Tahune Airwalk
Experience | bushwalking | hiking | national parks | Huon Valley | Tasmania

Tahune Airwalk

Walking in the forest canopy

by Susie Baber  |  4 March 2022

The Tahune Airwalk is one of Southern Tasmania’s most popular tourist attractions. Situated deep in Tasmania’s wilderness alongside the Huon River, the Tahune Forest area is accessed via Arve Road from Geeveston in the Huon Valley. The park offers attractions including the Forest Airwalk and cantilever, walking trails with suspension bridges, hang gliding and rafting.

The bushfires in 2018 and 2019 had a huge impact on the Tahune Forest Area, forcing the park to close for over a year. Lightning storms and dry conditions caused up to 40 fires to burn across Tasmania during this time. Nearly 3% of the island’s forests were destroyed including rainforest and highland tree areas. In the Tahune Forest this has resulted in much of the once dense rainforest landscape being transformed into a drier sclerophyll forest.

The Airwalk itself wasn’t destroyed in the fires, but the intense heat did a lot of damage to the structure and devastated the surrounding forest. Months of inspections, debris removal, tree planting, rebuilding and repainting were needed. It was a huge effort, but now they have reopened with a slightly different experience for visitors.

A visit to Tahune Airwalk will no longer show you the rainforest environment from above like it did in years gone by. Instead, your walk along the airwalk will give you a birds eye view of the impact of bushfire and allow you to see first-hand the resilience of giant eucalyptus trees and native species.

On previous trips to Tassie we hadn’t been able to fit Tahune into our itinerary and I was devastated that we hadn’t been able to see the forest before it was ravaged by fire. But having said that the experience was still well worthwhile. Ticket prices were slightly discounted to compensate for not all the walks being open yet and it was good to be able to support an industry that was hit hard by this natural disaster. The view from the end of the cantilever is still amazing and seeing the fresh green leaves emerging from the charred branches was heart-warming. It will be longer than our lifetime before this forest is back to its former glory but hopefully generations to come will be able to watch it slowly recover.

What you will find at Tahune

Tahune Airwalk

1km | 1 hour | easyish

The track to the start of the Airwalk has 104 stairs, and the elevated walkway itself is 619 metres long. You will be walking 30 metres above the forest floor, and the final cantilever section will suspend you 50 metres above the Huon River. The view of the forest floor is covered by fallen giants and those trees that survived the fires are showing signs of regrowth. The views from the cantilever are still spectacular, up the Huon and Picton rivers and beyond to the peaks Tasmania’s Southern Wilderness.

If you are not keen on heights this is probably not the walk for you. The fences along the elevated walkway are generous and sturdy but there is a small vibration when you pass other visitors which I found a tad un-nerving, although those I was with were not worried by it. It is certainly a unique perspective of the of the forest and the effects of bushfire.

Swinging Bridges Walk

1km | 1 hour | easyish

This walk was only partially open when we visited. Normally a loop from the end Tahune Airwalk, we were only able to do a shorter up and back version with just one of the suspension bridges open. The section we walked had much less fire damage than the Airwalk, not sure what the rest of the loop is looking like.

Starting from the visitor centre you soon reach The Picton Swing Bridge which stretches 62 metres across the Picton River. After crossing the bridge turn right and take the short walk to the end of the point where the two rivers meet. From here you can look back down the river and get a different perspective of the Airwalk’s cantilever.

When repairs are completed, and the rest of the walk reopens you will cross the Huon on a second 100m suspension bridge. But for us today it was back the way we came. On the left of the track heading back to the visitors centre you can stop and see the ruins of the house where Constable Francis McPartlan lived, a former Irish convict whose job it was to walk the trail to the remote Arthur Range to check the loggers timber licenses.

Huon Pine Walk

20 min | easy peasy

A short, easy and tranquil stroll along the riverbank through the world’s most accessible stand of rare and beautiful Huon pines. The boardwalk is perfect for wheelchairs and prams.

Want more?

Also on site are Eagle Hang Gliding and King River Rafting offering to ramp it up a notch for the more adventurous.

Tickets to Tahune Adventures are a day pass and includes access to all the walks, if you are keen for the more adventous activites it will cost a little more. Bring a picnic and spend the day – we ran out of time and I would have liked to spend a bit longer soaking in the green.

Tahune Airwalk is one of Tasmania’s 60 great short walks. For more short walk inspiration click here

Share this story