A Trip to the Southwest
The Southwest National Park is the jewel in the crown of Tasmania’s natural wonders, a vast and largely inaccessible region left relatively unscathed since European settlement. With a human history dating back 25,000 years, the area is of global archaeological significance for its well preserved artefacts of civilisations past and contains large areas of unspoilt scenery, mountain ranges and dramatic coastlines. Places like this are increasingly rare in the world today so most recreational activity maintains a minimalist nature, restricted to human powered pursuits and deep connection with nature.
The Gordon River Road provides the easiest access to the region and was built to construct the Gordon Power Station a large hydro power scheme developed in the 1970s against a failed campaign to preserve Lake Pedder, a unique lake with white quartz beaches that had been proclaimed a national park less than two decades earlier. The scheme flooded the original Lake Pedder, creating a much larger lake that is now a renowned kayaking and fishing destination. Almost 50 years later, a new campaign has commenced to restore the lake to its natural state after a number of successful dam removals and rehabilitations in the United States and elsewhere.
There are a number of places along the road which are worth seeing to appreciate the natural beauty and learn about the history of this captivating place. We visited a few of these places on a recent weekend drive, stopping off at the beautiful Marriott’s Falls near Tyenna for a two hour walk, before heading toward the Gordon Dam and Lake Pedder for a kayaking tour courtesy of Tassie Bound Adventure Tours where we were treated to spectacular views across the lake toward the rugged and snow-capped Frankland Range.
Learn more about the Southwest
The following links provide more information about visiting the Southwest region, including attractions, accommodation and how to keep your impact on this remarkable environment to a minimum when you visit.
Parks Tasmania - https://www.parks.tas.gov.au/
Derwent Valley Tourism - https://derwentvalleytasmania.org.au/
Tassie Bound Adventure Tours - https://tassiebound.com.au/
Pedder Wilderness Lodge - https://www.pedderwildernesslodge.com.au/
Leave No Trace - https://www.lnt.org.au/