OverviewNarawntapu (formerly known as "Asbestos Range") is a national park in Tasmania, Australia. It lies on Tasmania's north coast, adjoining Bass Strait, between Port Sorell in the west and the mouth of the Tamar River in the east.
Narawntapu encompasses islands in the Port Sorell estuary and the Carbuncle, as well as land extending to low water mark, including intertidal mudflats. The highest point of the park is 392 m ASL.
Because of its proximity to the tourist centres of Devonport and Port Sorell, Narawntapu is popular with visitors. It has been referred to as "Tasmania's Serengeti", owing to the abundance of wildlife in the Springlawn area of the park, the main access point for visitors.
Narawntapu National Park is rich in both Aboriginal and European heritage, as well as offering the visitor a unique opportunity to discover some of the animals that make Tasmania a haven for wildlife.
The only constant thing about this park has been change. Over the last thirty thousand years, even the shape of the coastline has changed many times. Sea levels have risen and fallen; beaches have come and gone, rivers and creeks have changed course. Throughout this whole period of change Aborigines, particularly those of the Northern Midlands Tribe, adapted their lives to utilise the resources of this area.
Getting TherePrivate vehicle access, the park lies about 20 km east of Devonport, 60 km north-west of Launceston and 250 km north of Hobart.
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 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 walks
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.
Copper Cove/Badger Head
(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.
(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.
Within the park camping is allowed at Springlawn, the horse yards, Bakers Point and Koybaa (see map). A self-registration system for campers operates from the Springlawn Visitor Centre. Most campsites have tables and hybrid toilets. Fires are permitted at Bakers Point and Horse Yards campgrounds in the designated fire places. At Springlawn there are septic toilets, a shower block (small fee for 4 minute tokens, available from Visitor Centre), powered sites and electric barbecues. The park is easily reached from either Devonport or Launceston, which have plenty of accommodation. Nearby Port Sorell and Greens Beach also offer camping and other accommodation outside the park.
Water is available from tanks and bores at various locations around the park, including Springlawn, the Horse Yards, Bakers Point and Koybaa campsites. The water varies in quality but, except where otherwise marked, it is drinkable. Bring a container for carrying water. Visitors should note that there is no drinking water at either Badger Beach or West Head.
Fires and firewood
Fireplaces and some firewood are provided in the campsites. As there is heavy demand for wood, and fire restrictions might apply, visitors are encouraged to use a portable cooking stove. Electric barbecues operate at Springlawn and are free of charge.