. easy grade

This morning we rise a little earlier and take a sunrise boat shuttle down the Pieman River, to reach the magnificent Tarkine Coast. Smashed by huge surf, and punctuated by rocky headlands – this is a wild stretch of coastline, and a photographer’s paradise.

After being dropped at the Pieman Heads, we walk north following overgrown vehicle tracks to the pounding ocean. Some of the cleanest air in the world has been recorded in the area, travelling along the line of the roaring 40’s uninterrupted all the way from South America. Along the trails, numerous small creeks are crossed, and occasionally it can be a little muddy – but for the most part it is an easy, well graded walk.

Approaching the promontory of Rupert Point, many striking rock features provide clues to a tumultuous geological history. Outcrops allow for grandstand views, where one can make out in the distance the wide expanse of dune country north of the Interview River. The region is also home to a high concentration of indigenous cultural sites, precious historical remnants of an ongoing 40,000-year Aboriginal inhabitation of Tasmania.

At our turnaround point, we stop for morning tea – and enjoy the sounds and sights of the waves rolling endlessly across the ocean. Beach combing on our return, there may even be an opportunity for a very refreshing swim!

Our journey back up the Pieman River is aboard the historic Arcadia II. This vessel is built from Huon Pine and other local hardwoods, and makes a slow and relaxing punt back to Corinna. In the afternoon, there is plenty of time for short walks, or maybe a self-guided kayak along the river – before an excellent two-course dinner prepared by your guides.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 - Summit Mt Donaldson and explore the Tarkine - 7km, 4hrs approx. moderate/hard grade

This morning we check out of our rooms, and pack our bigger bags away in the trailer – before departing on the hike to the summit of Mount Donaldson. This is a steady climb that passes through a variety of changing vegetation types, and one that gives an outstanding appreciation for the vastness of the area.

Beginning in the rainforests surrounding the Savage River, we soon break free of the tree-line. Our efforts are rewarded with breathtaking views far across the Tarkine wilderness and beyond. In fine weather, this is a real highlight of the trip.

Retracing our route, we head back to Corinna for lunch before crossing the infamous Fatman Barge to the southern bank of the Pieman River. Rounding the base of the Meredith Range and the Tarkine’s southern boundary, we pass over the Reece Dam and the Whaleback Lookout on our way to Tullah – an ex-hydro village encircled by craggy mountains. Here we will spend our final night together on the shores of Lake Rosebery.

Tonight’s dinner is at the Tullah Lakeside Lodge Bistro (at guest own expense).

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch


Day 5 - Explore Montezuma Falls before Returning to Launceston - 8kms, 3hrs approx. easy grade

After breakfast and lunch making, we jump back in the bus and head off on our final walk to Montezuma Falls. At 104m, these are the highest single drop waterfall in Tasmania, and consequently have become a popular west-coast icon.

Arriving early morning generally sees few other people on the trail – following a gentle gradient, tracing the old path of the North-East Dundas Tramway through stunning forest. Contouring high above the Ring River (a tributary of the Pieman) for almost the entire walk, this is a relaxing way to unwind from our adventure.

The falls themselves are often heard before they are seen – an impressive sight in all conditions, but especially so after heavy rain. For those game, a swing-bridge provides viewers with another angle from which to appreciate this natural wonder.

We then retrace our route back to the bus, and begin our return drive to Launceston. Along the way – we pass close by to Cradle Mountain, and call in to the charming township of Sheffield to break up our journey. Here we can grab a coffee (own expense), and take a short stroll through the streets to admire the town’s colourful murals.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch