Image by Julian Love Getty Images
Cloaked in winter snow, kunanyi/Mt Wellington (1271m) towers over Hobart like a benevolent overlord. The citizens find reassurance in its constant, solid presence, while outdoorsy types find the space to hike and bike on its leafy flanks. And the view from the top is unbelievable. You can drive all the way to the summit on a sealed road; alternatively, the Hobart Shuttle Bus Company runs daily two-hour tours to the summit.
Hacked out of the mountainside during the Great Depression, the summit road 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 448 (direct) or 449 (indirect) 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 and 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. Download maps at www.wellingtonpark.org.au/maps, or pick up the free Wellington Park walk map or detailed Wellington Park Recreation Map ($12) from the visitor information centre or Service Tasmania.
Feeling more intrepid? Bomb down the slopes on a mountain bike with Mt Wellington Descent.
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.