Little-known, isolated Mt William National Park features long sandy beaches, low ridges and coastal heathlands; visit during spring or early summer when the wild flowers are bloomin’ marvellous. The highest point, Mt William (1½-hour return walk), stands only 216m tall, yet projects your gaze over land and sea. The area was declared a national park in 1973, primarily to protect Tasmania’s remaining Forester (eastern grey) kangaroos, which faced extinction in the 1950s and ’60s (they’ve been breeding themselves silly ever since).
Activities on offer in the park include birdwatching and wildlife-spotting, fishing, swimming, surfing and diving. Aboriginal habitation of the area is illustrated by the large shell midden at Musselroe Point, and many others across the region. To the south, the Eddystone Point Lighthouse is clearly visible, its night-time beam a beacon to ships entering dangerous Banks Strait, between the Furneaux Group and mainland Tasmania.
There’s beachside camping under the she-oaks at Stumpys Bay, at Top Camp near Musselroe Bay and beside tannin-stained Deep Creek in the park’s south. All sites have pit toilets, but no drinking water. Fires are allowed in designated fire spots; BYO firewood and heed fire restrictions. Pay camping fees on-site; pay park fees at the kiosk on the northern access road or, if approaching from the south, buy a pass from Service Tasmania in St Helens or the St Helens Visitor Information Centre.
The northern end of Mt William National Park is 17km from Gladstone on gravel roads; the southern end is 60km from St Helens (also gravel) – these two towns are the closest petrol stops. From Bridport, take the road towards Tomahawk and continue to Gladstone. Be careful driving at night – these roads are rife with wildlife.