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
Looking north from a viewpoint on 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
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
This relatively unknown circuit walk to Meander Falls ended up being the highlight of my trip to Tasmania in 2019. Perhaps not quite as spectacular as the walks we did in Cradle Mountain National Park, it nevertheless provided a remote and impressive bushwalking experience that exceeded expectations (which I have now built up for you! 🙂 ) . And despite walking on a weekend, we met just one or two groups along the way, so it remains underappreciated. Lucky for us at least. Expect beautiful forest and rivers, impressive waterfalls, cliffs, and boulders galore. Very Tasmanian. (more…)
Mother Cummings Peak ascent, Tasmania

Although a bit misty on the day we did it, this walk up onto the Great Western Tiers to the summit of Mother Cummings Peak (1260m) offers good views over the tiers, as well as attractive beech forest, rocky stream beds, and alpine vegetation up on the summit plateau. There’s also a small waterfall along the way.

(more…)

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
Looking north from a viewpoint on 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
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
Hobart Day Trips

The circuit ascending Mt Roland and then descending via Mt Vandyke exceeded my expectations. The excellent 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Roland take in the flat expanse of land to the north and east, and the other peaks in this range to the west. Further west there are distant and famous peaks in Cradle Mountain National Park. It’s an impressively rocky and quite prominent mountain range (from most angles), and the circuit taking in Mt Vandyke is varied: It starts in lush forest and then rises onto an alpine plateau, passes boulder fields, and visits two rocky peaks which both require a bit of a scramble. The return track is very steep but this adds a bit to the sense of adventure.

(more…)

Quamby Bluff Track, Great Western Tiers

We did this walk the morning we arrived on the ferry from Melbourne, as it was on our way to Hobart via a scenic route over the Central Highlands. It starts off in attractive myrtle beech forest, passes through large boulder fields, more forest, then up onto the summit plateau which is heathland. About 6km/500m of sometimes steep climbing to 1228m above sea level. There are good views of the Great Western Tiers and farmland to the north. We also visited nearby Liffey Falls (a short drive away). (more…)

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

Summiting Mt Rufus (1416m) provides extensive views of the surrounding area, including many other high peaks, although the summit itself is not much to write home about, and the distant mountains were difficult to capture with my camera phone. I probably enjoyed the walk as much for the variety of vegetation we passed through, which included myrtle beech, tall eucalypt woodlands, snow gums, alpine heath and grasslands. (more…)

Mt Wellington Circuit, Wellington Park

Climbing Mt Wellington (1271m) is a must do for any traveller to Hobart, as it’s just a 15 minute drive to the foot of the mountain, (also accessible by public transport), and the summit provides great views over the city and Derwent Estuary. Despite the 940m of ascent anybody can do it… and that’s because there’s a road all the way to the summit. But as with meeting any goal, the rewards are better savoured when you’ve worked for it, so get off your arse and get walking 🙂 (more…)

Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster Track, Mt Field NP

I was going to climb Mt Field West on the day I did this walk, but my Tasmanian friend accused me of “peak bagging” and recommended the Tarn Shelf as a picturesque alternative. I very much like tarns, and this walk has plenty of them, all situated in attractive alpine surrounds. (more…)

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.