Bush Walking / Hiking – Hartz Peak

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…?

Arve River.

Arve River.

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.

Part of the Devil's Backbone

Part of the Devil’s Backbone

The view from Waratah Lookout

The view from Waratah Lookout

The Trail.

The Trail.

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.

Lake Esperance

Lake Esperance

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.

The trail gets steeper

The trail gets steeper

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).

Hartz Lake

Hartz Lake

Mountains, rocks, water & stuff...

Mountains, rocks, water & stuff…

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.

Weather closing in.

Weather closing in.

Weather closing in!

Weather closing in!

Small shelter at the top of Hartz Peak.

Small shelter at the top of Hartz Peak.

Carefully climbed over this...

Carefully climbed over this…

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!

Pete Diggins

 

UPDATE 27 MARCH 2016

I went again.. the weather forecast was 17 degrees centigrade, partly cloudy.

Nope.

Sleet, howling gale, fog, mist, rain, about -2 degrees. No views again. Oh well, I’ll try again another day.

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6 thoughts on “Bush Walking / Hiking – Hartz Peak

  1. Hi Pete!
    Reminds me of the day I climbed Cradle Mountain at the other end of Tassie. Beautiful weather on the way up, clouds at the top, and rain all the way down. Beautiful country for hiking.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Bush Walking/ Hiking – Collins Bonnet via Mount Connection | Pete Diggins
  3. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to
    ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.

    I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.

    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or
    hints? Kudos!

    Like

    • Hello Celsa,

      Sorry to take so long to reply.

      Thank you!

      I don’t have a set process… usually I write when the mood strikes, so I am already focussed when I sit down.
      Writing a blog post is a little different to writing a short story or a novel though 🙂

      What I do when I’m out walking for example, is make some notes on my phone as I go. So I always have them to refer to when I do get to sit down and type it all up. This applies to the blog (writing about bushwalking, for example), or writing a story.

      Hope this helps?

      Pete

      Like

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