If you’re keen to steer clear of the crowds but still get a taste of Tassie’s nature and history, check out these ten lesser-known places to explore on Tasmania’s East Coast.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Palawa people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

1. St Patricks Head

St Patrick’s Head is near St Marys, a small village on the way to the East Coast, 130km from Launceston.

Captain Tobias Furneaux named St Patricks Head in 1773 after he saw the 694-metre peak on St Patrick’s Day.



The 4km walk takes about three hours return. It’s fairly easy, although there are steep and slippery sections near the top. But it’s worth it for the magnificent views of the East Coast beaches from the summit.

How to Get There

The mountain is located in the Tasmanian State Reserve at the east end of the Fingal Valley. The car park is 3.5km from the turnoff.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace

2. Apsley Gorge

Apsley Gorge is in the Douglas Apsley National Park between the Douglas and Apsley Rivers. The area has a long history of farming, mining, and trapping. It contains one of the last remaining areas of uncleared dry forest in the state.

The Gorge Walk is at the southern end of the national park, where there’s a compost toilet, information posts, and a marked track to a beautiful turquoise waterhole, lookout, and into the gorge.

There’s a well-marked track through dry sclerophyll forest after you cross the river. It climbs up 150m before heading down steep steps into the gorge.



After hitting the river, you rock hop 3.5km down the gorge back to the waterhole. There’s no track in the gorge, so you need to find the best way through the Dolerite cliffs with Oyster Bay pine trees growing above them.

The loop walk through the gorge is 8km long and takes about 3-4 hours. Beware of slippery rocks if it’s been raining.

How to Get There

The turn-off to Apsley Gorge is on the Tasman Highway at Rosedale Road 4km north of Bicheno. The car park is 7.5km along a dirt road but is suitable for 2WD cars. You need a National Parks Pass to enter any Tasmanian National Park.

3. Winifred Curtis Reserve

The Winifred Curtis Scamander Reserve was named in honour of Dr Winifred Curtis, who was Tasmania’s most prominent botanist.

There are 7km of easy walking tracks with lots of flowering plants in spring. People can take dogs on leads into the reserve which has 16 different ecosystems.



The reserve incorporates dry sclerophyll bushland, marshland, wetland and duneland. It’s the only such remnant of coastal vegetation in the Break O’Day Municipality largely untouched since European settlement in 1828.

How to Get There

The Winifred Curtis Scamander Reserve is a couple of kilometres south of Scamander, directly opposite Upper Scamander Road.

4. Blue Tier Giant Tree Walk

The Giant Tree is the widest living tree in Australia with a chest-high girth of 19.4 metres. It takes 15 people to be able to wrap their arms around the tree.



This massive Eucalyptus regnans tree, commonly known as a swamp gum or giant ash tree is 60 metres high.

The circuit is a gorgeous short 3.2km walk through temperate rainforest with large ferns, mossy trees, and ancient giant trees.



The track crosses a stone arch bridge over an agricultural water race to the Cradle Tree, and then onto the Giant Tree on the handmade track. Locals call the Cradle Tree ‘the tree that hugs you’.

If it’s been raining, there are lots of leeches so wear repellant.

How to Get There

The turn-off to the Blue Tier Giant Walk is 7km before Weldborough. There’s a sign on the right coming from St Helens, or on the left if coming from Weldborough. The turn-off is about 38km from St Helens past Goshen and Pyengana.

Approximately 1.2km along Lottah Road, turn right at the unofficial signpost and follow Lehners Ridge road approximately 1.7km to the trailhead car park, which is clearly marked.

5. Weldborough

Weldborough is a tiny town now, but back in the 19th century it was a major tin mining town. It had the largest Chinese community of any tin field in Australia and was the cultural centre for Chinese miners.

The main place to visit is the Weldborough Hotel, which is often full of mountain bike riders. The pub is 21km from Derby, which is famous for its internationally renowned mountain bike tracks.



The hotel is a great place to stop for a non-alcoholic lime sparkling wine from the local Tasmanian Chilli Beer Company after walking the Blue Tiers Giant Tree Walk, which is only 7km down the road.

6. St Columba Falls

St Columba Falls is a beautiful easy 15-minute, 1.2km return walk through cool, shady Sassafras and Myrtle rainforest trees to a viewing platform at the base of the falls.



In winter up to 220,000 litres of water falls over St Columba Falls, which ends up winding its way through the South Georges River into the Pyengana Valley after flowing through a series of cascades.

The Falls are 90 metres high and one of Tasmania’s highest waterfalls.

How to Get There

St Columba Falls is a 30-minute drive from St Helens via the Tasman Highway (A3), then road C428 from Pyengana.

7. Pub in the Paddock

The Pub in the Paddock is one of the oldest pubs in Tasmania. It’s been licensed since 1880 and has delicious meals and great accommodation. It’s famous for its beer-swilling pig, Priscilla and can be found just down the road from St Columba Falls.


8. Halls Falls

Halls Falls is small, but very beautiful. The track is only 2.5km return and takes about 1.5 hours, making it very suitable for young children and older people.

The track starts off in dry eucalypt forest, then closer to the river there are fungi, ferns, and mosses.

The falls are named after Willis Hall who set up a portable sawmill downstream from the falls, situated on the Groom River. The handmade weir was built in the 19th century to divert water into races for slurring minerals and pelting wheels at Halls Falls sawmill. It was used by Chinese miners who worked in the area mining tin used for household utensils, including pots, pans, candleholders, oil lamps, and lanterns.

How to Get There

Halls Falls is near Pyengana about 25km west of St Helens.

The turn-off to the falls is off the Tasman Highway at the junction with Anchor Road on the right heading from St Helens. The waterfall car park is about 1.2km down a dirt road. The road is on the corner of a small bend so you need to look out for the sign.

9. Anchor Stampers

Here you’ll find the remains of stampers (a crushing mechanism) used for tin mining in the early 1900s that have now been completely reclaimed by the bush.

It’s only a short 800m return walk through the bush to the Anchor Stampers, of which there were two different kinds – the Thompson, brought across from Castlemaine in Victoria, and the Salisbury, manufactured in Launceston.



Alluvial tin was discovered in the Groom River in 1880. Arthur Hodge and James Robinson worked the original anchor leases on ‘tribute’.

The tribute system involved a self-employed miner agreeing to share the profits of his labour with a mine manager in return for the use of the mine property.

The old Anchor Tin Mine is located on the southern foot slopes of the Blue Tier. Most lode tin mines had a crushing battery to reduce the ore to fine particles ready for further extraction treatment.

In the 1880s the Anchor Tin Mine in Tasmania had an enormous crushing battery of 100 stamps.

The Anchor Tin Mine and its stampers started operating in 1880 and closed in 1996. Horse-drawn ore skips were carted via a tramway from the mine face to the battery until 1889.

How to Get There

The car park to Anchor Stampers is on the same road as Halls Falls. Follow the sign to Halls Falls from the highway, which is about 17km from Weldborough. Once you pass Halls Falls, it’s about another 4km along Anchor Road to the Anchor Stampers car park. You’ll cross the Groom River Bridge on the way.

10. Beautiful Deserted Beaches

There are lots of beautiful, long, deserted beaches to explore along Tasmania’s East Coast. You can walk for kilometres and not see another person, but instead lots of wild native sea birds, including Hooded plovers, seagulls, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers, Black swans, Yellow-tailed Black cockatoos and Pacific gulls.



You can often find gorgeous shells on the beaches. As you drive along the coast, you’ll see many dirt roads leading down to the beaches, so take any turn you like and discover somewhere new.