Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track, Hartz Mountains NP Tasmania

The route to Hartz Peak (1254m) and Mount Snowy (1160m) makes for excellent alpine walking, with a variety of alpine plants, rugged peaks, and extensive views.

Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track

The weather put on a bit of a show for us when we climbed to Hartz Peak and Mount Snowy, situated high up in Hartz Mountains National Park about 90 minutes from Hobart. Starting off in sleet, we ascended through a thin layer of snow into thick atmospheric mist, which then cleared to reveal excellent views of the surrounding area. This is a classic Tasmanian alpine day walk. 

The route we walked was a partial circuit, but the return track from Mount Snowy was sometimes indistinct to non-existent, and in sections we either stomped on alpine plants or got caught in thick scrub, so you might consider walking back over Harzt Peak, or indeed stopping at Hartz Peak would be a decent walk and covers most of the views. It’s on the hard side of moderate if you do the walk as depicted here. Track notes at the end.

The Scenery

Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Snowing at the start. Quite cold at 3 degrees Celcius considering it was mid summer at 11am, and only about 850m above sea level. Proper alpine.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Sophia at a boot cleaning station.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
The Devils Backbone, (with panorama glitch).
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Hartz Peak with summer snow.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Possibly Ladies Tarn, or if not then Lake Esperance.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Sophia backed by the Devils Backbone, and Ladies Tarn to the right.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Hartz Lake. The later pictures of this are in much clearer weather.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Quite a bit of snow at this point. It didn’t last the day.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Sophia huddling in one of two very handy stone shelters on the summit of Hartz Peak. I insisted we wait out the weather so I could take some pictures and also see the way forward. Sophia doesn’t like the cold.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Sophia’s small snow man that she made while waiting for the weather to clear.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
A misty view of Mount Snowy and Emily Tarn, but it soon cleared.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Mount Snowy (1160m) and Emily Tarn viewed from the summit of Hartz Peak (1254m).
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
A clearer view of Hartz Lake.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Me on the summit of Hartz Peak (1254m). Sophia took a lot of cajoling (begging?) to take this photo. She’s not a willing photographer, especially when cold.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
You can just see Sophia descending the ridge that runs from the summit of Hartz Peak down to the saddle below Mt Snowy.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Looking back at Hartz Peak from the summit of Mount Snowy (1160m).
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Distant Peaks in Tasmania’s remote Southwest Wilderness.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Hartz Peak and Emily Tarn left, and the Devils Backbone distant centre, and just to the right Ladies Tarn and then Lake Esperance.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
It was a long time ago, but there were glaciers in Tasmania’s mountainous areas.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Alpine flowers.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Interestingly shaped peaks in the distance.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Emily Tarn backed by Hartz Peak.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Cushion plants are really cool, but very delicate. I’m afraid the track was so indistinct that once committed to walking past Emily Tarn we had to stomp on various alpine plants, (but hopefully we didn’t trample on these).

Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track

Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Emily Tarn with Mount Snowy behind.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Arthur Tarn.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Arthur Tarn with Sophia posing at the outlet.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Arthur Tarn with Hartz Peak behind.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Looking towards the Devils Backbone and Ladies Tarn.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
The scrub was very thick here and it was easy to lose the track. We had to double back a few times.

Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track

Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Hartz Lake taken on a short side trip. You can apparently walk down to it, but there’s some bush bashing required and we’d done quite enough of that already, so I was satisfied with this view.
Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track
Pandani lining the track near to the start.


Track Notes

As for all of our Tassie walks so far we used the track notes in  Tasmanian Day Walks. I don’t think this full walk is described online, but getting to Hartz Peak and back is straightforward: there’s information on the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Website. From Hartz Peak to Mount Snowy requires some boulder hopping, keeping to the right (west) and below the top of the rocky ridge that leads down to a saddle below Mount Snowy. You’ll eventually pick up on a track but then its up through rocks to the top of Mount Snowy.

To do the full walk with a circuit gets a bit tricky around Emily Tarn where the track is indistinct, (the tricky thing is to pick your way through the delicate alpine plants), and the track is hard to follow with intermittent bush bashing through thick and tall scrub when you pass Arthur Tarn and head back over to the main track on the saddle between Hartz Peak and the Devils Backbone. You’ll want to get good track notes for this section, and I just realised when re-reading ours that we walked to the wrong side of Emily Tarn: the route shows that you keep right of Emily Tarn (we went left), and climb up to a saddle to meet the more distinct track down to Arthur Tarn. Exiting at the tarn outlet, you descend for a while along the creek bed, then you have to follow cairns to the left and through scrub back to the main saddle; the track in this section often splits and some routes will lead you to impassable sections of scrub so you may have to double back.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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