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.