Milkshake Hills Forest Reserve displays a diverse range of Tasmanian landscapes within a tiny area.
The MIlkshake Hills Forest Reserve is located in the north-west region of Tasmania, around a 1-hour drive from Smithton, or 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Stanley.
The reserve is a mix of rainforest and button grass plains and contains the unusually named Milkshake Hills, which are believed to have derived their name because of their similarity to ladies breasts.
The reserve is one of the stops found along the Tarkine Drive touring route and is an excellent place to have a relaxing barbeque or enjoy nature on one of the two walking trails.
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The Milkshake Hills Reserve has been closed for the past few years due to fire damage caused by a bushfire that swept through the area in 2016.
Evidence of the bushfire is still very noticeable with burnt-out stumps and fire-damaged trees prominent throughout the rainforest walk section.
Much of the undergrowth in the rainforest walk area has started to grow back, so there’s a good mix of old-growth trees that survived the fire, colourful fungus and plenty of young vegetation in the area.
New facilities have been built in the reserve, and it’s once again open for the public to enjoy.
Milkshake Hills Rainforest Walk
The Milkshake Hills Rainforest Walk is a short 15-minute return walking trail that begins and ends at the reserves car park.
It loops out from the sheltered barbeque area at one end of the car park into some beautiful Tasmanian temperate rainforest before ending a short distance later on the other side of the car park.
The fire damage is evident in this area, with some large burnt-out trees still remaining and many others blackened by the fires.
Thankfully, plenty of eucalyptus trees survived the fires, which combined with the newly emerging saplings and ferns, means the area is still beautifully lush, green and vibrant.
The walking trail has been well restored with a combination of gravel trails and boardwalks, making the rainforest walk suitable for all ages.
Milkshake Hills Summit Walk
Branching off from the rainforest walk, the 1-hour return summit walk traverses a short section of the rainforest before it begins its ascent towards the summit.
Large stone steps mark the beginning of the ascent as the rainforest abruptly ends and becomes a vast plain of yellow button grass, small shrubs and the occasional solitary tree.
Cutting through the button grass, the white gravel walking trail can be seen snaking its way up the side of the hills towards the summit.
The gravel walking trail to the Milkshake Hills summit is very well built and flat underfoot. However, the beginning of the trail boasts plenty of large stone steps, and while the trail is not overly steep, it’s a constant incline all the way to the top.
Reaching the top, you’re rewarded with a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding plains and mountain ranges and the Milkshake Hills themselves.
We enjoyed our walk at Milkshake Hills Forest Reserve and would recommend visiting if you’re in the area or doing the Tarkine Drive.
Even though we encountered cloudy weather at the top of the hills, which spoiled our views slightly, they were still spectacular.
We think on a clear day, from the summit, the views would be truly phenomenal.
- 2-3 hours
- Be prepared for sudden weather changes. Our walk began warm and sunny and quickly changed to cloudy and cold with heavy rain in a matter of a few minutes
- Trowutta Arch
- Tarkine Drive