The 5 best walks on kunanyi / Mount Wellington

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Tour guide, hobart, tasmania, hike, walk, mt wellington
Story by Andy Crawford

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.

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16 comments on “The 5 best walks on kunanyi / Mount Wellington”

  1. Hi there... your descriptions are fabulously enticing. Now just to choose a track. We will be in Hobart early July for a festival and wish to do a day hike and probably meet husbands at the top. Which would you suggest for this time of year weather dependent of course.

    1. Hi Maria,
      Great question, my pick would be to do the Organ Pipes Track then climb up the Zig Zag Track to the Summit. I'll be in touch with some options.
      Happy Trails,

  2. Hi Andy,
    I’ll be in Tassie with my partner in mid June. Just wondering which walk you would recommend with the weather around that time of the year? Thanks, Anno

  3. Hi Anno,
    My tip would be to stay a bit lower on the mountain in the shelter of the organ pipes. My favourite loop walk is from the Springs, walking along the Lenah Valley Track to Junction Cabin, then climbing up Hunters Track to the Chalet. Then head back towards the Spring via the Organ Pipes Track and down the pinnacle track. I use this loop on my 5 Huts Walk and visit some of the existing and ruined huts along the way sharing the stories of the people that used to live in them. Here is the link to my tour offering, or you can grab a map and head out by yourself.

    Hope this helps, happy trails!

  4. Hello! We are visiting next week (August) and are looking for an easy/mod track that we can do with runners (don't want to bring hiking boots). What do you recommend?

    1. Hi Joanne, Couple of options, assuming there is no snow/crazy weather, I would walk from the Springs along the Lenah Valley track to Junction Cabin, you could then return along the North South Track (which has bike riders that you'll need to give way to). Probably around 8 to 10km, it's relatively flat and not too muddy. Another great option is to walk the 6km Organ Pipes track from the Chalet. This can be accessed by car or the explorer bus. This walk finishes at the springs so you'll need to catch the bus back to your car at the chalet. The easiest of all the walks would be the Pipeline track starting opposite Fern Tree Tavern, a wide smooth gravel track, you can tack a side trip to Silver Falls. It's up to you how far you follow this one before turning around. Make sure you pack all your winter woolies!

  5. Hello! We are visiting next week (August) and are looking for an easy/mod track that we can do with runners (don't want to bring hiking boots). What do you recommend?

  6. Hello,
    These photos look amazing. We will be in Hobart in January with our 4 boys (all used to walking hilly bushwalks). Just wondering which walk/s you'd recommend that cover the best scenery / waterfalls etc? Anything that would be likely to wow our 10 - 14 year old's.

    1. Hi Brooke,
      Thankyou! Assuming your going to make a day walk of it, I would recommend starting at the Springs then walking along to Junction Cabin (some view points and nice creek crossings with rainforest species) then up Hunters Track (including a couple of spectacular bolder field crossings) to the Chalet at 1000m above sea level, there is a bbq there if you want to stop for lunch. Then walk back along the flat Organ pipes track through sub alpine forest, with epic view of Tassie to your left and the dolerite cliffs of the Organ Pipes on your right. Then down pinnacle track to the springs for a well earned break at Lost Freight Cafe. As always, let me know if you'd like a guide!
      Happy trails,

  7. Hi thanks for your descriptions. I wonder if you could tell me what the shortest route to the summit would be from the lowest possible elevation?

    1. Hi Glenn,
      I'll assume you would like to skip the urban part of the full walk. In which case I would start at Cascade Brewery, follow the track behind the brewery, then take Myrtle Gullly Track, then Hunters track, then a short walk up pinnacle road until to find Panorama track which pop out again on pinnacle rd just below the summit. That's probably the most direct route that follows official tracks.

  8. Hi Andy

    Hope you’ve been well. It’s been a long night at base camp. Tomorrow we summit. Wish us luck. Sending you love and good fortunes.

    With love

  9. Hi Glenn

    I am planning on going in early November and will take the Mt Wellington Explorer bus to the summit. I am hoping to do some walking treks around the area (up to say 90 minutes) before hopping on at one of their stops on the way back to Hobart. Which treks do you recommend doing? It stops at Fern Tree, Chalet, Springs, the Big Ben and the Pinnacle

    1. Hi Glenn,

      I would recommend walking down the Zig Zag Track from the summit (40mins) then either keep descending down pinnacle track to the springs (45mins) OR walk along the Organs Pipes Track to the Chalet (45mins). Either are great options which you should be able to complete in 90mins.

      Happy trails!

  10. I am planning on going in mid-July any walks you suggest? We wanted to the Enchanted Walk at Cradle Mountain but not sure if we are going to drive that far in July?

  11. We will be in Hobart next weekend and keen to do a half day hike on Saturday afternoon. What hike would you suggest for this time of year? How do we get to the start of the hike(s) and get back from the end of the hike(s)

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