Mt Rufus Circuit, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania
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.
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.
The walk starts at the Lake St Clair Visitors Centre, the usual end of the multi-day Overland Track. The area is pretty remote, but we did it as a day trip from Hobart, involving a windy 2.5 hour drive each way. It’s a fairly long hike at 18.5km and 740m of change in elevation, but straightforward enough, and there are a few alternative tracks along the way. More on track notes at the end.
Mt Rufus Circuit: The Scenery
We used Days Walks Tasmania for track notes, and they describe a few alternatives including the shorter Shadow Lake Circuit, and a side trip to Little Hugel (1275m), which I might try next time. For online options Trail Hiking Australia describes the walk, and Tas Trails covers the shorter Shadow Lake Circuit option.
The track is always obvious and there are signs along the way at track junctions. We walked anti-clockwise, which needs you to follow the signage to Shadow Lake rather than Mt Rufus; we returned via the more direct route to the summit. The walk starts at the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre, at the end of the famous Overland Track.
4 thoughts on “Mt Rufus Circuit, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania”
It’s nice to see what we missed 🙂 Did this circuit a couple of weeks ago – and experienced cloud and mist over Mt Rufus. And zero view. But to make up for this we added the detour to the Little Hugel summit, which fortunately was cloud-free! A fantastic walk – the section from Mt Rufus down to Shadow Lake was just spectacular.
Ah, good to know the blog has been useful 😀. I personally thought that walk was most attractive for the variety of vegetation we passed through, although I’m always happy to enjoy views when I can. I’m currently back in Tasmania doing walks in the north, which has thankfully been mostly bushfire free. It’ll take me a while to post them on the blog though because I still have a backlog from a holiday in NZ over Christmas!
I’ll keep an eye for your latest posts… I’m still working through my January walks in Tassie. Sounds like we almost crossed path – I headed over to NZ to do the Tongariro Circuit hike in late January, after my Tassie trip!
Ah right. In fact our paths crossed digitally only a couple of days after I read your first comment. I happened to look up Meander Falls on Google Maps to see if it was worth going, and found your pictures on there! Funny coincidence. Based on those we did the circuit walk and in fact it was one of the best of the trip. So thanks for that 🙂 I’ll keep an eye on your blog. I have a Facebook page where I post photos from new walks as I do them, and new posts from the blog. And also an Instagram account. (All @hikingscenery). I’m well behind as I say, so over the next two months or so I hope catch up on about another 15+ posts.