The Tarkine Rainforest is full of unique things to see and do, making it one of the most exciting destinations to explore in Tasmania.
Tasmania’s Tarkine region is home to Australia’s largest cool temperate rainforest, dating back to Gondwanaland when the area rubbed shoulders with Patagonia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. Encompassing mountain ranges, wild coastlines, intricate cave systems, and the forests themselves, there is plenty for visitors to explore.
Named for the Tarkiner people – one of three bands of Indigenous people who once inhabited north-west Tasmania – the Tarkine is an undefined and unprotected wilderness, generally agreed to be bounded by the Arthur River to the north, Pieman River to the south and the Murchison Highway to the east, while the west meets the Southern Ocean. It’s a habitat for more than 100 native bird species including the rare orange-bellied parrot, plus the Tasmanian devil, eastern and spotted-tail quoll, echidnas, possums, gliders and more – even the elusive platypus.
There’s plenty of more recent history to be found here, too, as the area is rich in natural resources and has been mined for gold and tin. The open cut Savage River magnetite iron ore mine operates today on the edge of the wilderness, highlighting the ongoing delicate balance between the landscape and human activity.
The main settlements are Arthur River, on Tasmania’s westernmost point, and tiny Corinna, where you can find accommodation and activities such as kayaking and river cruises on offer. Full day Arthur River cruises are a top attraction, with a few stops along the way to explore the region and a delicious lunch to keep you going. There are camping facilities spread across this vast ecosystem, too. You can pitch your tent amongst the wildlife, and discover something new beneath the stars.
When discovering the region, you can take a self-driving tour to explore sand dunes, waterfalls, forest vistas, and even a 110 metre slide into the largest Blackwood sinkhole in the Southern Hemisphere. Or, jump aboard a scenic helicopter flight over the rainforest canopy, and get a new perspective on the stunning landscape. Walking among the trees, you’ll find some of the richest Indigenous historical sites including shell middens and rock carvings, located mostly at the Sundown Point Reserve, known as laraturunawn to the local Indigenous community.
There are many beautiful lookouts around the Tarkine. Walk through the Milkshake Hills to explore a succession of rainforests and wet eucalypt forests with stunning views along the way, or visit the ‘edge of the world’ viewing platform south of the Arthur River bridge and witness the roaring winds that have shaped the Tarkine coastline. There’s also plenty to experience at the Tarkine Forest Adventure Park, located in a natural sinkhole known as Dismal Swamp. They offer walking trails, elevated walkways, and a variety of art created by well-known Tasmanian artists to discover.
Located on the northern edge of the rainforest, Tarkine Wilderness Lodge is settled within 100 acres of pastoral land and offers 360 degree views of the surrounding rainforest. The lodge provides a range of activities including guided walks and river cruises, as well as serving a range of delicious home-style meals prepared from local produce. With three fully-furnished rooms to stay in, it is the perfect place to get up close with nature.
Interested in discovering what else Tasmania has to offer beyond the Tarkine Rainforest? Click here to explore more amazing adventures.