We’ve been in Tasmania more than a month now and have yet to do the number one attraction in Hobart….climb Mount Wellington, or kunanyi as it’s known in the Aboriginal language. The mountain towers over Hobart and as I write this is coated in a beautiful layer of snow which only adds to its majesty. We recently attempted to climb Mount Wellington from the small village of Fern Tree near its base and just up the road from the Cascade Brewery. However we grossly underestimated the length of time it takes to climb a 1,271m mountain and didn’t quite make it to the top. I think sometimes that end goal is the only thing you see, people will post their photos from the top but often overlook the beauty that’s all around on the journey to get there. You can drive to the top but that means you don’t get to experience everything this mountain has to offer and that’s why I’m glad we decided to try it and didn’t just get the tour bus to the top.
Our attempted hike was not without reward however (no hike ever is) as we saw some truly beautiful natural sights on the foothills of kunanyi. We began our climb in Fern Tree where you have a choice of three tracks; Pipeline, Middle and Fern Glade. We decided to go the Fern Glade Track route and climbed as far as Radford’s Monument before joining back up with Pinnacle Road via the somewhat steep and difficult Fingerpost Track. The route up to that point was a beautiful walk through the fern covered forests above the aptly named Fern Tree. Towering ferns and a dense covering of moss and lichen made for a really pleasant hike, despite the cold. You think of jungle environments as being hot and sticky but this wasn’t like that at all. Sure it was definitely damp but the cold air blowing through the trees took a bit of getting used to. Upon arriving at the viewpoint at the Springs we realised we had a LONG way to go and with a quick calculation that we couldn’t possibly reach the top and descend again before darkness fell. We cut our losses and made our way back down towards Silver Falls.
After checking out the falls we found a really easy and wide path back down to the village where we got the heat back into us beside the fire in the Fern Tree Tavern and enjoyed a nice pint of Guinness and some lovely fish and chips.
See here for a map of the hiking trails on Mount Wellington.
See below for some photos from our mini-hike up part of Mount Wellington and if you’re looking for a tour with a difference check out Trowunna Tours who recently started taking people up kunanyi to experience the mountain’s significant aboriginal history.