Delving Deeper into Ulverstone, Tasmania: Unveiling the Secret Treasures of Goat Island, Zig Zag Gardens, and Reid Street Reserve


Welcome back, fellow Tasmania adventurers and enthusiasts of uncharted experiences!

Explore the hidden gems of Tasmania’s North West Coast beyond the well-known sights and stunning landscapes. Dive into the unexplored serenity and local lore that surrounds Ulverstone, a captivating seaside town renowned for its alluring charm. Uncover the secrets of Goat Island, Zig Zag Gardens, and Reid Street Reserve in Ulverstone, and become part of the adventure that only those who tread the lesser-known paths will experience. Join us on this unique journey, and let’s explore the Tasmania you never knew, together with Left Field, your trusted guide to working, playing, and discovering Tasmania’s farming and horticulture worlds.



The Hidden Charm of Goat Island: An Ulverstone Gem in Tasmania

First up, we set off to explore the rustic and enchanting Goat Island. Situated just off the Ulverstone coastline, Goat Island is a rocky outcrop accessible only during low tide. We took a closer look at this fascinating slice of Tasmania’s heritage and natural beauty today, exploring the island’s history, allure, and the unique wildlife it hosts.


History and Background

Despite its diminutive size, Goat Island carries a rich tapestry of historical significance. While its name suggests a pastoral past, the island was actually once a part of mainland Tasmania. According to local lore, it was severed from the mainland by a cataclysmic storm in 1822, becoming an isolated and intriguing islet.


The island later became a subject of curiosity for European settlers, with the first documented visit by Europeans dating back to 1828. During this era, settlers attempted to utilise Goat Island for farming goats – hence the name – but the rocky terrain and harsh conditions led to a swift abandonment of the endeavour.


Wildlife Haven

Despite the harsh environment, Goat Island is a haven for a surprising array of wildlife. It serves as an important breeding ground for a variety of bird species, including the Silver Gull and Pacific Gull. The island’s relatively undisturbed nature makes it an ideal nesting spot, safe from mainland predators.


The waters surrounding Goat Island are brimming with marine life, hosting an array of fish species and even serving as a favourite spot for seals and dolphins. Snorkelers and divers often explore the underwater terrain around the island, revealing a kaleidoscope of colourful marine life.


Exploring Goat Island and Its Secret Cave

One of the more remarkable features of Goat Island is the ability to access it on foot during low tide. When the waters of the Bass Strait recede, a natural rocky causeway appears, connecting the mainland of Ulverstone to the island. This opens up a unique opportunity for visitors to explore this fascinating islet closely. Upon reaching Goat Island, you’re greeted by the rugged beauty of its windswept terrain and the sounds of nesting seabirds overhead. However, Goat Island’s true treasure lies hidden on its north side: a secret cave carved out by the forces of wind and water.


Tucked away behind a cluster of weather-beaten rocks, the cave is a natural marvel. Formed over thousands of years, the walls bear the marks of the elements, a testament to the harsh conditions that shaped the island. Inside, the cave echoes with the sounds of the sea, and a cool, salt-tinged breeze fills the air.


Geological Intrigue

Geologically, Goat Island stands as a testament to the ancient volcanic activities that once occurred across Tasmania. It is composed of basalt rock formations, bearing remnants of ancient lava flows that crafted much of Tasmania’s unique landscape. The island’s rugged terrain, cliff faces, and caves are a geologist’s paradise, offering unique insights into Tasmania’s geological history.


When it’s time to depart, you’ll take with you memories of a truly unique adventure. Whether it’s the thrill of the causeway walk, the scenic charm of Goat Island, or the mysterious allure of the hidden cave, each experience contributes to a deeper appreciation of this remarkable place.


To protect this natural marvel for future generations, visitors are encouraged to follow the “leave no trace” principles. This includes packing out any trash, respecting wildlife, and refraining from removing any natural features.


So, if you’re seeking a unique, off-the-beaten-path experience during your trip to Ulverstone, consider a low-tide adventure to Goat Island. Immerse yourself in the island’s history, explore its hidden cave, and let the whispering waves and winds tell you tales of Tasmania’s ancient past.



Before embarking on your Goat Island adventure, it is crucial to check the local tide charts and weather conditions. The path is only visible and safe to cross during low tide, and it’s important to ensure you can make the return journey without getting caught by the incoming tide. Wearing sturdy footwear is advised due to the uneven and potentially slippery rocks.



