Mt Wellington provides an impressive backdrop to the city of Hobart, and also provides for some excellent walking in an alpine environment and tremendous views. Although you can drive right to the top, walking up at least part of the way is more enjoyable and provides a better introduction to the mountain. This circular walk commences from ‘The Springs’, located on the main road to the summit. It takes in the summit as well as a walk across the plateau. Because this is an alpine area, you should be well equipped for poor weather.
The walk commences from either the main car park at The Springs, or from the minor road that leaves the main road to the left and climbs briefly. The first part of the walk is the Pinnacle Track which is well signposted and easy to follow. After a series of steps the path becomes a well trodden bush track that climbs steadily to the north with occasional views to the east. After about 1.5kms a junction is reached; turn left up the accurately named Zig-Zag track which soon starts to climb steeply and provides superb views if the weather allows.
The track eventually reaches the plateau and a track junction, ignore the track to the left for the moment (this is the path for the return journey) and instead stay on the well formed track as it passes to the left of the transmission tower on its way to the summit which is in the middle of a road loop so take care to watch out for traffic. After visiting the summit you could also drop down to the visitor centre or take in a viewpoint just to the west of the summit. In fine weather, the views are superb and extensive.
The return journey follows the path back to the above mentioned track junction and then follows a much rougher track, marked at regular intervals with poles fitted with orange markers. This track, the South Wellington Track, traverses the summit plateau before dropping briefly but steeply into bushland and ultimately reaching a signposted track junction with the Ice House Track. Take the Icehouse Track which is generally easy to follow as it descends through forest and eventually reaches the Miles Track. Turn left here back to the carpark.
Overall, a terrific walk featuring great views and a varied and interesting alpine and sub-alpine landscape, and all less then 30 minutes out of Hobart, a beautiful city in itself.
Walk date: 11th May, 2010
Time/Distance: Around 3.5 hrs
Grade: Moderate day walk
Map: TASMAP Wellington Park Recreation Map (1:20,000)
My rating: A+
Walk notes by DWP
The start of this suggested walk is Leadmill Bridge, which is a short walk south from Hathersage, past the Station, along the B6001. If traveling by car there is a small lay-by adjacent to the Plough Inn just beyond the bridge.
Starting from Leadmill Bridge walk south on the B6001 passing the Plough Inn on the left and then take the first turning on the right heading up the hill past Hazelford Hall. Just beyond the Hall at a sharp bend in the lane follow the farm lane above Tor Farm. Keep to the path as it passes through farmland and a number of gates before dropping down into Brook Wood. Cross the stream then take the rising path along the lower slopes of Bole Hill eventually descending towards Stoke Ford. Cross over the Cloughs via the footbridge, walk past the sign and take the footpath up along side Abney Clough and follow this path passing eventually through a stile and then a gate before emerging on a lane that leads into Abney. Follow the short lane and turn left along the village main street and just before the telephone box turn right up Duper Lane and follow this until it reaches open moorland. (Road and Duper Lane can be viewed on Google Maps, Streetview)
Facing the wooden signpost at the Lane junction take the gravel track to the right and continue on as it curves round and enters Shatton Lane. Continue down Shatton Lane past the communications mast (Google Maps, Streetview starts here for Shatton Lane) enjoying the magnificent views to the north towards Kinder Scout, Win Hill Pike, Derwent Edge and a glimpse of Ladybower reservoir. Just after passing the sign on the right indicating ‘Restricted Byway Ahead’ the track changes to a metalled surface and a gate and stile is reached at a bend in the lane as it begins to descend towards Shatton. Pass through the gateway and follow the signed footpath over Offerton Moor emerging eventually at the road near Offerton Hall. (Google Maps, Streetview) Meander left down the hill past Offerton House and Offerton Hall until a gate on the right is reached marked with a Public Footpath post. Pass through the gate and follow the path as it drops down through a number of enclosed pastures until it meets the river Derwent close to the stepping-stones. Turn right and follow the path downstream through open pastureland negotiating numerous stiles along the way until reaching the starting point of the walk at Leadmill Bridge and the added attraction of a well-earned break at the nearby Plough Inn.
Start & Finish: Leadmill Bridge Grid Reference SK2380
Distance approx 11.5kms easy walking with diverse scenery and easy access by private or public transport.