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Hartz Mountains National Park



There are no camping facilities in the park but camping is permitted. You must be 500m from any road. Hartz Mountains National Park is a fuel stove only area. Please use fuel stoves and practise minimal impact techniques if you intend to camp. More sheltered camping is available at Tahune Forest Reserve on the Huon River, where there are toilets, a shelter, tables, fireplace and wood. You can reach this shelter by going back along Hartz Road, then heading west along the Arve Road. Tahune Reserve is managed by Forestry Tasmania.

Day visitor facilities

The park facilities are basic, with a toilet, water and picnic shelter available near the entrance to the Waratah Lookout track. The shelter has an open fireplace, free gas barbecue, and tables. Firewood is supplied and a recycling station is provided for rubbish collection. A walker registration booth has been erected at the car park at the end of the road, but there are no other facilities here.


Day Walk Planner

Boots and preferably gaiters are needed. A good map is essential.

Short walks

(Under 1 hour return)

* Waratah Lookout
* Arve Falls
* Lake Osborne

Longer walks

(Over 2 hours return)

* Lake Esperance
* Hartz Pass
* Hartz Peak

The Hartz Mountains experience typical south-west weather conditions. This can be a wild, inhospitable and isolated place. Rain falls on more than 220 days of the year so it is necessary to carry waterproofs and warm clothing with you at all times. In all seasons there can be snow, high rainfall, extremes of temperature, strong winds and sudden weather changes, which can provide a dramatic contrast to conditions in the forested lowlands you have just passed through. The current weather forecast should be checked before heading to the park.

It is important to register your walk, even the shortest one, at the registration booth next to the carpark. Don't forget to sign out at the end of your walk. But remember that this book is usually not checked by rangers until a group is reported overdue. The raised boardwalk on many tracks can become difficult when covered in ice or snow.

Drivers should note that beyond Geeveston the road to Hartz Mountains is unsealed and severe weather conditions may exist. Your vehicle could become stuck in snow, and there is the risk of death from exposure to cold. If the road is snow covered, you should not proceed.

Nature walks (short walks)

There is an array of walks to do in this park to help you experience its special features. You won't need special footwear for the short walks, though comfortable and solid walking shoes are a good idea.

Waratah Lookout (5 minute return walk)

This walk is a great introduction to this park, giving you a look out over the forests you have just driven through. Starting near the Waratah Picnic Shelter, a very easy gravel track leads to a viewing platform overlooking the Huon Valley. Old myrtle forest grows immediately below the lookout, with views of forest across the Huon Valley to the Wellington Range. But don't forget to stop to look at the interesting plants beside the track. On visits in December and January you will be treated to a blaze of red from the Tasmanian waratah in flower.

Arve Falls (20 minute return walk) 

A leisurely walk follows the path of the Arve River through alpine herbfield and snowgum woodland to the edge of the plateau where the Arve Falls tumble into the valley below. Signs along the way tell you about the landscape and its special plants. This walk starts from a small car park about 1 km past the Waratah Picnic Shelter.

Lake Osborne (40 minutes return)

If you want to experience the many varieties of forest and moorland then this walk is an ideal start. A gentle uphill climb through forest takes you across the Hartz Plateau to this picturesque glacial lake. You will pass through a grove of young rainforest, containing myrtles, sassafras and pandani. Beyond the forest look out for the Devils Marbles, large boulders dumped onto the plateau by glaciers. A section of woodland and open moorland then leads you to the lake which is fringed with ancient King Billy pines. You can also learn, from signs along the trail, the story of how fire and ice have shaped this landscape and its vegetation.

Bushwalks (longer walks)

For the more adventurous, on these walks you may encounter steep terrain and sections of track which are wet, muddy or rough underfoot. You will need good footwear, preferably walking boots. A warm hat and gloves, as well as gaiters and overpants, should be worn or carried in addition to your usual walking gear.

Lake Esperance (2 hrs return)

A fascinating walk through woodland and snowgums, up to the high country where cushion plants and ancient King Billy pines encircle the lake. You may hear the haunting call of the mountain currawong as you wander along the plateau. A short distance along the track you will pass a memorial to Sydney and Arthur Geeves, who perished near here in 1897 in the harsh blizzard conditions that can occur here at any time.

Hartz Pass (3.5 hours return)

This is an ideal place to get a view into the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, but is a steep uphill climb. You will need to be a reasonably fit walker.

Hartz Peak (5 hours return)

Hartz Peak is the highest point of the Hartz Mountains, and in fine weather the summit offers one of the best views of the south-west. The jagged outline of Federation Peak can be seen on the horizon. This is a walk only for fit, experienced walkers, as it is a steep uphill climb and the route is not clearly marked beyond Hartz Pass. Along the ridge from Hartz Pass you may encounter extreme weather with poor visibility and strong winds. You will need strong footwear for this section which climbs steeply over loose rocks and boulders. Allow plenty of time for the many stops to enjoy the breathtaking views.