Mount William National Park
Tucked away in the remote north-east corner of the state, Mount William National Park is fringed with gorgeous bays stretching from Ansons River to Musselroe Bay. The landscape is one of rolling hills, rugged headlands and pristine white-sand beaches, some strewn with pink-granite boulders, while in the north a string of marshy lagoons sits behind windswept coastal dunes.
From Hobart via Midlands Hwy and A4, or Tasman Hwy, to St Helens then C843; from Launceston via Tasman Hwy, B82 to Gladstone then C843 and C845
315 km north of Hobart; 130 km east of Launceston
- PWS 1300 135 513
- PWS St Helens (03) 6376 1550
Park entry fee payable
18 440 ha
St Helens (03) 6376 1744
Featured Activities in the National Park
Take the Forester Kangaroo Drive at dusk to see the wildlife
Walk to the Bay of Fires or spend a day beachcombing at Stumpys Bay
Snorkel around one of the park’s rocky points
Enjoy some of the state’s best inshore ﬁshing
- Bay of Fires and Mount William National Park, Beaches, Beaches
- Mount William National Park, Eco-friendly activity
- Mount William National Park and Flinders Island, Kayaking, Kayaking
- Mount William National Park, Recreational Wildlife-watching, Recreational Wildlife-watching
A look at the past
The park was created on a former grazing property in 1973 as a sanctuary for the forester kangaroo, Tasmania’s largest native animal. It is a culturally important area for Indigenous people and is possibly the site of the ﬁrst Aboriginal occupation of Tasmania, some 36 000 years ago. Members of the North-East tribe, these ﬁrst inhabitants had access to generous food resources of kangaroo, possum, abalone, mussels and other shellﬁsh. The Aboriginal community retains strong links with the Mount William area, and accepts some responsibility for the management of the national park. In 2012 Eddystone Point – the site of the 1889 Eddystone Lighthouse – was returned to the Aboriginal community and is now known as larapuna.
The park encompasses a low-lying coastal plain behind the long open beaches of the north-east tip of Tasmania. Like most of the east coast the underlying granite is now exposed and eroded into rounded lichen-painted boulders – its high quartz content is responsible for the area’s famous pure white beaches. Dominating the northern section, the 214-metre Mount William is the highest point.
Vegetation is mostly low-growing heath containing a rich diversity of flowering plants, at their best during spring and summer. Eucalypts are the main tree species, with some banksias and she-oaks. The most distinctive plant is the grasstree, which produces its extraordinary flower spike from the midst of its grass-like foliage after fire, or during spring and summer. The wetlands also support some unusual species, such as the erect marsh flower.
A slow drive around the park at dawn or dusk will reveal wallabies, pademelons, brushtail possums and wombats. This is also the best place in the state to see the forester kangaroo, the Tasmanian equivalent of the mainland’s eastern grey. It is usually out grazing at dusk and dawn, preferring to keep out of sight during the day. Wallabies and wombats are very common in the park; less often seen is the spotted-tailed quoll. Tasmanian devils were once here in large numbers but have succumbed in recent years to a rare type of cancer. Research will hopefully find a cure so that these delightfully rambunctious animals can continue to make their home here.
The park’s 100 bird species include pied and sooty oystercatchers, gulls, terns and Australasian gannets. The shy albatross may be seen particularly during winter, while white-bellied sea-eagles are here year-round. Being so close to the Bass Strait Islands, the park is a staging post for migratory species such as short-tailed shearwaters, swamp harriers and tiny silvereyes. The park is home to Tasmania's four species of robin: pink, flame, dusk and scarlet.
Offshore reefs and rocky headlands provide good snorkelling and scuba-diving sites, particularly near Georges Rocks and Eddystone Point. On land there are plenty of walks but root-rot fungus, Phytophthora cinnamomi, is present in the park so boots, tent ﬂoors and poles should be cleaned before use in any other natural areas.
Beachcombing and bushwalking
Mount William Summit Walk (1.5 hours return, easy) offers panoramic views of the Furneaux Islands, Eddystone Point and Ben Lomond plateau. Cobler Rocks Walk (2 hours return, easy) crosses ﬂat coastal heath to end at a tiny secluded beach. The exceptionally beautiful Abbotsbury Beach, part of the crescent of white sand that forms the Bay of Fires, is a short walk (30 minutes return) from Eddystone Point Road.
Boats can be launched from a ramp at Eddystone Point or the beach at Stumpys Bay campsite 3; both require 4WD. There are also ramps at the townships of Musselroe Bay and Ansons Bay, outside the park. Bream, Australian bass and ﬂathead are the target ﬁsh at Ansons Bay, while off the coast are barracouta, trevally, mackerel, whiting and Australian salmon.
To see the park in luxurious comfort there are fully catered multi-day guided walks traversing its magnificent beaches from Boulder Rocks to an exclusive, ecologically designed, hideaway lodge in the dunes behind the famed Bay of Fires. Gourmet food and wine, camping gear and transport from Launceston are provided.
With a permit from PWS, horse riders can use the 15-kilometre trail leading out from the horse yards on Musselroe Road.
Picnic Rocks caters for day visitors and park campgrounds double as picnic areas, all with tables and ﬁreplaces. There are gas barbecues next to Stumpys Bay campsite 4, beside the lagoon, with the nearby beach offering interesting beachcombing for an after-lunch stroll.
Landbridge Lookout off Forester Kangaroo Drive has panoramic views northwards to the Furneaux Islands. Eddystone Point Lighthouse has commanding views of the coast, north over the park and south across Bay of Fires.
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