Our bushwalking paradise

AUSTRALIAN Traveller has confirmed Tasmania's reputation as a bushwalking paradise by naming five of the state's treks among the nation's top 10.

The travel magazine and website made the top four a Tasmanian monopoly, listing Freycinet National Park, the Bay of Fires, the Overland Track, and Maria Island as Australia's must- do walks, with the Tarkine rainforest coming in at number seven.

The accolades come on the back of some walking-friendly news within the latest Tasmanian Visitor Survey, which showed that 402,200 visitors last year participated in some form of bushwalk - about 14 per cent more than 2012.

Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister Matthew Groom said the economic and tourism value of Tasmania's national parks could grow even further, with $2 million allocated to upgrade the South Coast Track, and $4 million put aside to ensure the completion of stage 3 of the Three Capes Track.

"We will also seek support from the federal government to match our extra commitment to ensure that the work is finalised," Mr Groom said.

Launceston Walking Club president Debra Scott said it was the variety of walks in Tasmania that made the state such an appealing adventure destination.

"You can go to the same place time after time and the weather is always different and can change rapidly," Mrs Scott said.

"You can walk on remote beaches in the South-West World Heritage area where the landscape has remained untouched by man's development, climb rugged mountain ranges, and see views as spectacular as anywhere in Australia."

Australian Traveller also listed Tasmania's East Coast highway as the nation's number two holiday experience, while also recommending Strahan, the Tamar Valley, Saffire Freycinet, and Rob Pennicott Cruises in its top 100 list.

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