autumn kayaks on derwent river

Watch The Derwent Valley Turn Golden This Autumn At These 7 Magical Places

With views that inspired the opera and landscapes featured in many spectacular artworks – it’s safe to say the Derwent Valley is an enclave for artists. And there’s no better time to witness its magic than when ‘The Valley’ changes colour in Autumn. So, hike our mountainous peaks, witness the turning of the Fagus and surround yourself with parks of golden leaves. Come and see what makes our region so special for an unquestionably Derwent Valley Autumn.

1. Watch the Fagus transform into a golden-brown delight, in Mount Field National Park.

There’s nothing more colourful and flamboyant than the Fagus – Tasmania’s only cool climate deciduous tree. It lives deep in the heart of Mount Field National Park and every year it changes the colour of its leaves for a few weeks around mid-April, putting on quite a spectacular show. Tasmanian Park Rangers offer special guided tours throughout Mount Field National Park over the Fagus Festival weekend. Contact the Mount Field Visitor Centre for more information.

Image credits: cassleigh_(IG), Pat Murray.

Just over an hour’s drive from Hobart via New Norfolk and Westerway on the A10 or B62. From Westerway, it is a short drive to the entrance of Mount Field National Park.

2. Hike to mountainous peaks and witness golden valleys on the Tarn Shelf and Lake Fenton hikes, also in Mount Field National Park.

Tarn Shelf, 5 – 7 hours return, 12km, bushwalking experience recommended.

Wander around Mount Field National Park and you will see ‘The Valley’ in all its Autumn glory. The Tarn Shelf is an alpine circuit hike and is considered one of the best day hikes in Tasmania. Just moments into your hike, you’ll soon know why. Departing from Lake Dobson, you will pass through golden Eucalypt forests before journeying across to the Tarn Shelf. You’ll also pass stunning glacier-carved tarns, lakes and valleys, including Lake Newdegate, Twilight Tarn and Lake Webster.

Lake Fenton, 4.5 hours loop, 10.5km, difficult hike with some inclines.

Another magical hike is Lake Fenton, where you will see picturesque views of golden valleys. This loop walk can be started at Lake Fenton itself in a clockwise manner and is accessible from the Visitor Centre, in Mount Field East. Scramble up slopes and pass by stunning snow gums, to be rewarded with 360-degree views of the Derwent Valley and the Mount Field Plateau. Some of the highlights include Seagers Lookout, Lake Nicholls, Nicholls Hut and of course, the glorious Lake Fenton itself which will reflect the golden hue.

Location: Same directions as above.

tarn shelf mt field

Image credit: Pat Murray.

3. Take a walk through Tynwald Park and experience the sound of leaves crunching underfoot

This is one of the best times to enjoy the mystic Tynwald Park, coated in Autumn tones. Enjoy a walk along the picturesque Derwent River. Or why not rug up and pack a basket, as Tynwald Park is a great spot for picnics and barbeques. You’ll most likely stumble across the resident ducks and watch the golden leaves fall to the ground and hear their crunch underfoot. Tynwald Park also has great facilities for kids with a playground and educational bike track, complete with traffic lights and road signs.

Image credits: Riley Hills, Concretecloudphotography (IG), Riley Hills

Find Tynwald Park in New Norfolk, along the Lyell Highway.

4. Take a walk through golden 19th Century English gardens, at the Salmon Ponds Hatchery and Gardens.

As the oldest hatchery in the Southern Hemisphere and the birthplace of Tasmania’s legendary salmon and trout fisheries, it’s safe to say the Derwent Valley is famous for its fish. But this isn’t the only reason to visit the Salmon Ponds Hatchery and Gardens. Take a walk through the magical 19th Century English gardens there and witness an eerie beauty that can only be found in Autumn. Stick around and enjoy a coffee or some pancakes at the licenced restaurant, Pancakes by the Ponds.

Image credits: Rhyspopephotography (IG), AndreaLewis9499 (IG), Steveherb4 (IG)

The Salmon Ponds is approximately 45 minutes from Hobart and 10 minutes from New Norfolk, situated in the picturesque Derwent Valley.

5. Pick your own seasonal berries, like the Autumn Flush Raspberry variety, at Westerway Raspberry Farm.

Autumn is a great time to try some unquestionably Derwent Valley berries, like the Autumn flush variety of raspberries. Wonder around the patches to pick your own. Or, grab a punnet at their café and gift shop. One thing we can guarantee is that you will be trying some of the freshest berries going around.

