The views are amazing; the walks are better
A visit to Hobart is not complete without a visit to kunanyi / Mt Wellington, which is part of Wellington Park and can be accessed just minutes from the city centre.
It’s a favourite destination for so much more than the drive to the top for a photo of the much-revered view.
So, lace up your hiking boots, grab a map, strap on a backpack and hit the trails…
1) Myrtle Gully Trail
One of the oldest most beautiful tracks on kunanyi / Mount Wellington, with mighty eucalypt gum trees, tree ferns, lush mosses and weird fungi. The start of the 2km track is best accessed from the car park at the top of Old Farm Rd in South Hobart). The walk is reasonably steep as it steps its way up to Junction Cabin climbing ~300m in elevation, it’s best to allow about 30-45 mins. As the trail criss-crosses the rambling brook you will come across numerous waterfalls and wooden handcrafted bridges.
There are a number of hidden secrets on this track including hut ruins and waterfalls. After reaching Junction Cabin there are lots of other walking track options but the best way back to the start is via Old Farm fire Trail. Our Sea to Summit Walk and ‘In Darwin’s Footsteps tour’ include this trail as part of their experience.
Walk Time: 30-45 mins one way Difficulty: Moderate Distance: ~2km
2) The Organ Pipes Track
The newly upgraded Organ Pipes Track is one of Tasmania’s 60 great short walks and is suitable for a wide range of walking abilities. The Organ Pipes are towering dolerite cliffs that are clearly visible from Hobart and are one of the defining features of kunanyi / Mt Wellington. The almost flat track skirts along the base of the cliffs for ~2.5km providing a great sense of scale to the rock columns and their buttresses. The eucalypt woodlands at this elevation begin to thin out with views over Hobart, the River Derwent, Storm Bay and Bruny Island. In early summer, this track provides a vibrant floral show of Wellington Park’s emblem the Tasmanian Waratah.
The easiest way to access this track is to drive up pinnacle road to The Chalet carpark, the walk heads south to the junction with the Zig Zag and pinnacle tracks. The ‘out and back’ route takes ~45 to 60mins. Our challenging Sea to Summit Walk from Hobart’s dock to the mountains pinnacle includes this trail with a gourmet catered afternoon tea in the Chalet.
Walk Time: 25 mins one way Difficulty: Easy Distance: 2.5km
3) The Ice House Track
Before the road from the Springs to the Summit was made the only way to get to the top was roughly along this track. As the name suggests there are a number of Ice House ruins for which this track used to service. The Ice Houses started in 1849, in the early days of Hobart’s colonial History when refrigeration was much less common.
The changes in plant life along this track are a highlight, starting out in tall thick eucalypt forest which thins out into a beautiful sub alpine Tasmanian Snowgum forest ending with stunted heath flowers on the windswept alpine plateau. The large boulder screes are like rivers of rock, one aptly named the Ploughed Fields while the other, Devils Gulch, gives great views over Bruny Island and channel area.
This track starts out from the site of the now ruined Springs Hotel just off pinnacle road and forms part of our Alpine Loop Walk.
Walk Time: ~1 hr one way Difficulty: Moderate Distance: ~3km
4) Ferntree to Silver Falls,
… is a short 20min (one way) walk up the pipeline track from Ferntree Park. It passes through the gorgeous Ferntree Bower, a celebrated site since Hobart’s colonial days. The track is bordered by towering tree ferns as it winds up the hill beside Brown’s Rivulet. After a short climb the small but beautiful Silver Falls is revealed, which is still used as a source of Hobart’s drinking water.
This is a great family friendly walk on a wide gravelled path, just watch out for the odd bike rider, it’s a nice cool spot on a summer’s day, or in winter there’s Ferntree Tavern to return to if the weather turns wild.
Walk Time: ~20 mins one way Difficulty: Easy Distance: 2km
5) Milles track to Wellington Falls via Disappearing Tarn
One for the more experienced hiker is the Milles Track which follows the southern contours of kunanyi / Mount Wellington, starting from the upper Springs Carpark to Wellington Falls. The trail has stunning views of Greater Hobart and Bruny Island. If you’re lucky enough you may discover the allusive and breath–taking Disappearing Tarn, which only hangs around for a day or so after heavy winter rains. The crystal-clear turquoise tarn is lined with lichen spotted dolerite boulders; a true photographers dream.
After scrambling through the ‘potato field’ boulder scree the trail climbs to top of Wellington Falls. They are the largest waterfall in wellington park through which the whole plateau is funnelled, the return journey is by the same route, totalling 22km best done in clear fair weather.
Walk Time: 6 hours return Difficulty: Rough but not too steep Distance: 12km
Wellington Park does not have an entry fee, and all sorts of natural and historical points of interest are to be found on the web of trails, firebreaks and tracks. It’s a bit like Hobart’s very own free National Park. Of course, in our humble opinion the best way to really discover this mountain of stories is with a guide, enjoying great local gourmet food and drink, while hearing about the unique plants and intriguing history.