Our Latest News

Bruny Island Neck reopen following major redevelopment

12/12/2018

Bruny Island tourism icon, The Neck, has reopened following a major redevelopment and improvement to the visitor facilities at the popular site.
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Fairbrother wins contract for Cradle Mountain Gateway Precinct

12/12/2018

A key milestone in the implementation of the Cradle Mountain Master Plan project has been reached with Tasmanian construction company Fairbrother awarded a $12 million contract for work on the Cradle Mountain Visitor Gateway Precinct.More

Milkshakes Hill Regional Reserve reopened

26/11/2018

The Tarkine Drive visitor experience has been further enhanced with the reopening of the Milkshake Hills Regional Reserve.
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Strzelecki National Park

Highlights

Strzelecki Peaks from Fotheringate Bay

Strzelecki Peaks from Fotheringate Bay

 

Strzelecki National Park is of great interest due to the high number of endemic species (species found nowhere else), rare flora and fauna and significant vegetation communities found within its boundaries. It is of biogeographic significance as it contains elements of Tasmanian and Victorian flora. The park and adjacent Crown land forms the most extensive area of undeveloped vegetation in north-eastern Tasmania. It also includes several rare and threatened or locally endemic species. There are also a number of interesting geological features including coastal calcarenite formations that support unique vegetation communties and petrified features.

Geodiversity

Spectacular Devonian granite dominates the park, forming part of a much larger series of granite bodies extending from north-eastern Tasmania to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. These granite massifs formed during a major continental collision in eastern Australia, approximately 370 million years ago.

The rocky granite headland of Trousers Point is overlaid with Quaternary sands forming coastal beaches, dunes, ridges and flats on deep calcareous pale sandy soils. Granite boulders protrude through the shallow sandy soil and along the coastline.

There are also other areas with significant geoheritage values within the park, including coastal karst landforms at Fotheringate Bay and broad shore platforms (up to fifty metres) with solution pans, sea stacks, caves formed by emerging groundwater, marine erosion and alveolar weathering of cliffs.

Vegetation

As is true of much of Tasmania's vegetation communities, the pattern of vegetation in the park is strongly influenced by rainfall and fire history. The recent fire history of the park has been characterised by infrequent but high-intensity fire events. Species diversity is high, due to the extreme climate range and the diversity of habitat niches available in the park. Flinders Island is the northern and southern limit of the ranges for a number of species. There are also interesting rainforest and wet forest elements which share affinities with flora in western Tasmania, and with the drier south Australian floras.

The base of the mountains and much of the perimeter of the park is dominated by dense tea trees, (Leptospermum spp.), sheoaks (Allocasuarina spp.), and Acacia spp. Open forests of Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus), often with an understorey of Oyster Bay pine (Callitris rhomboidea) occur on the western and northern slopes. White gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) and Smithton peppermint (Eucalyptus nitida) occur on the lower and middle slopes.

Sassafras-musk rainforest also occurs in steep sheltered gullies protected from fire. Trousers Point includes coastal woodlands dominated by mature coastal sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata and A.littoralis).

The park contains thirteen plant species classified as rare or threatened, including a number of ground orchid species which are at risk due to the presence of feral pigs, which can destroy entire populations of orchids through feeding activity.

Fauna

Encounters with wombats, Bennetts wallaby and the Tasmanian pademelon are a common occurrence in the park. Other mammals of particular interest include the long-nosed potoroo, which favours areas of dense cover.

The bird life in the park is rich and diverse, with about 114 recorded species. Indeed, Flinders Island has particular significance as an important stop-over point for bird species migrating between the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Therefore the conservation of large areas of diverse habitat is essential.

A number of rare and threatened species occur in the park, including the swift parrot, forty-spotted pardalote, grey-tailed tattler, and the hooded plover, which is listed as vulnerable nationally, and requires monitoring in Tasmania.

Nine of the nineteen species of reptile known to occur in Tasmania have been recorded in the park, including two species of snake, the tiger snake and white-lipped whipsnake. The copperhead snake is also expected to be found in suitable habitat within the park. The mountain dragon and six species of skink occur in the park. Six of the eleven frog species occurring in Tasmania have been recorded in the park, including the vulnerable green and golden frog.

Aboriginal Heritage

Aboriginal people migrated into Tasmania across the now drowned Bassian Plain that connected Tasmania to mainland Australia. Around 9000 years ago the last land connection between Flinders Island and the Tasmanian mainland was severed by sea level rise. Aboriginal people continued to inhabit the region for a further 5000 years or so.

A number of Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the park. The majority of sites are in the form of shell middens, stone artefact scatters and cave deposits. There may also be contemporary artefact scatters located in the park associated with the Aboriginal people who were relocated to Wybalenna on the west coast of Flinders Island.

Historic Heritage

The first Europeans to sight the Bass Strait Islands were on board the vessel HMS Adventure, under the command of Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773. The island group was later named in honour of Captain Furneaux. In 1797, the Sydney Cove, enroute from Calcutta to Sydney and carrying a cargo of rum, was wrecked near Cape Barren Island.

Matthew Flinders explored the coastlines of what are now Clarke and Cape Barren Islands and found the reefs and rocky shores teeming with seals. This heralded an era of exploitation which, within a decade, led to the near extinction of the seal population.

The land along Trousers Point Road between the main part of the park and the coast was not taken up for farming until after 1914. There was a dairy at the Big River property on the south-eastern edge of the park during the 1950s.