One of my hobbies (passions?) besides writing & bass playing & being a husband/ dad is bush walking. Here in Tasmania we have some incredibly awesome unspoilt wilderness areas; many of which are quite accessible. I usually go alone, but before you worry – please don’t – I’m reasonably fit, capable & experienced (and prepared) for the walks I do.
Yesterday I decided to do the Hartz Peak walk. This walk is within the Hartz Mountain National Park, about 85km south-west of Hobart.The trail is reported to be between 8km and 13km; my GPS rounded it out about 11km… go figure…?
The peak is 1,250 metres high, and the trail starts at the end of the Forestry Road. The start of the trail at the 800 metre level is clearly marked near the visitors’ shelter. The walk begins with few hundred metres of gradual climbing through scrubby bushland over rocky steps before opening up into the heathland.
The mountains called ‘Devils Backbone’ are prominent on the right from the very start of the walk as you leave the visitor shelter.
Views behind are of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Mt Wellington further off to the north. Hartz Peak is always ahead, off to the south. The track at this section is well constructed timber boarding, over the marshland. About a kilometre and a half in there is a side track to the west to Lake Esperance, only 100 metres away. The track takes you to the glacier-formed tarn’s edge.
Back on the main track, it continues south for another 1km over some easy ground until reaching Ladies Tarn. From here the track changes from well-constructed to quite rugged.
A steep (but short – a hundred or so metres) climb to the saddle below Hartz Peak. Further west is Hartz Lake and the Picton Valley (but I didn’t see much of the valley – it was a bit cloudy).
Continuing to Hartz Peak to the south, I followed cairns for 500 metres or so over a slight climb before a final steep and slippery climb over a rock scree to the summit. The top was a bit cloudy & the weather rolled in quite quickly, so I ate lunch in the small sheltered area & went back. Climbing down was a little more difficult; due to the sleet & poor visibility, but I took it slow & moved carefully.
Overall a quite enjoyable experience! I wished I’d been able to do it on a clear day; the views to the south and west are reportedly quite spectacular.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the pictures!
UPDATE 27 MARCH 2016
I went again.. the weather forecast was 17 degrees centigrade, partly cloudy.
Sleet, howling gale, fog, mist, rain, about -2 degrees. No views again. Oh well, I’ll try again another day.