Maria Island, TAS
Put one foot in front of the other for long enough and you might just forget where you came from. Of course, it helps if you're headed through the epic, ancient and transforming wilderness that has made Tasmania a haven for walkers across the world. Almost half of this small and scenic state is protected within national parks and reserves and 20 per cent is World Heritage-listed. The 17 national parks are crisscrossed with thousands of kilometres of trails ranging from daredevil to dreamy. Long and short, gentle and giant, here are just some of the wonderful Tasmanian walks that can take you away from it all.
From Hobart, its 20 minutes to rugged Mount Wellington, where the three to four hour Organ Pipes Walk takes you over the towering, dolerite cliffs of the same name. To Hobart's east, on nearby Bruny Island, you can walk the coastal track to Penguin Island from Adventure Bay or climb the timber stairs to Neck Lookout for dizzying ocean views. You'll soon see why director Baz Lurhmann recommended this place. Further along the east coast is Tasman National Park, where you can spend days exploring the fluted sea-cliffs and giant rocks. If you only have a day, spend an hour on the cliff walk to Waterfall Bay or take three to four trekking to scenic and remote Bivouac or Fortescue Bay. To Hobart's west lies the wild, vast expanse of South West National Park. Do a day walk to deep, ice-carved Lake Judd or test your mettle on the 70km Port Davey Track and 85 km South Coast Track to remote Melaleuca. From here you'll need to be collected by boat or plane, or do the whole distance all over again!