The Needles - Southwest National Park

Tasmania's largest national park is also one of its wildest, encompassing over 600,000 hectares of rugged mountains, wild rivers, towering rainforest and untouched beaches that take days to reach on foot.

The Needles track is one of the easiest ways to experience this grand wilderness, only 90 minutes from Hobart - the short, steep and at times muddy climb takes around two to three hours return and offers incredible views of Mount Field, the Florentine and Lake Pedder from the summit.

Gordon River Road

The track begins at the highest point of Gordon River Road, one of only two main access roads into this enormous national park. It can be a little difficult to find at first - keep an eye out for the cairns opposite the car park to find your way.

The track is quite overgrown and can be slippery after rain (most days of the year in these parts!) so be prepared to get a little wet - we were saturated by the time we made it out of the dense bush around the lower slopes!

The effort is worth it though - the rocky outcrops that make up the Needles are quite impressive in their grandeur, and the rugged landscape provides inspirational views at every angle as the track continues to climb through some more exposed grassland toward the summit.

Make sure to allow time at the summit to take in the surrounds. At 1020m above sea level, the views are magnificent, but for me the most memorable part is the sound - of running water, birdsong and a gentle breeze floating up from deep valleys below.

Need to Know

Time: 2-3 Hours
Distance: 3 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Tip: Tread lightly - the terrain here is sensitive, difficult and slippery at times.