Lonely Planet Writer

The Wild Pedder Experience in Tasmania's Southwest could be the most exhilarating hike yet

One of Australia’s best kept secrets is the island state of Tasmania and its world-class hiking. Most Aussies will tell you about the Overland Track at Cradle Mountain, and some know about the Three Capes on the Tasman Peninsula, but a new hiking experience has been launched in Tasmania that combines a touch of luxury – with adventure – in one of its World Heritage-listed wilderness areas.

The stunning landscape of Tasmania.
The stunning landscape of Tasmania. Image by Mark Stothard

Tasmania’s Southwest is part of the 3.5 million-acre region that boasts ancient glacial lakes, cloud-ringed mountains and lush old-growth forests. This is challenging hiking country for the unprepared, but a local outfit run by two Tassie entrepreneurs has begun guided walks through this spectacular country. The Wild Pedder Experience offers four days of bushwalking and kayaking, visiting Mount Field National Park, Tasmania’s oldest, and Southwest National Park — Tasmania’s largest park.

The views along the hikes are amazing.
The views along the hikes are amazing. Image by Al Long Photo

On this new wilderness experience, walkers retire to the lodge at the end of the day to enjoy meals prepared by resident chef Benjamin Knack, at the Twelvetrees restaurant, matched with cool-climate Tassie wines. After, they can unwind by a built-in 60s-style slate fireplace with stunning views from the lounge and bar of Lake Pedder and the jagged ranges beyond.

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This region was threatened by a proposed hydro-dam back in the early 1970s which sparked the Tasmanian environmental movement. The history of the dam plan and the protest movement that followed are on display at the Pedder Wilderness Lodge at Strathgordon.

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The Wild Pedder Experience was started by Cody McCracken and Lou Balcombe – both passionate about the flora, fauna and the unique landscapes of Southwest Tasmania. Hikers are likely to see wombats, wallabies and pademelons – just a few of Australia’s ridiculously cute wildlife found in Tasmania. So now you have three epic walks to tackle in Tasmania, but this one includes queen-sized beds and chef-prepared picnic lunches. Plus you get picked up in Hobart so you don’t even need to you’re your own transport. What’s not to love? More info here.