Probably the most spectacular Australian walk I’ve done to date, there are knock your hiking socks off views all the way along the track to the summit of Mt Anne (1423m) in Tasmania’s remote Southwest National Park. Huge lakes, rugged cliffs, mountain peaks, alpine plants, and more boulders than you can shake your walking poles at.
Climbing Mt Anne is a long day walk, and a long drive to get there from pretty much anywhere, but totally worth the effort. The scenery is just fantastic: there are vistas taking in much of Tasmania’s Southwest Wilderness, excellent views of the enormous Lake Pedder, and you get up close and personal with dramatic cliffs, countless boulders, and delicate spongy alpine plants. And with 1420m change in elevation it’s a good work out too. The final climb to the summit is up through shear cliffs and not for those afraid of heights, but even if you don’t do this bit it’s well worth walking to their base. (I stopped just short of the summit myself.)
I used track notes from Day Walks Tasmania, and online you can refer to Trail Hiking Australia. There’s a steep ascent to the summit of Mt Eliza (1289m), then an undulating bit to the base of Mt Anne’s summit cliffs. At some spots past Mt Eliza you can deviate off track to the right for excellent views of Lake Judd – I didn’t do this and only realised a few minutes ago that the small lake I saw was not the tip of Lake Judd after all – spewing! (as we say in Australia). Next time…
It’s not entirely straightforward finding a way through the cliffs at the end, but look for arrows and cairns. Below is the standard route to the top, but there is apparently another way around the back of the cliffs (to the north west) and up a gully, that isn’t so exposed.