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Douglas-Apsley National Park

Activities

Nichols Needle

Nicholls Needle - a prominent
feature of the park

Day visitor facilities

At the Apsley Waterhole end of the park there is a carpark and signposted walk to the waterhole and lookout. A small information booth near the waterhole gives further information about the local area. Nearby there is a composting toilet. Water can be obtained from the Apsley River. Other than a rough carpark, the northern end of the park has no facilities as yet.

Camping

There is a small bush camping area near the Apsley Waterhole, ten minutes walk from the carpark off Rosedale Road. For those walking the Leeaberra Track there are remote bush campsites near Heritage Falls and Tevelein Falls, both on the Douglas River. There is no charge for camping.

Outside the park there is commercial camping at Bicheno and at Lagoons Beach. Other accommodation is plentiful along the east coast.

Fires and firewood

This park is very sensitive to fire. It is largely made up of dry forest, much of it in remote and rugged country, which makes escaped fires very difficult to fight. For these reasons it is a Fuel Stove Only Area between October 1 and April 30. During this period open fires are not permitted.

Although fires are allowed at the Apsley Waterhole campsite outside the prohibited period, fuel stoves are recommended all year round. They keep the risk of fire to a minimum and reduce campsite degradation and the loss of dead wood (an important habitat for insects and lizards).


Walks within this park range from short, easy strolls to quite demanding overnight walks. Some of the tracks are only partly constructed and sign-posting is incomplete.

It is recommended that walking boots or strong shoes be worn on all walks, due to the rough terrain. For longer walks previous bush navigation experience and the use of the Douglas-Apsley Map and Notes are recommended.

Day Walk Planner

Boots and preferably gaiters are needed. A good map is essential.

Walks from Apsley Waterhole

* Loop Track
* Apsley Gorge Circuit

Walks from Thompsons Marshes

* Heritage & Leeberra Falls
* Heritage Falls
* Leeaberra Track

Important! Before planning any walks, be sure to check the weather.


Walks from Apsley Waterhole

Getting There

Apsley waterhole

Apsley Waterhole

Access is via Rosedale Road, off the Tasman Highway about 4 km north of Bicheno on the east coast of Tasmania. Follow the Rosedale Rd for 7 km to the carpark. A short walk leads to the area's main attractions.

Loop Track (10 - 15 minutes return)

An easy stroll from the carpark leads through open forest to the lookout platform above the Apsley Waterhole. There are good views both up and downstream, and the track is an easy grade. Return the same way or descend steeply to the Waterhole via the campground. (Please minimise erosion by keeping to the track.)

Apsley Gorge Circuit (3 - 4 hours return)

A medium grade walk to the picturesque Apsley Gorge, with its tranquil pools and undisturbed river scenes. NB This walk should only be attempted in dry weather and when water levels are low. From the Waterhole cross to the northern bank of the Apsley River and ascend the ridge. Follow the track, which is marked by yellow markers, for about 1 hour. The track then descends to the Apsley River, where sheer dolerite cliffs line both sides of the river. Either return the way you came or scramble down to the and back to the Waterhole via the stream bed. In places it is necessary to scramble up and down the sloping banks.

Walks from Thompsons Marshes

Walks in this section of the park require a detailed map. You are strongly advised to obtain a copy of the Douglas-Apsley Map and Notes from TasMap or Service Tasmania in in Hobart or Launceston, or from selected camping stores.

Getting There

Access is via the forestry 'E' road, west off the Tasman Highway between Bicheno and Chain of Lagoons. Look for a yellow sign about 20m off the highway. (It is easy to miss. )

Vehicle access to the northern entrance to Douglas-Apsley National Park (via the E-Road) is currently not safe. Because of dangerous road conditions, the Parks and Wildlife Service advises all visitors to Douglas Apsley NP accessing via the E-Road to please leave vehicles 1km from the start of E-Road and walk in to the start of the Leeaberra Track (5.5km from Tasman Highway). Please do not walk the Leeaberra Track from south to north, as this may spread phytopthera into the northern parts of the NP. For further enquiries, contact the PWS Office on 6256 7000

Heritage & Leeaberra Falls (5 - 7 hours return)

A walk full of variety, that leads from wildflower-rich marshland through open forest and wetter gullies to deep gorges with surprising and spectacular waterfalls.

From the carpark follow orange markers for about 2 hours to the Heritage Falls campsite. From there follow yellow markers on a rough path downstream to the top of Heritage Falls. A steep and difficult scramble leads to the bottom of the falls and the top of Leeaberra Falls. Both falls are set deep in a eucalypt-clad gorge. Return the same way.

Leeaberra Track (2 1/2 days one way to Apsley Waterhole.)

A fascinating and varied walk that traverses the park from north to south. It is a moderate to difficult grade with some long, steep sections, contains some poorly marked areas in the marshes and is recommended for experienced walkers only. For details of the walk obtain a copy of the Douglas-Apsley Map and Notes from Service Tasmania in Hobart or Launceston, or from selected camping stores. A fact sheet on the Leeaberra Track is also available. See our Fact Sheet listing.