Walkers enjoying the mountain views from the Hartz Peak Track
Views from the Hartz Peak Track (photograph: Chris Crerar)
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Hartz Mountains National Park

A window into the south-west wilderness.

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​Hartz Mountains National Park has been shaped by ancient glaciers and offers visitors a window into Tasmania’s remote and rugged south-west wilderness. You’ll feel on top of the world as you gaze out at the seemingly endless mountain peaks, stretching towards Tasmania’s southern coast.

While the mountains are certainly the park’s heroes, there’s plenty more on offer in the Hartz Mountains, which is particularly popular with bushwalkers. The extensive natural and cultural values of the landscape have earned the park an important place in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area.

In Hartz Mountains National Park, waterfalls tumble off the high backbone of dolerite, which was covered by a deep layer of ice during the last Ice Age. The resulting features include small glacial lakes and cirques that dot the alpine plateau and make this a wonderfully dramatic place to visit, year-round. While winter often brings snow and freezing temperatures, in spring the wildflowers bloom and the stunning red flowers of the Tasmanian waratah light up the countryside.

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Overlooking Tasmania’s spectacular south-west mountain ranges, and offering a multitude of scenic walks, Hartz Mountains National Park forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Situated at the southern end of the Huon Valley, the park encompasses a high backbone of dolerite rock, small glacial lakes and waterfalls, and a variety of alpine plants and vegetation.

There are well-graded walking tracks within the park, which lead through light forest, subalpine and alpine vegetation up to the lakes and waterfalls on the higher plains. Waratah Lookout, Arve Falls and Lake Osborne are all gentle strolls which take less than an hour return, but still offer a worthwhile peek into the dramatic landscapes of the area, carved out by ice over millions of years.

More adventurous walkers might like to tackle Lake Esperance or Hartz Peak, both of which are included in Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. These two walks, along with Hartz Pass, range from 2-5 hours return. They require sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing, and will reward walkers with impressive wilderness views. 

Visitors to the park in late spring and early summer will be treated to the sight of Tasmanian waratah flowering: its beautiful red blooms are impossible to miss. Wildlife-watchers should keep an eye out for echidnas and platypus during the day, and wallabies, pademelons and brushtail possums at dusk. Several frog species can be found in the park, and a variety of birds can be heard and seen. These include honeyeaters, eastern spinebills and green rosellas. 

Basic day facilities can be found near the entrance to the Waratah Lookout track: these include a toilet, water, and picnic shelter. The shelter has an open fireplace, free gas barbecue and tables. Firewood is supplied and a recycling station is provided for rubbish collection. Alternatively, at the end of the road, the Hartz visitor shelter provides another place to get out of the weather.  Both the visitor shelter and adjacent toilets are designed for disabled access.

Experiences in Hartz Mountains National Park

Hartz Mountains National Park

Arve Falls

Enjoy a short, leisurely walk along through alpine herbfield and snowgum woodland as you follow the path of the Arve River in Hartz Mountains National Park.

20 minutes return, 1 km, Grade 2
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Hartz Mountains National Park

Hartz Pass

A steep uphill climb is rewarded by stunning views into the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

3.5 hours return, 6 km return, Grade 3
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Hartz Mountains National Park

Hartz Peak

This relatively accessible peak in the Hartz Mountains National Park takes the walker through a landscape carved by glaciers.

3-5 hours return, 7.4km, 400m climb in elevation, Grade 4
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Hartz Mountains National Park

Lake Esperance

Hartz Mountains National Park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The region abounds in alpine plant species that are found nowhere else on Earth.

1.5-2 hours return, 3.4 km return, Grade 3
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Hartz Mountains National Park

Lake Osborne

Experience a wide variety of vegetation, from rainforest to ancient pines, on this gentle uphill short walk to Lake Osborne in Hartz Mountains National Park.

45 minutes return, 2 km, Grade 2
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Hartz Mountains National Park

Waratah Lookout

Waratah Lookout is an easy five-minute stroll, offering a great introduction to the beauty of Hartz Mountains National Park.

5 minutes return, 300 metres, Grade 1
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