Choosing the shortest route between the entrance to Cradle Mountain National Park and the entrance to Lake St Clair National Park, you’ll drive the Lyell Highway through the great Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Large areas of the National Park are very secluded. Nevertheless, there is the possibility to do some short hikes along the road.
Franklin River Nature Trail
The Franklin River Nature Trail is an easy, 1km long circular trail that gives a beautiful view of the rainforest along the river.
Donaghys Hill is a 1 km track ending at a viewing platform with a great 360° panorama of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Another highlight in good weather is the view to the Frenchmans Cap. I had already seen this mountain with its extraordinary shape from the summit of Mount Rufus.
By the way, Mount Rufus itself is also located in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park (but the hike starts in the Lake St Clair National Park). Starting from the Lyell Highway there is a hiking trail to the Frenchmans Cap. The 45 km circuit takes at least three days. Maybe I put on the to-do-list for future visits ?
The walk to the Nelson Falls is definitely worth a short stop. The waterfall is only 700 m away and you partly walk along the Nelson River. The waterfalls were quite small during our visit – no wonder if you travel in high season with little rain. Nevertheless the shady walk through the cooling rainforest offered a nice variety ?