Hartz Mountains National Park is a perfect short walk destination. With 4 different tracks from 5 minutes to 3 hours return, there is something for everyone. The landscape has been shaped by glaciers and this story is told on interpretive panels along the tracks. Alpine streams and tarns (small glacial lakes) dot the plateau. Waterfalls drop from the eastern edge of the plateau and to the west, the dolerite columns form a ridgeline, protecting the plateau from the worst of the westerly winds.
Very Short Walks to Lake Osbourne and Arve Falls
Arve Falls (around 20 minute return) A well made track follows the Arve River through an open alpine woodland to the cliffs on the eastern edge of the plateau. Here, Arve Falls drops into the valley below. Interpretive signs explain the landscape creation processes and the alpine adapted plants.
Lake Osborne (40 minutes return) This glacial lake surrounded by ancient King Billy pines is accessed by gentle climb through a small alpine rainforest, of myrtle, sassafras and pandani. Huge boulders have been dumped along the way by glaciers. Interpretive signs tell the story of fire and ice shaping this spectacular landscape.
The streams are home to many crustaceans and frog species including the moss froglet. Listen for a sound similar to dropping a ping pong ball onto a hard surface. This species was first discovered in 1992.
Aboriginal Tasmanians lived in this area for at least 40,000 years. The local group, the Mellukerdee people had semi-permanent homes along the coast of Southern Tasmania, travelling inland to the mountains for hunting and cultural reasons.
A few hours walk to Ladies Tarn and Hartz Peak
Lake Esperance (2 hrs return)
Hartz Pass (3 - 4 hours return)
Hartz Peak (4 - 5 hours return)
These 3 destinations are all accessed by a single track. Beginning at the end of the road, it follows the plateau, to Ladies Tarn and Lake Esperance, requiring just a little gentle climbing on a reasonably made track. People of average fitness should enjoy this section. There is total of 400m climb over the 8km to Hartz Peak which is 1255m above sea level.
Past Lake Esperance, this is a walk only for experienced walkers, equipped with good boots. as it is a steep uphill climb to Hartz Pass where the first view of the southwest becomes visible. The towering peak of Federation Peak can be seen 20km westward. To the east, you can see Bruny Island. From there the route continues through a boulder field to the summit. In clear weather you will get the best views of the south-west wilderness.
This is a wilderness park with basic facilities including toilets, water and picnic shelters. The shelter at Waratah Lookout has an open fireplace, free gas barbecue, and tables. The shelter at the end of the road has walker registration toilets, water and picnic shelters. There is no campground, so stay nearby at Huon Bush Retreats or Cockle Creek. Higher areas of Hartz Mountains are exposed to the wild weather of south-west Tasmania. Rain or snow falls on more than half the days each year so be sure to carry warm waterproof clothing. Beware of sudden weather changes that can happen any time of year.
One third of the way from Hobart to Hartz Mountains and Tahune Airwalk. Relax, explore and experience nature at this eco-retreat offering self contained cabins, deluxe tipees and campsites. You will be surrounded by wildlife without cages, 5km of bushwalks and many eco-facilities.