national park in Tasmania, Australia
Oceania > Australia > Tasmania > Southern Tasmania > Huon and Far South > Hartz Mountains National Park

Parks of the Tasmanian Wilderness
Cradle Mountain-Lake St ClairFranklin-Gordon Wild RiversHartz MountainsMole Creek KarstMount FieldSouthwestWalls of Jerusalem

Hartz Mountains National Park is a national park in Southern Tasmania and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Being only a little more than an hour drive from the state capital of Hobart, Hartz Mountains National Park is an easy-to-get-to park for wilderness hiking.

Understand edit

A centurion tree in the park

History edit

The park was first inhabited by the Mellukerdee people, with the first Europeans coming to the area in the 19th century in search of Huon pine timber, leading to the town of Geeveston being founded. A track was laid between the town and the mountains, making it one of the popular bushwalking trails in the 19th century.

The park was declared a scenic reserve in 1939 and a national park in 1951. In 1989, along with numerous other Tasmanian national parks and reserves, the park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the Tasmanian Wilderness.

Landscape edit

The park's elevation ranges from 160 m at the Picton River to 1,255 m at Hartz Peak, the park's peak. The backbone of rock in the park is dolerite, while the southern areas at lower altitudes are constituted from sedimentary rocks formed from sediments deposited by marine, glacial and freshwater sources between 355 and 180 million years ago. However, they've been modified over time by several ice ages, forming cirques, horn peaks, aretes and glacial troughs.

Flora and fauna edit

The vegetation of the park is the ones that is generally found in wet eucalypt forests, rainforests, sub-alpine and alpine forests. The park also has the smallest eucalypt and yellow gum.

Fauna in the park include the Bennett's wallabies, Tasmanian pademelons, brushtail possums, echidnas and platypus, with many of them being nocturnal. Birds in the park include the eastern spinebill, green rosella, forest raven and several honeyeaters.

Climate edit

Hartz Mountains National Park
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

The climate of Hartz Mountains National Park is very comparable to the climate of Europe or North America, except the greenery makes the park have more rainfall than Europe or North America. The summers are either mild, or cool and it rarely gets "hot" or even hits the 20s. In winter, the temperatures go below freezing nearly everyday, but that's the kind of climate that most of the Tasmanian Wilderness gets.

Unlike the mainland, the rainier months tend to be around when winter starts, which is around June to the middle of spring in October with August being the rainiest month of the year, and January being the driest year.

Visitor information edit

  • Park website
  • Huonville Office, 22 Main Street, Huonville, +61 3 6121 7026, . M–F generally between 10AM–4PM.
  • 1 Day use shelter and walking information, Hartz Road, Southwest. This is where you will need to fill the logbook before going out on one of the hikes in the park.

Get in edit

Hartz Mountains National Park can only be accessed via car, although it's not far from the state capital of Hobart. From Hobart, head down the freeway onto A6 Huon Highway up to Kingston. Instead of continuing on the freeway at Kingston, exit onto A6 Huon Highway for about 60 kilometres until Geeveston. At Geeveston, turn right to C632 Arve Road until the very end of the road where you'll have reached the park.

Note that the last 10.5 kilometres of Arve Road is not paved, and the road can be closed in the snow. Unless you're coming in a vehicle on chains, even 4WDs, you likely will not be able to continue or find it difficult.

Fees and permits edit

Map of Hartz Mountains National Park

To enter any national park in Tasmania, you'll need to have a valid park pass to enter the park, which can be found on the Parks Tasmania website. There are numerous passes available, depending on your needs. The fees are up-to-date as of February 2024.

A Daily Pass is usually valid for 24 hours and is usable in all parks, although it does not include access to Cradle Mountain. This is particularly useful if you're going to numerous nearby parks. A pass for your vehicle covers up to 8 occupants; you only need the per-person pass if you arrive outside a vehicle.

  • Per vehicle: $44.75.
  • Per person (≥5 years): $22.35.

If you stay in Tasmania for a few weeks and want to visit several national parks, the Holiday Pass is valid for up to two months. This also includes Cradle Mountain.

  • Per vehicle: $89.50.
  • Per person (≥5 years): $44.75.

There is also the Annual Park Pass, which is valid in all parks, including Cradle Mountain.

  • $95.30 in general.
  • $76.25 for concession holders.
  • $38.10 for seniors.

If you only plan to frequently revisit one park for 12 months, it costs $48.70 for a regular adult and $38.95 for concession holders. This excludes Cradle Mountain.

