Mt Dial and The Gnomon, Northern Tasmania

A pleasant circuit walk in the Dial Range, climbing two low peaks, then returning through attractive tree ferns on a section of the Penguin Cradle Trail.

Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania

The Dial Range is a small mountain range in northern Tasmania that contains pleasant walking and mountain biking tracks. There are good views (sometimes partially obscured) over northern Tasmanian, as well as atmospheric forest with many large trees ferns.

We did this walk on the day we arrived from Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania, as it was just a 30 or so minute drive from Devonport. It’s a good option for a half day walk if you are staying in the north as we were. You might like to visit the sleepy town of Penguin afterwards, where we enjoyed some decent fish and chips. Track notes at the end.

Mt Dial and The Gnomon: The Scenery

Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Very dense undergrowth lining the track in this section.

Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania

Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Sophia on the summit of Mt Dial (485m).
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Looking north-east from Mt Dial (485m).
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Looking north from a viewpointon the eastern side of the range (or was it The Gnomon?).
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Mt Duncan from The Gnomon (or another viewpoint, I can’t quite remember).
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Tall trees as we descended from The Gnomon on the aptly named Tall Trees Track.

Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania

Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Pretty lush.
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
I liked this leaf.
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Sophia amongst tree ferns.
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Sophia amongst tree ferns.
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Tree ferns lining the track on a section of the Cradle to Penguin Trail (CPT).
Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania
Tree ferns galore!

Track Notes

We used track notes in Day Walks Tasmania. The walk they describe starts on Montgomery Road just off Ironcliffe Road. You climb Mt Dial, then continue on to The Gnomon, descend via the Tall Trees Track onto Dial Road, then join up with a section of the Penguine Cradle Trail (you may notice some “PCT” signs). Continue through many attractive tree ferns, and eventually climb back up to the outward track, turning right to return to the car park. The map below shows the location of this car park… 

Nearby Walks

If you live or are staying in northern Tasmania then there are some real classic bushwalks to be done in the area. Have a browse through the ones I’ve done (below), and if you are travelling towards Hobart then I’ve included a list of those too.

Northern Tasmania
Meander Falls Split Rock Circuit, Tasmania

The Meander Falls and Split Rock Tracks are hidden gems offering quintessential Tasmiania scenery without the crowds, and were one of the highlights of my trip to Tasmania in 2019.

Mother Cummings Peak ascent, Tasmania

A sometimes steep walk through attractive beech forest and past the tree line onto the top of the Great Western Tiers at Mother Cummings Peak (1260m).

Mt Dial and the Gnomon, near Penguin, Tasmania

A pleasant circuit walk in the Dial Range, climbing two low peaks, then returning through attractive tree ferns on a section of the Penguin Cradle Trail.

Mt Roland & Mt Vandyke, Tasmania

A great circuit walk up the prominent and rocky Mt Roland, returning via Mt Vandyke for variety. There are fabulous 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Roland, so aim to do this one on a clear day.

Quamby Bluff Track, Great Western Tiers

The straightforward but steep climb up to Quamby Bluff (1228m) passes through myrtle beech forest and boulder fields, finishing in heath on the summit plateau, where there are extensive views of the surrounding area, including the Great Western Tiers.

Hobart Day Trips
Mt Rufus Circuit, Cradle Mt-Lake St Clair NP

This longish walk to the summit of Mt Rufus (1416m) takes in a variety of vegetation types and provides 360 degree views of the Tasmanian Central Highlands, mostly from a distance.

Mt Wellington Circuit, Wellington Park

Mt Wellington provides the backdrop to the city of Hobart, and climbing it makes for a convenient day walk with great views from the summit of Hobart and the Derwent Estuary. You can drive all the way to these views, but they won’t look as good 😉

Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster Track, Mt Field NP

The Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster circuit in Tasmania’s Mt Field NP is a very picturesque alpine walk, passing by many lakes and tarns as the name suggests.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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