If there's anything better than exploring Tasmania, it's exploring Tasmania with man's best friend. From short walks to mountain summits to beaches, there's plenty of options for adventure-minded dog owners in Northern Tasmania.
Bridestowe Lavender Farm: If you're looking for your next Instagram opportunity with your dog then look no further than the Bridestowe Lavender Farm in summer. Also selling lavender ice-cream and merchandise, this farm at Nabowla in the North-East is the world's largest privately-owned lavender field.
Table Cape Tulip Farm: Spring is the time to take your dog to see the tulips, with the Table Cape Tulip Farm near Wynyard in bloom from September 26 to the end of October.
There are many dog-friendly beaches in Tasmania, including off-leash areas at St Helens, Bicheno, and Scamander. Check the relevant council website to find the nearest ones to you. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Adams Beach, Bridport: To get to this lovely off-leash dog beach, drive as far as you can North-West along the beach-facing road of Bentley Street.
Bay of Fires: Dogs are allowed on-lead at some spots along Tasmania's most beautiful stretch of coast, the Bay of Fires. Bring your furred friend to the unfortunately-named Suicide Beach, the more-cheerful Cosy Corner camping grounds by the beach, and Swimcart Lagoon.
Hellyer Beach: Facebook group 'Dog Friendly Places in Tasmania' recommends this little stretch of coast as their favourite. It's tucked away near Port Latta on the North-West Coast.
You may be tempted to think you have to leave your dog at home when going for a jaunt in Tasmania's famous wilderness areas. Most hikes in the state are in national parks, where dogs are most definitely not allowed. However, there are plenty of rewarding walks in less-restricted - but just as beautiful - parts of the state.
North-East Tasmania: There are 73 parks in the City of Launceston region where dogs are allowed - see them all on the 'Parks and Gardens' section of the council website. Standouts include the lengthy network of trails contained in Heritage Forest, Trevallyn Recreation Reserve, and the trails in Youngtown Regional Park and Jinglers Creek Reserve.
Of those 73 parks, there are 10 off-leash areas: Arbour Park in West Launceston; Coronation Park in South Launceston; Hardwicke Street Reserve in Summerhill; Heritage Forest in Invermay; Hoblers Bridge Reserve in Newstead; Lawrence Vale Road Reserve in South Launceston; Newnham Reserve; Rocherlea Recreation Ground; St Leonards Picnic Ground; and Waverley Lake Park.
Outside of Launceston, you don't have to go too far to have a mini-adventure with your pet. Hollybank Reserve is a favourite of mountain bike riders, but there is also a 40-minute, educational walk through examples of Tasmania's major production forest types, lined with interpretive signs.
There are two walks in North-East Tasmania where dogs are allowed - both in the network of trails around Derby. Moon Valley Rim is a two-hour, three kilometre circuit walk that takes you to the top of Mt Poimena, beginning from the Poimena car park on Sun Flat Road. Goblin Forest Walk starts from the same car park and is easier: only half an hour and 500 metres in the Blue Tier Forest Reserve. Combine them for a solid morning or afternoon of walking with your four-legged friend.
Take your dogs to see some of Tasmania's tall trees with the 30-minute walk at Evercreech, between Launceston and the East Coast. These giants of the Eucalyptus viminalis species are the tallest of their type in Australia, and reach over 90m in height - plus, there is a picnic area in this reserve.
Central Tasmania: Mount Roland is a challenging, 16-kilometre hike for all species. It begins at Gowrie Park Village - also dog friendly - near Sheffield, and takes four to six hours return. Pass waterfalls, creeks, and dolerite formations on your way to the summit, where on a clear day there are spectacular 360 degree views to Bass Strait, Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff.
Saint Valentine's Peak is another steep incline that more than makes up for the exertion required with stunning views. The trailhead is located 21 kilometres south of Ridgley, at a car park at the very end of Kara Road. It's a nine-kilometre, four-hour return hike through both forested and alpine areas to a rewarding summit.
Further west, Mount Gnomon is a one hour, two-kilometre hike near the town of Penguin, off Ironcliffe Road. The fairly easy jaunt takes in lush forest and dry euculypt forest. A fork about halfway along the track will lead you to Mount Gnomon on the right or Mount Dial on the left - at only a kilometre further, this second summit can be added for a longer hike.
The West Coast: One of the stand-out dog-friendly walks in the state - indeed, one of the stand-out short walks in the state - is Montezuma Falls. This three-hour return hike is eight kilometres along an 1800s abandoned train line to an 104 metre high waterfall, taking in everything from open mine shafts to sassafras, myrtle and leatherwood forest. The trackhead is located two kilometres from the town of Rosebery.
Another option is Mount Farrell Track, Lake Herbert Track, or Mount Murchison, all starting near the town of Tullah. Mount Farrell is eight kilometres return, estimated to take three to four hours. There is the option of adding on the track to glacial lake Lake Herbert by taking a fork about halfway along the track. Mount Murchison is 5.1 kilometres and passes three lakes on the way to the summit. This track is highly praised by experienced walkers, especially for its "hanging lakes" which mimic natural infinity pools. However, it features rock climbs, steep cliffs and a rickety rope climb section - only take the most adventuresome of dogs on this one.
Near Strahan, the short, 50-minute Hogarth Falls walk is one of Tasmania's 60 Great Short Walks. As well as towering gum trees, there are beautiful rainforest trees such as leatherwood, sassafras and myrtle on your way to the falls - and platypus are sometimes sighted along this trail. The Strahan foreshore is also an option for a nice walk with your dog.
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Southern Tasmania: There are lots of dog-friendly short walks accessible from Hobart. Explore the south of the state with your dogs by heading to any of these dog-friendly trails - for more information on any of them, see the TasTrails website.
- Old Convict Road - one hour, two kilometers, near Orford.
- Clarks Cliffs - four hours, eight kilometres, on the Tasman Peninsula.
- Shag Bay Heritage Walk - 45 minute return, three kilometers, at Geilston Bay.
- Marriott's Falls - three hours, five kilometres, near Tyenna.
- Snug Falls - one hour, two kilometres, at Snug.
- New Town Falls - 90 minutes, three kilometres, outside Hobart.
- Sphinx Rock - one hour, three kilometres, at Mount Wellington/kunanyi.
- Silver Falls - 45 minutes, two kilometres, at Mount Wellington/kunanyi.
- Cascade Walking Track - two hours, five kilometres, at Hobart.
- Old Hobartian and Hunters Track Loop - three hours, seven kilometres, at Mount Wellington/kunanyi.
- Nierinna Creek Track - two hours, six kilometres, at Margate.
- Pelverata Falls - two hours, six kilometres, at Snug.
- Arm End Circuit - two hours, six kilometres, at Opossum Bay.
- Knocklofty Summit - one hour, four kilometres, at Hobart.
- Hobart Rivulet - one hour, two kilometres, at Hobart.
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