Winding Paths and Botanic Wonders: Zig Zag Gardens

Our next stop is a beautiful haven hidden right in the heart of Ulverstone. The Zig Zag Gardens, with its namesake winding paths, is a testament to the beauty of carefully crafted landscapes. Ascend the zig-zag path that takes you through an array of native Tasmanian flora, and enjoy the sense of peace that only a close encounter with nature can bring.


A Brief History

The Zig Zag Gardens was built more than two decades ago and has since remained one of Ulverstone’s proudest attractions. Its establishment was rooted in the idea of creating a unique space that blends aesthetics, biodiversity, and community engagement. Today, it not only stands as a testament to Tasmania’s natural beauty but also as a symbol of the community’s commitment to sustainability and environment preservation.


The Garden’s Unique Design

The Zig Zag Gardens, as the name suggests, is designed in an intricate zig-zag pattern that not only adds an architectural charm but also creates a labyrinth-like experience for visitors. As you wander through the snaking paths, each turn brings a new surprise – a beautiful floral display, a quiet sitting area, a bustling insect hotel, or a delightful water feature. The garden’s layout encourages exploration and a sense of wonder, promising a unique adventure with every visit.


Flora and Fauna

The gardens house an impressive collection of native and exotic plants, offering a vibrant explosion of colours throughout the seasons. From blooming roses to elegant ferns, you’re sure to discover a fascinating variety of plant life.

But the charm of the Zig Zag Gardens doesn’t end with its flora. The gardens are also home to an abundance of wildlife, such as local birds, butterflies, and small mammals. This rich biodiversity makes the gardens a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.


Activities and Attractions

Beyond the aesthetic appeal and tranquillity, Zig Zag Gardens offer plenty of activities for everyone. The well-maintained paths are perfect for leisurely strolls or energetic jogs. With several picnic spots scattered around, it is a perfect place for family outings or romantic dates. The garden also features educational signage and workshops for those keen on learning about plant cultivation, sustainability, or local ecology. The panoramic view from the top, especially during the sunset, is an awe-inspiring spectacle you wouldn’t want to miss.


The Local’s Retreat: Reid Street Reserve

The final stop on our Ulverstone journey is the Reid Street Reserve. Tucked away in a peaceful residential area, this reserve embodies the laid-back, community spirit of Tasmania. Spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy a BBQ with your fellow adventurers, or engage in a friendly match of frisbee or soccer. This serene park provides a space to relax, connect with the community, and enjoy the pleasant Tasmanian weather.


Reid Street Reserve: A Secret Haven

Reid Street Reserve, situated just a short walk from the city centre, is a delightful microcosm of the wild Tasmanian beauty. This small yet diverse nature reserve is a testament to Tasmania’s commitment to preserving its unique flora and fauna. Here, the humdrum of daily life gives way to the serene whispers of the Tasmanian wilderness.

As you stroll along the well-maintained pathways, it’s hard not to feel a sense of calmness wash over you. Each turn, each bend in the path, brings forth a new view to behold. Whether it’s the verdant tree canopy overhead or the soft rustling of leaves beneath your feet, Reid Street Reserve has a way of connecting you with nature at a primal level.


Flora and Fauna of Reid Street Reserve

The Reserve is home to an array of flora, from towering eucalyptus trees that dot the skyline, to beautiful native ferns that paint the undergrowth in hues of green. The spring season is particularly enchanting, when the area comes alive with wildflowers, creating a riot of colours against the green backdrop.

The Reserve’s fauna is equally impressive. You might spot a Tasmanian padymelon (a small marsupial) hopping through the underbrush or hear the distinctive call of the yellow-tailed black cockatoo echoing through the trees.


The Walking Trails

The well-marked walking trails of Reid Street Reserve provide the perfect opportunity to experience this natural haven up close. The trails vary in difficulty, from leisurely strolls to more challenging tracks, allowing visitors of all fitness levels to enjoy the park at their own pace.

Whether you opt for the shorter tracks that take you on a loop around the reserve or the longer ones that lead to vantage points with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, each trail has its own unique allure. Remember to take your time, soak up the sights and sounds, and breathe in the crisp Tasmanian air.



So there you have it – three local secrets of Ulverstone, Tasmania. By exploring Goat Island, Zig Zag Gardens, and Reid Street Reserve, you’ll experience a side of Tasmania that many travellers miss. And in doing so, you’ll uncover tales of the town that weave themselves into the memories of your adventures.


Until next time, stay curious and keep exploring!

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