Lonely Planet review for Mt Wellington
Cloaked in winter snow,Mt Wellington peaks at 1270m, towering above Hobart like a benevolent overlord. The citizens find reassurance in its constant, solid presence, while outdoors types find the space to hike and bike on its leafy flanks. And the view from the top is unbelievable! Don't be deterred if the sky is overcast – often the peak rises above cloud level and looks out over a magic carpet of cotton-topped clouds.
Hacked out of the mountainside during the Great Depression, the 22km road to the top winds up from the city through thick temperate forest, opening out to lunar rockscapes at the summit. If you don't have wheels, local buses 48 and 49 stop at Fern Tree halfway up the hill, from where it's a five- to six-hour return walk to the top via Fern Glade Track, Radfords Track, Pinnacle Track, then the steep Zig Zag Track. The Organ Pipes walk from the Chalet (en route to the summit) is a flat track below these amazing cliffs. Pick up the Mt Wellington Walks map ($4.10 from the visitor centre) as a guide or download PDF maps at www.wellingtonpark.com.au. Alternatively, Mt Wellington Walks runs organised hikes on the mountain from easy to adventurous.
Some bus-tour companies include Mt Wellington in their itineraries. Another option is the Mt Wellington Shuttle Bus Service, departing the visitor centre at 10.15am and 1.30pm daily. City pick-ups by arrangement; call to book and confirm times.
Feeling more intrepid? Bomb down the slopes on a mountain bike with Mt Wellington Descent. Kick off with a van ride to the summit, followed by more than 21km of downhill cruising (mostly on sealed roads, but with off-road options). Tours depart at 9.30am and 1pm daily, with an additional 4pm departure in January and February.