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Lookout at sunset Mt Nelson lookout

Mt Nelson Signal Station and Lookout

Mount Nelson is a Hobart suburb and the location of a conservation area and lookout, just a 10-minute drive (5 km) south of Hobart. It's also the location of a colonial-built signal station.

The signal station was built in 1811 and was the first of a chain of signal stations that once linked Hobart Town with Port Arthur. A short message from Hobart to Port Arthur and return reply could be completed in approximately fifteen minutes - under clear conditions.

The closure of the station on Mount Nelson came with the arrival of the telegraph in 1880.

Today, alongside the signal station you'll also find a picnic area and lookout with panoramic views over Hobart and Bruny Island and a restaurant offering delicious light lunches. There's also Truganini Reserve, 130 hectares of protected native bushland and the site of the Truganini Memorial, dedicated to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their descendants.

From the reserve you can take a 90-minute return walk descending from the signal station to the Channel Highway at Taroona. The track follows the course of Cartwright Creek through a range of vegetation to a sheltered rainforest-like gully. Duckwalks are provided in the wetter areas and there are several bench seats along the track.

On the way, look out for wild flowers dotted throughout the bush and listen for the song of native birds, including the endangered swift parrot.

When the top of Mount Wellington is cloudy or wet, the panoramic views from the signal station are a great alternative.

The lookout and restaurant are fully accessible as are toilets near the car park. The picnic area nearby has unsheltered picnic tables and BBQs, although there is only limited disabled access.