Mt Crichton to pt. 1723m, near Queenstown NZ

A really excellent walk to a minor peak on Mt Crichton. Fabulous mountain and lake views almost the whole way, and a good work out too.

The climb up Mt Crichton near Queenstown was one of our best walks to date. And even if you don’t visit one of the summit peaks you’ll still feel a sense of achievement and wonder by going as far as the minor peak at 1723m. Be prepared for quite a work out though, as much of it is steep and on a sometimes obscure route. Continue reading “Mt Crichton to pt. 1723m, near Queenstown NZ”

Mt Rufus Circuit, Cradle Mt-Lake St Clair NP, 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. Continue reading “Mt Rufus Circuit, Cradle Mt-Lake St Clair NP, Tasmania”

Mt Anne, Southwest NP Tasmania

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.) Continue reading “Mt Anne, Southwest NP Tasmania”

Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster Circuit, Mt Field NP Tasmania

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.

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. Continue reading “Tarn Shelf & Lake Webster Circuit, Mt Field NP Tasmania”

Collinsvale Peaks Track, Wellington Park, Tasmania

This long but reasonably straightforward walk takes in three peaks in one day, each of them offering 360 views of the surrounding alpine plateau and further afield. The area feels fairly remote, but is only a 45 minute drive from Hobart.

The area west of Hobart known as Wellington Park is an alpine plateau that contains a number of accessible peaks over 1000m of elevation.The walk depicted here takes in three peaks in one day – Collins Bonnet (1246m), Trestle Mountain (1160m), and Collins Cap (1098m). The walking is mostly through forest or woodland, but you pass through the tree line on the way up each mountain, which provide unobstructed and quite extensive views of the protected area and beyond. The initial climb is through attractive rainforest where the tree ferns are flourishing. Continue reading “Collinsvale Peaks Track, Wellington Park, Tasmania”

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.

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.  Continue reading “Hartz Peak & Mount Snowy Track, Hartz Mountains NP Tasmania”

Quamby Bluff Track, Great Western Tiers, Tasmania

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.

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). Continue reading “Quamby Bluff Track, Great Western Tiers, Tasmania”

Chalwell Galleries Track, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria

The short Chalwell Galleries Track winds around and between massive boulders high up in Mt Buffalo National Park.

This was our third short walk on the Mt Buffalo plateau, this one a short side trip off the main road, and a bit different than the other two (The Horn and The Hump). It wound around and between massive boulders, and required just a bit of scrambling. More info on the Parks Victoria website. Continue reading “Chalwell Galleries Track, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria”

The Hump and Cathedral Track, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria

Another good short walk high up on the Mt Buffalo Plateau, The Hump (1695m) provides great views over to the Horn, and you pass a large triangular shaped hunk of rock called the Cathedral.

The second of three short walks we did after the Big Walk, climbing the Hump from a small car park on the road up the mountain offers excellent views of the the slightly higher Horn (1723m), a nicely shaped lump of rock called the Cathedral, and the surrounding alpine plateau. More info on the Parks Victoria website. (We also did two other short walks nearby – The Horn and Chalwell Galleries tracks). Continue reading “The Hump and Cathedral Track, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria”

The Horn, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria

The Horn is an easy walk (with a bit of climbing) to the highest point of Mt Buffalo (at 1723m) for great views in all directions.

A short walk to the highest point of Mt Buffalo, The Horn (1723m) provides excellent views of the plateau to the west, and various mountains  in other directions. It’s situated at the end of the road up the mountain and so is easy to find. More information on the Parks Victoria website. (We also did two other nearby short walks: The Hump-Cathedral and Chalwell Galleries Tracks). Continue reading “The Horn, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria”