At the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Hartz Mountains National Park is one of Tasmania’s most accessible alpine areas.
Its high peaks simultaneously provide grandstand views into the mountainous Southwest wilderness and comforting looks down into the Huon Valley.
The centrepiece of the park is the dolerite Hartz Mountains range, which rises to 1254m above sea level and is dotted with small glacial lakes and an array of alpine vegetation, providing an easy look into Tasmania’s high-mountain terrain.
The park’s highest mountain is also its flagship walk, providing vast views across southern Tasmania.
A string of accessible glacial lakes, including Ladies Tarn, Lake Esperance and Lake Osborne, is dotted across the base of the Devils Backbone ridge.
This walk (3-5hr return, 7.4km) skirts Lake Esperance and Ladies Tarn to rise through high and dramatic alpine terrain to the park’s highest summit. On a good day, views extend to Federation Peak and Precipitous Bluff, two of Tasmania’s most imposing mountains. One of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.
Crossing the Hartz Plateau, this walk (45min return, 2km) passes through alpine vegetation to a beautiful glacial lake surrounded by primeval King Billy pines.
This return walk (20min, 1km) leads to the plateau edge, where a wide waterfall pours past a viewing platform.
The park’s shortest walk (5min return, 300m) peers over the forest to the Huon Valley, with the namesake waratah trees flowering brightly in December and January.
Need to know
There is no accommodation, including campgrounds, in the park. The closest accommodation is in Geeveston. The park is also a good day trip from Hobart.
Conditions in alpine areas are highly changeable and often fierce, so dress prepared.
A parks pass is required for entry to Tasmania’s national parks.
Hartz Mountains National Park is a 90min drive (90km) south-west of Hobart.