On a warm Tasmanian summer day, we headed out to the Hartz Mountain National Park with our friends. The park is located in South East Tasmania, eighty kilometres South of Hobart. It offers many nice walks but the one we really wanted to tackle was the Hartz Peak hike.
The Hartz Peak hike is 3.7 kilometres one way and is classified as a grade four hike. There is a four hundred meter climb from the carpark before you reach the summit at 1254 meters above sea level. We love this kind of hike; the ones that give you a great view at the end but not before making you suffer a little!
It was a beautiful sunny day and we couldn’t wait to explore some more of the Tasmanian wilderness. To reach the National Park there is a fair amount of driving through windy roads so I was glad I remembered to take a travel sickness tablet before we left.
After putting our name in the walker’s registration book, we were ready to set off. The track is well marked and starts pretty slowly with a fair amount of easy walking through wooded bushland and up some rocky steps. As we emerged from the bushland, we got our first view of the expansive Tasmanian wilderness, and Hartz Peak was right there staring down at us. It looked pretty daunting as we looked up at it!
After an easy stroll across well-maintained boardwalk, we took a short detour to the Emerald Lake. It is definitely worth the detour. Only a hundred meters off the main path, the Emerald Lake is a stunning glacial lake with beautiful clear water. If you are lucky and happen to be the only one there, it is so peaceful to just sit there and taken in the gorgeous scenery.
After a few minutes spent admiring its beauty, we returned to the main track and not long after passed by the Ladies Tarn, another small glacial lake. That’s when the hike became harder. It was time to climb a steep but relatively short stretch of track over uneven terrain, tree roots and small boulders, making our way up to the saddle. It was kind of tiring, especially since it was a warm day. But as we reached the saddle we were greeted with some splendid views of the totally uninhabited South West Wilderness. It was wild and beautiful and it felt so peaceful up there; we could have sat there for hours. But we knew that we still had a fair amount of hiking to do before we reached the peak.
Off again we went. Fortunately, the scenery was so spectacular, with the gorgeous countryside, lakes and mountains visible in all directions, that we found ourselves constantly stopping to take photos. It sure made the climb up a lot easier!
As we reached the top of Hartz Peak, we can’t say it felt as peaceful. On such a beautiful clear day plenty of others had had the same idea as us, and there was a crowd at the top. But it felt fantastic to make it there anyway; what a million dollar view! And it was totally worth the effort. We took some time to relax, to have some snacks and to enjoy the gorgeous views. How lucky were we, to have such a nice day! We overheard someone on the peak saying that they had hiked it before and had barely seen a thing.
Sadly we had to head back down again, so we began our slow descent. It was so much easier going down, although we took our time; it pays to take care of your knees and ankles when you’re climbing down a steep rocky path. Needless to say, we were all pretty tired when we reached the carpark.
It was another fantastic day in this truly amazing state. We can’t wait to return and tackle many more awesome Tassie hikes. So far they have all been absolutely worth it.
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