05 December, 2019

Our favourite Tasmanian peaks beyond Cradle Mountain

Even if you can’t climb every mountain, just feast your eyes on these natural wonders.

Cradle Mountain is a Tasmanian icon, but the island state is rich with impressive peaks. Admire them from below, or climb up for even more epic views. Discover wild, varied vegetation, animals and waters along the way, but remember to respect Mother Nature – she can be moody in mountainous country.

Kunanyi / Mount Wellington

Named after Britain’s Duke of Wellington but known as kunanyi in the local Aboriginal language, this 1271-metre peak looms over Hobart. Tasmania’s most accessible mountain is popular with bushwalkers, mountain bikers, horseriders, abseilers and rock climbers, but even driving to the summit is rewarding, with expansive views across Hobart and beyond, plus snow play during winter. There are numerous trails through Wellington Park’s 18,000 forested hectares, including an easy 20-minute return walk from Pinnacle carpark to Zig Zag lookout. Consider the three-hour Organ Pipes circuit, one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. Highlights include Sphinx Rock and the distinctive volcanic flutes like organ pipes across the mountain face.

Summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington (Image: Luke Tscharke)
Summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington (Image: Luke Tscharke)

Hartz Mountains

Just 80 kilometres south-west of Hobart, Hartz Mountains National Park is a great place to quickly get away from it all among waterfalls, glacial lakes, forests, alpine moors and a series of jagged dolerite peaks named after Germany’s Hartz mountain range. The highest, at 1254 metres, is Hartz Peak. The 3-5 hour return walk to the summit, which is rewarded with panoramic views of Lake Hartz and the vast south-west wilderness, is another of the 60 Great Short Walks. Or just admire the mountain range from an accessible lookout, including one named for the stunning red wildflowers scattered around the park in spring, Waratah Lookout.

Hazards Mountains

Freycinet National Park is blessed with white sandy beaches, secluded coves, dramatic bays, varied flora, abundant wildlife and the Hazards Mountains, named after an American whaler. These granite peaks’ pink hue is particularly impressive at sunrise or sunset – depending on whether you’re on Freycinet Peninsula’s east or west side. They’re easily admired while strolling along a beach, on a boat cruise or at Cape Tourville lookout, but energetic types can also take the steep three-hour return walk to the top of one of the five Hazards peaks, Mount Amos. From here enjoy 360-degree views, including an even better view of iconic Wineglass Bay than from the often busy Wineglass Bay lookout.

Saffire Frecinet and Hazards Mountains (Image: Saffire Freycinet)
Saffire Frecinet and Hazards Mountains (Image: Saffire Freycinet)

Mount William

On the north-east coast, by the beautiful Bay of Fires, Mount William National Park is both wild and welcoming. Easy walks reveal rocky seaside outcrops covered in vivid orange lichen, and kangaroos, wallabies and pademelons grazing on grasslands bright with wildflowers in spring. Even the mountain that gives the park its name peaks at only 216 metres above sea level. It’s a breeze to ‘conquer’ on a 90-minute return walk that reveals sweeping views of Bass Strait, perhaps as far as the Furneaux Islands, and hovering wedge-tailed eagles. Called wukalina by local Aboriginal people, Mount William is part of the three-day luxury catered wukalina walk led by palawa guides.

wukalina walk and Mount William National Park (Image: wukalina walk)
wukalina walk and Mount William National Park (Image: wukalina walk)

Frenchmans Cap

If your idea of a great mountain is one that’s remote and challenging to climb, check out Frenchmans Cap. This 1446-metre white quartzite peak, which looks like a French Revolution Liberty hat, is in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. The trail to the summit takes 3-5 days, through varied landscape including lakes and ancient rainforest before the ascent begins. It’s actually more difficult than the famous Overland Track, so only serious hikers and mountain climbers can experience summit vistas encompassing the Franklin River, Macquarie Harbour and the south-west wilderness.

Want to see even more of Tasmania? Follow our brand-new, five-day hiking enthusiast road trip.

Bridge over the Franklin River - Frenchman's Cap Track  (Image: Jason Charles Hill)
Bridge over the Franklin River - Frenchman's Cap Track (Image: Jason Charles Hill)


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

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