Passes can either be purchased through, in any national park visitor centre, some travel information centres, onboard Spirit of Tasmania vessels, and Service Tasmania centres.

Get around edit

The only bit of road in the park (which is unpaved), goes from the park's entrance to the day use shelter and toilets, and apart from that, the to get to the rest of the park, you will need to walk. Nevertheless, some of the easier to access parts of the park don't divert too far off the road, and so it'll be an easy walk.

See edit

The lake during the winter months covered in snow
  • 1 Arve Falls, Arve Falls Track, Southwest. It takes about twenty minutes from Hartz Road, and about one kilometre, making it suitable for most people. But the drop of the waterfall is just one of things that make this place so unique and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 2 Hartz Peak. It's the roof of the park and is accessible via a somewhat difficult trail (see details under #Do).
  • 3 Lake Esperance. One of the easiest and accessible glacial lakes to get to in Tasmania, this lake was initially formed as ice, but snow later built up around the mountains surrounding the lake. If you're doing the Hartz Peak track, it's a very short diversion to get to this unique lake.
  • 4 Lake Osborne, Lake Osborne Track, Southwest. Another very easily accessible glacial lake, this lake gives more an insight into the alpine and subalpine vegetation of the park surrounded by ancient King Billy pines. The vegetation seen at this lake is very uncommon to see in Australia, hence why this spot is somewhat popular.
  • 5 Waratah Lookout, Waratah Lookout Track, Southwest. A lookout overlooking the Huon Valley, a valley with dense thick forests that was present near the entrance of the park, which, to get to this lookout, you'd have passed to get to this lookout. If you come to this lookout in either December of January, you may as well see the Tasmanian waratah bloom in bright red, taking over the already alluring scene.

Do edit

The boardwalk around Lake Esperance
  • The Hartz Pass is a 6 km return trail and takes 3.5 hours return to do. The track is reasonably well marked, passing through a range of different environments and surfaces, including boardwalks, rocky paths and just the surface at times. Be particularly careful if you're heading in the winter months, as the boardwalk can come very slippery. Nevertheless, there's probably never a better trail to experience the park's glacial and alpine landscapes.
  • If you're looking for more of a challenge than Hartz Pass, Hartz Peak goes to the peak of the park, and takes 3-5 hours return, and about 7.4 km (4.6 mi) to do, climbing 400 metres in elevation. The views are even more rewarding, especially when you get to the top, seeing a true glimpse of what a "wilderness" is.
  • The boardwalk around Lake Esperance allows you to experience most of the beauties of Lake Esperance on a well constructed boardwalk, and sometimes with snow on the sides, but it can even cover the boardwalk in winter.
  • For those wanting a shorter walk, and one more family friendly, Lake Osborne walk is a 2 km walk, with 45 minutes return, although there's no boardwalk on this one. Most of the walk is just either a gentle uphill or a gentle downhill, with some rocky surfaces, but apart from that, the main thing about the walk is the lake and some of the jaw dropping views surrounding it

Buy, eat and drink edit

There are no shops, cafes, kiosks, restaurants, bars etc. in the park, and so you will need to bring everything with you. The only facilities that are in the park are toilets, the day use area and picnic areas.

Sleep edit

There are no camping facilities in the park, and there are also no lodging facilities in the park too. Campfires are also not permitted in the park, in order to protect the vegetation in the park. However, given that the park is just an hour away from Hobart or just half an hour from Huonville, the accommodation in those towns give much more of a variety than in neighbouring towns.

Stay safe edit

If you're coming in winter, make sure to bring chains or else you could be stuck for hours on end, even if you're coming in a 4WD. None of the roads in the park are paved, but nevertheless, it's a decent gravel road.

There are no rangers in the park, and follow all local advice as given. However, there are a sizable number of tourists who visit this park, especially during the holiday season that you won't be on your own.

Avoid driving at night, as there are wildlife that could cross without you noticing. If you absolutely have to, make sure to drive slowly.

Finally, bring some extra layers with you, as the park gets particularly cold, and often comparable to that of the Canadian Prairies.

Go next edit

  • Southwest National Park borders directly to the west, but requires a 1-hour drive via car around the Tasmanian Wilderness
Routes via Hartz Mountains National Park
END S C632 NE  Geeveston (A6 jcn)

This park travel guide to Hartz Mountains National Park has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information about the park including attractions, activities, lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, and arrival/departure info. Please contribute and help us make it a star!