Southwest National Park


Southwest National Park

Infobox_protected_area_of_Australia | name = Southwest National Park
iucn_category = II


caption =
locator_x =
locator_y =
nearest_town_or_city = Strathgordon
coordinates = coord|42|50|01|S|146|08|58|E|type:landmark_region:AU
area = 6,052km² (605,213 hectares)
established = 1955 (as Lake Pedder NP)
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
managing_authorities = Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service
official_site = [http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/natparks/southwest/ Southwest National Park]
"See also South West Wilderness."

The Southwest National Park is located in the south-west of Tasmania, Australia.

The eastern boundary is 93km west of Hobart and the park stretches to the west and south coasts. This park comprises the bulk of Tasmania's South West Wilderness.

The Southwest National Park covers an area of 6,052km² (605,213 hectares) and forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The park is well known for its pristine wilderness and remoteness, while weather in the park is highly changeable, and can be severe. The area is largely unaffected by humans. Although evidence shows Tasmanian Aborigines have visited the area for at least 25,000 years, and European settlers have made occasional forays into the park area since the 19th century, there has been very little permanent habitation and only minimal impact on the natural environment.

The core of the park was created in 1955 and was originally called Lake Pedder National Park. Over the following 35 years the park was gradually extended and renamed, finally reaching its present size in 1990.

Within the area there is only one road, to the hydro-electricity township of Strathgordon. The southern and western reaches of the park are far removed from any vehicular access. The only access is by foot, boat, or light aircraft.

The tiny locality of Melaleuca in the extreme south-west provides an airstrip and some very basic facilities, mainly to do with the National Parks Service. This area is also the summer breeding grounds of the highly endangered orange-bellied parrot

Two main walking tracks cross the park, one south from Lake Pedder to Melaleuca, the other west from Cockle Creek along Tasmania's south-coast to Melaleuca. The walks are generally for more experienced walkers, taking approximately ten to fourteen days to complete the full route. Alternatively a flight to or from Melaleuca may be arranged to split the walk, or for tourist access for day trips. Several more difficult walks also exist, encompassing the Eastern and Western Arthurs Ranges, Precipitous Bluff, the South West Cape, and Federation Peak (supposedly Australia's most difficult and dangerous walk). Many of these later routes are not recommended for inexperienced walkers, or for people travelling alone. Sea access to the region is best gained via Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour. See the South West Wilderness article for more details.


ee also

*Protected areas of Tasmania (Australia)
*South West Wilderness

External links

* [http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/natparks/southwest/index.html Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania - Southwest National Park ]
* [http://www.john.chapman.name/tas-sw.html Walking the South-West]


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