Mount Wellington looms big over Hobart. With 1271 meters above sea level, it is the distinctive, defining feature of the city. The foothills of Mount Wellington is what much of Hobart was built on.
Today it is officially known as kunanyi / Mount Wellington. Tasmania has adopted, like New Zealand, a dual naming policy, hence recognizing Aboriginal names for Tasmanian features.
We drove up the 22 kilometers of increasingly zigzagging road up to the summit. It is all on sealed roads, and even though the road gets increasingly narrow and the curves ever more crazy, it is a feasible drive even for someone who is not so experienced, like me.
It takes a while though, but you are rewarded, along the way with vistas and viewpoints.
The lookout at the summit is the goal, as it provides truly spectacular views.
Down below you see Hobart’s CBD and the port, and the long estuary of the Derwent River.
To the East, you can even see the peninsula with the Port Arthur Penal colony, to the South the numerous bays and coves and islands.
To the West, you see the vast wilderness that makes up most of the island, with its national parks.
Trees are getting sparse up on the summit, and there are a lot of rock formations.
The most distinctive, and beautiful feature of the mountain would be the cliff of dolerite columns, known as the Organ Pipes.
They’re often thought to be remains of a dormant volcano, however their geology is more complex, as they formed when Australia tore itself off Antarctica and Gondwana.
The only pity is the massive TV antenna planted on top of the mountain. But I understand, it was just the perfect place to get radio and TV signals as far as possible.
A funny side effect mid trouble your vehicle: your car’s remote locking system might be affected at the summit by the radio and TV signals. However, the park has prepared info in case you can’t re-open your car: (See: how to manage electronic disturbance at the Pinnacle.)
There’s a number of hikes and walk up on the summit, some lasting several hours. It’s not an easy walk – inform yourself on weather conditions (it gets chilly and windy easily) and closures on the Wellington Park website.
My sister and I were lazy, and only walked around a little bit, and took in the scenery – until we were hungry.
Here’s a selection of the best views.