Narawntapu National Park

Narawntapu National Park (formerly known as Asbestos Range National Park) is a place of peace for people and wildlife alike. It stretches from the low coastal ranges to the long Bass Strait beaches, and includes an historic farm, a complex of inlets, small islands, headlands, wetlands, dunes and lagoons, all with an amazing variety of plants and animals.

Small quantities of asbestos, among other minerals, were once mined in areas beyond the Asbestos Range, but never actually in the Asbestos Range itself ��� despite the earlier name of the park. Hence the name change.

Dubbed the ���Serengeti of Tasmania���, Narawntapu is one of the best in Tasmania to view wildlife. The park boasts a rich array of easily observed animals that come out in the evening to graze on the grasslands. Some of the animals that you may see include the Forester kangaroo, Bennetts wallaby and common wombat. You may even catch a glimpse of a Tasmanian devil.

Whether you���re here for water activities or wildlife; bushwalking or beachcombing; picnicking or camping, you���ll find Narawntapu a special place.

Narawntapu National Park is rich in both Aboriginal and European as well as offering the visitor a unique opportunity to discover some of the animals that make Tasmania a haven for wildlife. The park was formerly known as Asbestos Range until May 1999, when it became the first park to revert to an Aboriginal name, Narawntapu. This is the Aboriginal name for the Badger Head and West Head area within the park. Shell middens, artefact scatters and other sites in the park give evidence of Aboriginal adaptation to the coastal environment.


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The park was formerly known as the Asbestos Range National Park for the range that sits in the eastern part, but renamed in 2000 because of the negative connotations of the word ���asbestos���. It covers an area of 43.49 square kilometres, stretching from the low coastal ranges to the long Bass Strait beaches, including inlets, small islands, headlands, wetlands, dunes and lagoons, first established back in 1976. The highest point in the park is 392 metres ASL. It is interesting to note that despite the name of the range of mountains, asbestos was never actually mined in the Asbestos Range, only in areas beyond, and then only in very small quantities.

Things To See And Do

Wildlife

The Narawntapu National Park is sometimes referred to as the Serengeti of Tasmania because of the wealth of fauna not only to be found here but to be easily observed. Narawntapu offers a wide diversity of habitats for both plants and animals, and is an ideal park for the study of nature. Dusk is the best time to observe the many native marsupials that live in the park. Commonly seen are large forester kangaroos, Bennetts wallabies, pademelons and wombats. These browse the grasslands of the park, especially around Springlawn. Though still wild, most animals are used to the presence of humans, and can be approached quietly for observation and photography. Please do not feed them. Wallabies and other animals can get a severe disease called ���lumpy jaw��� if fed processed food.

The Park contains a great diversity of wildlife with some species in abundance. Around Springlawn, common wombats, Bennetts wallaby and Tasmanian pademelon reach some of Tasmania ���s highest densities. The area also has some of Tasmania���s highest densities of accessible and observable Tasmanian devils.

Day visitor facilities

A Visitor Centre with interpretive displays, park office and full picnic and toilet facilities are found at Springlawn, the main park entrance. A public pay phone is located outside the office. Picnic facilities, including tables, are also found at Bakers Point and Badger Head. Toilets are available at Griffiths Point and Bakers Point. The park has a small souvenir shop and limited kiosk facilities.

Walks

Bird Hide Walk

This walk offers a gentle introduction to the park. Beginning from the Springlawn Visitor Centre, this easy walk takes you through the Paperbark swamp and over a tranquil board walk to the lagoon bird hide. It is an easy half hour return stroll.


Springlawn Lagoon Circuit Walk

The Lagoon walk follows the first part of the Point Vision track, and then meanders around the back of the lagoon where the Forester Kangaroo���s congregate and wombats graze. It intersects the Archers Knob track near the base of Archers Knob and returns via the Bird Hide. It is a wonderful introduction to Parks mammals and birdlife in a 2 hour stroll.


Archers Knob Walk

Archers Knob is reached by a track between the lagoon and Bakers Beach, or by a track from the Visitor Centre. Towards the eastern end of the beach a track climbs steadily through coastal trees to the top of 114 m high Archers Knob. From the summit there are fine views over Bakers Beach, Badger Head and beyond. An easy return walk via Bakers Beach makes a pleasant 2 hour round trip.


Fire Trail Walk

Inland from Springlawn, these provide easy walking through a variety of bushland. Views over Bass Strait and inland to the Western Tiers are obtained from the higher points.


Badgers Beach

(A 6-8 hour return trip from Springlawn.) This is an interesting sea-side walk featuring superb coastal views, a variety of wildflowers, and fascinating changes in landscape. From the eastern end of Bakers Beach a marked track zig zags up to Little Badger Head before descending to Copper Cove where there is a good picnic spot with fresh water from Windred Creek. In the early 19th century copper ore was mined in this area. From the cove the track continues around the headland to the tiny settlement of Badger Head, at the western end of Badger Beach. From the eastern end of Bakers Beach to Badger Head is approximately 5 km.


Coastal Traverse

(Allow 7-9 hours one way.) A magnificent coastal traverse of the park is possible between Bakers Beach and Greens Beach, walking in either direction. Walking from west to east, follow the above directions for the Badger Head walk. From Badger Head follow Badger Beach towards West Head. The detour to the top of West Head leads to a fine new platform atop the cliffs. Follow the cliff-top track around West Head till you pick up the unsealed road that leads past Pebbly Beach on to Greens Beach township. If a car is left at each end, the walk can easily be done one-way as a day walk.


Point Vision Track

(Allow 6-8 hours return.) The highest parts of the range, the ancient, worn spine of a once higher range, reach nearly 400 m at Mt Asbestos. The most accessible summit is Point Vision (370m), reached via a rough track from Springlawn. This stays on the southern side of the lagoon and Archers Knob before climbing into the lightly forested hills. It is mostly open and fairly easy walking in fine weather. Return the same way.

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