For many visitors, the best time to see Tasmania is spring mainly because of the mild weather, however the profusion of wildflowers is an added bonus. There’s no single spot that stands out as the place to go to see Tasmania’s wildflowers, you’ll find them practically anywhere where there’s a walking path through untouched countryside from September to November.
The wildflowers of the alpine regions are in full bloom in summer, which is perhaps the best season to walk the tracks of the high country. The Overland Track, for example, passes through open fields of wildflowers as it wends its way through the most scenic mountry country in Australia. The Track holds a legendary status as one of the finest bushwalks in Australia.
The area visitors drive through on their way up Ben Lomond to the ski village below Legges Tor, Tasmania’s second highest peak, is a popular one for seeing wildflowers. Make the trek in summer, not winter, if you want to see wildflowers, however. The spectacular section of the road known as Jacobs Ladder climbs the escarpment to the Ben Lomond plateau. In December and January the road is flanked by masses of wildflowers in bloom – mainly Richea Scoparia.
Richea Scoparia, an endemic alpine summer wildflower, Ben Lomond National Park
A few hundred metres before the village a track heads off to the right. The track initially passes through an area known as The Plains of Heaven. In the summer months it certainly lives up to its name today. The pictures tell the story.
Where To See Wildflowers
Spring is the best time to see the coastal heaths in full bloom. Things to see are:
Asbestos Range National Park – abundant display of wildlife and wild flowers.
Cradle Mountain – above Dove Lake is a World Heritage Area. A must visit, all year round, it is a vast alpine region with summer wildflowers. Waratahs can also be seen.
Dial Range at Penguin – mass of spring flowers, particularly at the northern end (starting at Ferndene).
Dove Lake – discover the alpine rainforest.
Rocky Cape National Park – the Banksia forest overlooks the sea and heathland, variety of spring and summer flowers (September-January). Late spring to see the Christmas Bells (Blandfordia punicea).
Waldheim – visit in late November to see a great display of red Waratah on the roadsides leading to Waldheim. Myrtle trees also liven the bush with coppery foliage and Mountain Rockets put up their candle flowers. Christmas time there are scented pink boronias and yellow ground-hugging Golden Guinea, Christmas Bells and pink Trigger plants.
The north coast lights up in spring with the wildflowers, with flowering wattles everywhere:
Ben Lomond National Park – spectacular views over northern Tasmania from this high dolerite plateau. Tasmanian waratah (telopea truncata) can also be seen (November-January) on the Ben Lomond Road. There are fine display of summer wild flowers.
Granite Point Coastal Reserve, Bridport – on Anderson Bay, north-east of Launceston, has a scenic coastline bursting with spring wildflowers. The Bridport Wildflower Reserve also offers scenic views and wildflowers. The Waterhouse Protected Area extends along the coast east of Bridport.
Launceston to George Town, Greens Beach or Badger Head on the West Tamar – spring flowers line the way, with orchids nearer the coast.
Liffey Falls Reserve – beautiful waterfalls set in a small fern-filled valley.
The Trevallyn State Recreation Area, includes Lake Trevallyn and the South Esk River a pleasant bushland area with spring flowers.
Mount Barrow Reserve – nice walking tracks for spring.
Mount William – coastal heathlands are also flowering August-October, with Wattle (acacia dealbata and acacia melanoxylon) also during spring.
Waterhouse Reserve – spectacular Grass Tree with cream-coloured flower spikes up to 3 m high.
Freycinet National Park – a must in spring time, from September, with huge varieties of pinks, purples, yellows and whites. Coastal heathlands are also flowering August-October, with Wattle (Acacia dealbata and Acacia melanoxylon) also during spring. Summer is for purple Melaleuca and Tetratheca pilosa, yellow Hibbertia riparia and the yellow rock orchids.
Mount Field National Park – a year-round display of mountain berries, scarlet Climbing Heath, lemon-scented Boronia citriodora and the red fruit of Mountain Rocket. Late spring for the display of massed waratahs (Telopea truncata) and from July-November to see wattles in bloom. March-September for the Tasmania snow gum (Eucalyptus coccifera), especially around Lake Fenton.
Mount Wellington – Snow gums, Pineapple Grass, Tasmanian Waratahs, Snow Daisies and Gentians are all in bloom. Late spring for the Mountain Lilac or Christmas Bush, especially along Pinnacle Road. White needle leaf Hakea, unusual Dragon Heath with its long terminal flower spikes above palm-like leaves and Golden Rosemary, are also in bloom.
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens: on the fringe of the Hobart city centre, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are Australia’s second oldest botanical gardens. It has an increasing number of important conservation collections of Tasmanian plants and the world’s only Sub-Antarctic Plant House.
Wildflower Spectacular: every second year in October the Australian Plants Society’s Hobart Group brings the bush, with all its evocative sights, colours, scents and sounds, to the city. This large-scale presentation of our native flora – the only show of its kind in Tasmania – is eagerly awaited, since thousands of people flock through the City Hall during the three days it runs.
Lime Bay – spring and early summer for orchids and coastal flowers, including the Native Indigo and many yellow and yellow-brown pea flowers.
Labillardiere Peninsula – in South Bruny National Park, is carpeted with flowering heath during spring and early summer. The spotted sun orchid is one of many spectacular orchids found here.
Maria Island – flowering blue gums in the spring.
Remarkable Cave – the centre for coastal heath.
South Bruny National Parks – spring flowering blue gums.
The south-west is home to tall wet eucalypt rainforests, with massed displays of Silver Wattle in early spring. Amongst the buttongrass plains, flowers are at their best during summer, and of special interest is the double Trigger Plant.
Hartz Mountains National Park – November-January to see displays of waratahs (Telopea truncata), snow gums and alpine heath.
Lyell Highway to Queenstown – traverses some of Tasmania’s best scenery, including tall forests of white stringy bark gums. The famed Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida), flowering in the spring (January-March), can be seen in the Wild Rivers National Park (Franklin River Nature Trail).
Lake St Clair – a drive to the lake for the start of the famous Overland Track through swamps of Green Bottlebrush and tall forest with summer flowers and summer-autumn berries.
Murchison Highway north of Tullah – offers fantastic display of waratah and the famous Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida), from mid November to March.
Zeehan – on the drive to Zeehan are flowering tea trees and heath decorate, early Summer.