24 May, 2019

From city to sea, mountains to waterfalls, put your best foot forward with a winter walk

Stretch your legs however you want in Tasmania, whether for 20 minutes or several days.

There’s nothing like wintertime walks to get you feeling invigorated, so put on your sturdiest boots and step into Tasmania’s awe-inspiring natural landscape. Whether you’re into brisk little self-guided walks or challenging multi-day hikes, winter’s an ideal time, from the snowy vistas to the rewarding whisky or hot chocolate afterwards.

kunanyi/Mt Wellington

You don’t have to be a hardcore adventurer to hike a mountain in winter. Walking kunanyi/Mt Wellington can be as easy as 20 minutes return from Pinnacle carpark to Zig Zag lookout for views across Hobart, where fireside rewards including some of the world’s best whisky are only a short drive away. There are many other trails, from sub-one-hour walks to demanding day hikes, but whichever way you go you’ll probably encounter snow on Mount Wellington during winter so take time to enjoy the scenery – if not have a snowball fight!

Kunanyi/ Mt Wellington (Image: Cam Blake)
Kunanyi / Mt Wellington (Image: Cam Blake)

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

For serious bushwalkers or anyone up for a challenge, nothing beats the epic Overland Track through Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It’s very popular, so an advantage of tackling it during winter is avoiding summer’s hiking hordes, plus the majestic mountains are even more picturesque draped in snow. In fact there will probably be snow underfoot in some sections, so you can do the snowshoe shuffle. Operators offering wintertime guided Overland Track walks include the Tasmanian Walking Company and Tasmanian Expeditions.

A rewarding walk in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park doesn’t need to be challenging though. Almost the entire route of the easy two-hour return Dove Lake Circuit has views of snow-capped Cradle Mountain, including its lake reflection. The very easy 20-minute return Enchanted Walk is exactly that when dusted with snow, but wombat burrows, old-growth rainforest and Pencil Pine Creek make this a pleasure at any time for people of all ages and fitness. Both of these trails are among Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.

Cradle Mountain (Image: Jason van Meirt)

Three Capes Track

Up for a tough hike, with the reward of comfortable accommodation and warm conversation with new friends each night along the way? The four-day Three Capes Track is among Tassie’s most awesome walks, but with only 48 permits to set out from the start each day, winter’s your best bet. Environmentally sensitive cabins with cooking facilities, heating and comfy mattresses are at three points along the trail, so you can get cosy after spending each day hiking without too much on your back.

The well maintained 48-kilometre trail takes in the Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy clifftop lookouts, epic views to Cape Raoul, and striking dolerite columns known as the Totem Pole and Candlestick. There’s also a good chance of seeing auroras here on the Tasman Peninsula during winter’s longer nights.

Cape Raoul (Image: Jason van Meirt)

Walk to a waterfall

you’ll likely see colourful fungi emerging from the damp undergrowth by the trails leading to these natural wonders. Take your pick of Tasmania’s waterfalls depending on your location, fitness and how much time you have. One of the easiest options is also the most rewarding: Russell Falls is only about an hour’s drive north-west of Hobart, then a very easy short walk from the carpark to its spectacular tiered cascade. Visit at night and you’ll also see glow-worms along this Great Short Walk.

There are several other Great Short Walks leading to waterfalls, including the three-hour return trail through the western wilderness to Tasmania’s highest waterfall, Montezuma Falls, which tumbles 100-plus metres into lush rainforest.

Montezuma Falls (Jason van Meirt)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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