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Southwest National Park

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Tasmania’s largest national park

The park, the largest in Tasmania, consists of more than 6,000 square kilometers of pristine wilderness.

Established in 1968, the park makes up the south west corner of Tasmania with the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and Bathurst Harbour to the north and the Hartz Mountains National Park to the east.

Mt Anne from High Shelf Camp edit 1
Mt_Anne_from_High_Shelf_Camp.jpg: JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com)derivative work: Diliff [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The 1,423 meter high Mount Anne is popular for hiking and mountain climbing. 

Access to the park

There are two main access points to enter the park:  Cockle Creek via the Huon Highway (south of Hobart) or via Strathgordon on the Gordon River Road to the Gordon Dam, to the north. 

There are light aircraft flights to an airstrip at Melaleuca for those wishing to take part in the South Coast Track.

Apart from these access points there is no road system in the park and further access requires continuing on foot or through boat landing on the coast.

Louisa Island and Louisa Bay
JJ Harrison (https://www.jjharrison.com.au/) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Louisa Island and Louisa Bay

Edgar Pond in Southwest National Park

Edgar Pond

Lake Judd from Mt Eliza
JJ Harrison (https://www.jjharrison.com.au/) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Judd from Mount Eliza

Scotts Peak cropped from Lake Pedder panorama
Lake_Pedder_From_Mt_Eliza.jpg: JJ Harrison (http://www.noodlesnacks.com/)derivative work: Pointillist [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Scotts Peak in Lake Pedder

Lake Pedder

Central to the Southwest National Park is Lake Pedder which currently covers an area of some 240 square kilometers.

Just as with much of the Tasmanian Wilderness, the lake was original formed through glacier action, however, in 1972 with the building of a hydroelectric dam, the area of the original lake was flooded, reaching its current extent.

In 1955 the Lake Pedder National Park was established and this was expanded in size and renamed the Southwest National Park in 1968, with a later addition in 1976.
South Cape Bay 2
JJ Harrison (https://www.jjharrison.com.au/) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

South Cape Bay

At the very southern end of the national park and in fact the island of Tasmania, is South Cape Bay.

The bay is truly a part of the Tasmanian wilderness, being subjected to almost constant winds and the wild seas of the Southern Ocean.  

The bay can reached via a 4 hour return hike leaving from Cockle Creek.  Some hiking experience recommended.  

Gordon Dam

Gordon Dam

Charles King Memorial Hut - Melaleuca
JJ Harrison (https://www.jjharrison.com.au/) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the hiker huts that can be found amongst the wilderness of the Melaleuca region.

In this case, in memorial to Charles King an original settler and miner in the region.