Distance 4-hour return
Difficulty Easy -moderate
Hiking in Tasmania is one of the pure joys of the land. From the relaxed beaches of the East to the rugged West. The diversity is purely astounding for a country you can drive top to bottom in 3 hours.
The Magnificent Hartz Peak Track
A half-day hike in the Hartz Mountains is just what the doctor ordered. An evening of adventure to fill our lungs with fresh, crisp air and our hearts with joy. If we felt alone in civilisation on Bruny amidst epic beauty, it was nothing to what we were about to see. Hartz Peak was one of the great walks, standing 1254 metres above sea level. A backbone of dolerite stretching the entire length of the park. The weather in this part of the land can change at any moment.
You can experience four seasons in one day, and we were ready for the throngs. We had no expectations of the walk, only that it was a 4-hour return. Double if you stop as often as I do to take pictures of rocks… Hartz Peak summit track was a delight from the start. We couldn’t have had a luckier chance for the weather. The sun was low in the sky and the air still and calm. We began the trail along an exquisitely built wooden path. It hovered above the undergrowth and wound among the heaths like the yellow brick road.
A thing of beauty
We trailed through delicate wildflowers and bushes, all blooming for the summer. Australian fauna is like nothing I’ve ever seen. The scrub and bush exude intricate blossoms and succulent growth. On each side of the path forms little rock pools full of mountain rain and curious amphibious life. Many rocks are pocked with strange wild cushion plants named Phyllachne
Among the wildflowers is my favourite place to shoot
On the way to the summit, we were discussing the pros and cons of the sunset vs sunrise. As I rarely experience many sunrises I can’t begin to choose. We decided we would rather hike the day for a spectacular sunset and tread back on familiar ground as the light fades. Rather than trip over an unknown path of rock and mud ready to face our deaths.
One of my favourite views from the lake came before we had even reached the summit. I crouched down among the wildflowers to capture this perfectly framed view of lake Esperance.
We clambered up the back of the peak for the final push towards the summit. We were exposed here and the cold wind whipped at our ears with icy fingers, but the top was so worth it! As we reached the precipice via a short rock scramble, it was pure serenity. The view opened up below us to reveal a mesmerising haze of sun mixing with the evening mist. Bathing Lake Esperance and the wild track below in the most incredible evening light. It was crisp and cold up here, or ‘brisk’ cold as Scott put it, but we must have sat and stared for an hour. Our heads bobbing above the clouds, and I was truly in awe at this magnificent place.
Have you been hiking in Tasmania? Which were your favourite hikes?