Image credit: katypotaty77 (IG)

Find Westerway Berry Farm en route to Mount Field National Park, from New Norfolk.
Click here for more information on opening hours.

6. Take in panoramic views of the golden coated trees along the Derwent River, from Pulpit Rock Lookout

There is no better time than Autumn to take in picturesque views of New Norfolk, and Pulpit Lookout is the perfect place to do so. A short walk from the carpark will find you on a lookout immersed on a cliff edge. Enjoy views overlooking the New Norfolk township, open farmland and the Derwent River reflecting the Autumnal tones of its surrounds. This is a fantastic option for those who would prefer a light walk, with maximum reward.

Image credits: Pat Murray, Carmelboyd_ (IG)

Pulpit Rock Lookout is found just north of New Norfolk and is around 38 kms (36 minutes) by car from Hobart.

7. Dabble in some water sports to get up close and personal with the wondrous Derwent River, in Autumn.

What better way to experience the beautiful Derwent Valley in all its Autumnal glory than from the water? Anyone who experiences the Derwent River will soon realise it is magical in any season – Autumn is no exception. It has an almost mystic energy. This coupled with the moody, golden shades of its banks is a truly unique experience.

Try your hand at paddle boarding with Derwent Valley Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Or, if you’re feeling daring, kayak with Tassie Bound Adventure Tours. You will be rewarded with a calm and rejuvenating energy that the locals swear can only be achieved by the Derwent River, particularly in Autumn.

There’s something quite magical about the Derwent Valley in Autumn – the gardens and trees put on a spectacular colour show, the days are still clear, with a lingering glow at twilight. There are also so many unique experiences that you’ll only get in the Derwent Valley this time of the year. So come, take in the beauty of our region while things are a little quieter, stiller and simpler.

Have you got some recent autumn captures to share with us?

Be sure to share your experiences with us by tagging @Derwent Valley Tasmania on Facebook or Instagram, or by using #DerwentValleyTasmania and #UnquestionablyDerwentValley.

To win some incredible Derwent Valley prizes. Please see the terms and conditions and how to enter below.

Derwent Valley Tasmania Tourism Autumn Photo Competition
These Rules and Guidelines form the Terms and Conditions of the competition. 
Autumn in the Derwent Valley. 
Subject: photographs must be taken within the shire boundaries of Derwent Valley and Central Highlands Council. 
Ideas for your photographs include but are not limited to wildlife, plants, landscapes, nature, tourism destinations and people. 
Entries are selected by the Derwent Valley Tasmania Tourism Operators. 
1st Prize: 
  • 2 nights at Rathmore Shearers Quarters for 2 guests.
  • A Paddle with the Platypus Gift Voucher for 2 guests.
  • High Tea at Glen Derwent for 2 guests.
2nd Prize: 
  • Stand Up Paddle Board Lesson for 2 guests.
  • 28 Gates Wool Beanie valued at $50.
  • $50 Gift Voucher for Makers on High Street
3rd Prize: 
  • Willow Court Asylum Ghost Tour voucher for 1 guest.
  • Pedalmore Paddle Voucher for 1 guest.

The Derwent Valley Tasmania Tourism reserves the right to exclude entrants and withhold prizes for violating any of these.

The entrant must be the sole author and owner of the photograph or video. By entering your photograph or video into the competition, you grant Derwent Valley Tourism the right to use your images for the promotion of the Derwent Valley through social media and on the website. All images will be credited.

Promotional use may include but is not limited to online advertisements, websites and social media.

Entrants must not infringe on the privacy rights, copyright or other rights of any person.

Derwent Valley Tasmania Tourism is not responsible for failure of receipt, loss or damage of any photographs entered in the competition. Entrants indemnify Derwent Valley Tasmania Tourism and their sponsors of any responsibility in respect to damage and loss to entrant’s belongings, death or injury as a result of the competition.


The Derwent Valley Tourism Association reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions.

Entry to this competition is free and open to everyone. An eligible entrant must be an individual and agree to abide by these terms and conditions.

Each entrant can submit as many photos and videos as they wish. Entries can be emailed or use the #UnquestionablyDerwentValley or #DerwentValleyTasmania on instagram between 14 April 2021 and 30 May 2021

If an entry is submitted with a watermark, the entry is ineligible for the competition.

If an entry is submitted via email or social media you automatically agree to the terms and conditions of the competition.

Any photo or video submitted must be the entrant’s own work.

The photo must be a digital photograph. Any person featured in the photo or video must consent to their image being used by the tourism associations as listed in these Terms and Conditions.

USB sticks will not be returned.

Winners will be notified by Facebook/Instagram and email.