Aerial view of Tahune Hut, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park
Tahune Hut - Frenchman's Cap, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Frenchmans Cap - walk notes

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Alerts for Frenchmans Cap - walk notes

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Track closure: Closed tracks due to 2019 fires
From 1/10/2019, last reviewed 21/10/2019

Post this year’s fires, a Recovery Team has been formed and they are developing a detailed works program to rebuild fire-affected infrastructure on the PWS road and walking track network. Visitor safety is our priority and fire affected areas will remain closed until they are safe for use. We ask for on-going patience from the community and our visitors while repair works are undertaken.

The team are working on prioritised tasks to re-instate the affected roads, walking tracks, bridges, shelters and signs. Repaired tracks and roads will be re-opened progressively as they are repaired. However some areas could take up to two years to restore to appropriate standard and re-open.

Assessment teams including local contractors and staff have worked their way through 980kms of the road network. 450 trees have been fallen and 80 trees blasted on PWS land to remove the risk of tree fall and to clear the roadway.

Road works proposed for 2019/20 and 20/21 will include repairs to damaged road surfaces, verges, drains, and culverts. A full assessment of the area will determine when it is safe for public access. As a result of the fires, over 110kms of walking tracks have been identified by assessment teams as needing repair. Walking track repair works proposed for 2019/20 and 20/21 will include stabilization and repairs to duck boarding and double planking, bridges, shelters, safety barriers and signs. Many tracks are in remote, high country where wintery winds, rain and snow melt will continue to influence the progress of recovery, as much of the work is dependent on drier conditions. Many tracks in these areas are likely to remain closed this summer.

Visitor safety is our priority and fire affected areas will remain closed until they are safe for use. We ask for on-going patience from the community and our visitors while repair works are undertaken. Walkers are reminded that, several walking tracks in the Southwest National Park, Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and Florentine River Regional Reserve remain closed until further notice.

For walker safety we ask people to adhere to the following closures:

Riveaux Road fire ground

  • Huon Track
  • Mount Picton Track
  • Farmhouse Creek Track
  • Eastern Arthur Range Traverse
  • McKays Track

Gell River fire ground

  • Rasselas Track
  • Lake Rhona Track
  • Adamsfield Track
  • Clearhill Track
  • Needles Track
  • Timbs Track

Anne Gorge and Celtic Hill fire ground

  • Mt Anne Circuit

Open tracks – please note the following tracks are open: The Mount Wedge Track, Mount Sprent Track, Western Arthur Range Traverse from Alpha Moraine to Kappa Moraine returning to Junction Creek via the western portion of MacKays Track, Port Davey Track, South Coast Track and the Hartz Mountains National Park are open.​.

​​​​Frenchmans Cap is one of Tasmania's most challenging multi-day walks. Walkers should be experienced and well-prepared. Take the time to go over our walk notes to ensure you are ready for all that Frenchmans Cap has to offer.

Carpark to Vera Hut

  • Distance: 15 km
  • Time: 5-7 hours

Your journey begins by crossing the famed Franklin River on a swing bridge, before climbing steadily out of the river valley through patches of rainforest to the slopes of Mount Mullens. From here, in fine weather, you will be able to see your final destination – the gleaming Cap. The track then descends and sidles along the foothills (recently re-routed to avoid the notorious Sodden Loddons), through heathland, Eucalypt forest, rainforest, and moorland before arriving at Vera Hut, beside Lake Vera. 

Vera Hut to Tahune Hut

  • Distance: 5.5km
  • Time: 4 hours

The first hour of this walk follows the shoreline of Lake Vera through beautiful rainforest. Then begins a long, steady (sometimes steep) ascent to Barron Pass (950m). In poor weather, take extra care crossing the exposed rocky alpine plateau from Barron Pass (high exposure, frequent strong, gusting winds). From here you'll have spectacular valley views of alpine lakes and dense rainforest, with the quartzite face of Frenchmans Cap visible in the distance. At the end of the pass is the garden oasis of Artichoke Valley and a set of vertical stairs to reach the next plateau. Meander through alpine heathland to Tahune Hut, nestled in the forest beside Lake Tahune. 

In poor weather, take extra care crossing the exposed alpine plateau from Barron Pass to near Tahune Hut; frequent strong, gusting winds can knock fully laden bushwalkers off their feet.

Tahune Hut to Frenchmans Cap Summit

  • Distance: 3.2km return
  • Time: 2.5 hours return

The track to the summit (450m higher than the hut) is well cairned. It ascends towards North Col before traversing terraces above Lake Tahune. A couple of zig-zags and some steep scrambles finally lead to the summit. Glorious views in fine weather. We do not recommend you summit in strong wind, heavy mist, snow and/or ice. The quartzite rocks are slippery when wet or icy and the route is difficult to follow.

The final ascent to the summit of Frenchmans Cap ​should not be attempted during poor visibility, or if wet, icy or under snow. The cairned route is difficult to follow and the quartzite rocks are treacherously slippery.​

For your return journey, retrace your steps to the carpark.​​


Lake St Clair
Lake St Clair National Park
c/o Post Office
Derwent Bridge TAS 7140
Phone: 03 6289 1172
Fax: 03 6289 1227