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Hobart is a very small city, made to look even smaller by the fact that it is virtually at the base of Mount Wellington, also known as kunanyi, which stands over a kilometre (0.6 miles) tall. The mountain serves as an important part of Hobart’s culture, hosting events from weddings to school trips to marathons. There is an abundance of activities to do on or around kunanyi/Mount Wellington. Read on to discover our favourites.
No matter how long you’ve spent in Hobart, whether you’re fresh off the plane or you’ve been here your whole life, you can’t ignore how incredible the mountain looks when covered in fresh white snow. Being one of the closest points to Antarctica, Hobart suffers no shortage of cold weather and going to play in the snow is a winter highlight for many. If you’re lucky, you may be able to drive all the way to the top, where the snow is metres high on either side of the car, but you can also get to The Springs, where you’ll find an abundance of fluffy white snow.
After you’ve spent a few hours in the snow, head to The Springs to have a cosy hot drink in a shipping container turned coffee house. Cleverly called Lost Freight, this humble little café is the perfect place to warm your mitts on a hot chocolate, while still being surrounded by the beautiful Tasmanian bush. They have limited indoor seating, so be sure to get there early.
The Organ Pipes Circuit is one of the mountain’s most well-known walks. Not for the faint hearted, the walk is 9km (5.6mi) and covers some rocky terrain. It begins at The Springs and follows the contours of the mountain, passing several oddly named rocks as well as a few historic huts, such as The Chalet and Junction Cabin. The walk is especially spectacular in the early summer as the track is lit up by bright red waratah flowers.
If long and rambling treks are not your style then don’t fear, there are countless of short walks on the mountain to appease you. The circular walk to Sphinx Rock takes less than 45 minutes. It’s almost entirely flat but still yields incredible vistas of the mountainside. From the rock itself you have a spectacular view of Hobart and surrounds. There is also the walk to the Zig Zag viewing point, which only takes around 20 minutes and is accessed via the pinnacle carpark which offers the most amazing view in the whole city.
A little way down the road, just before you start your accent to the mountain, is the Fern Tree Tavern. With your typical pub-style menu such as “parmies” (chicken parmigiana, in Australian) and chips, and a good selection of beer and wine, it’s the perfect spot to fill those hungry, post-walk bellies. They also have a good selection of vegan and gluten free options, as well as a separate menu “for the little tackers”.
If you’re a sunrise chaser, then this is not an opportunity to be missed. From the mountain top, the view of the sun rising over the eastern shore is one that would be nearly impossible to beat. You’ll need to drive up to the top of the mountain in the dark, so take care and drive slowly in order to keep the abundant native wildlife safe. From the main car park you can make your way across the rocks to the small glass cabin that’s perched virtually on the side of the mountain, looking over Hobart. Take a blanket, and take it all in.