Mt William National Park

Bay of Fires

Little-known, isolated Mt William National Park features long sandy beaches, prolific wildlife and the eponymous wukalina/Mt William, reached on a one-hour return walk. Standing 216m above sea level, it's more a glorified hill, but still affords view over the stunning coastline and the southern Furneaux Group islands. 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, beach walking, fishing, swimming, surfing, snorkelling 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 sheoaks 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, and pay park fees at the kiosk on the northern access road or, if approaching from the south, buy a pass from the St Helens Visitor Information Centre. If you're camping at Stumpys Bay – the pick of the campgrounds – it's a short drive back to the Forester Kangaroo Drive, which circuits past former farm clearings that get crowded with Forester kangaroos, wallabies and wombats at dawn and dusk.

At the northern end of the park, Stumpys Bay is 26km from Gladstone on gravel roads; Eddystone Point is 50km from St Helens (also gravel) – these two towns are the closest petrol stops. Be careful driving at night – these roads are rife with wildlife.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bay of Fires attractions

1. Eddystone Point Lighthouse

10.36 MILES

Lording over Eddystone Point, just north of Ansons Bay within Mt William National Park, the 35m-high granite tower of Eddystone Point Lighthouse has…

2. Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area

27.48 MILES

Nature reserve en route to Binalong Bay, loaded-up with native blooms and birdlife (yellow-tailed black cockatoos, gannets, petrels, wattlebirds,…

3. Derby Schoolhouse Museum

28.53 MILES

In the 1897 school building adjacent to the Tin Centre, there’s a display on the social history of Derby as opposed to its mining past, including some…

4. Tin Centre

28.54 MILES

Derby’s tin-mining heritage is on display in this architecturally impressive space, part of the Trail of the Tin Dragon tourist route (www…