Top 10 highest mountains in Tasmania
Tasmania attracts larger numbers of adventure-tourists than serious mountaineers.
Tasmanian mountains are akin to those of Scotland – rocky ridges and outcrops, and highland plateaus with occasional sharp protrusions – rather than the alps of Switzerland, or the Andes or Himalayas.
Everest, the world's tallest mountain, is 8,848 metres above sea level. The highest mountains in Europe (5,642 metres) and North America (6,194 metres) dwarf Australia’s Mt Kosciuszko (2,228 metres). Tasmania is in the minor leagues.
Scan the hikers' register at the departure points for the Overland Track and the South West Wilderness walks and you will see a goodly mix of German, Scandinavian, Japanese and other exotic names. It is the setting of the Tasmanian mountains – nature unspoiled – that draws people from all over the world.
photo courtesy of state8.net/tas.htm
The highest mountain in Tasmania is Mt Ossa. It is in the northern heart of the island, within a World Heritage Area in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Take the six-day hike along the Overland Track and you will find Mt Ossa at about the halfway point. That's about as far from civilisation as you can get.
The Ben Lomond National Park is in the north-eastern quadrant of Tasmania. Legges Tor is the highest peak on the vast Ben Lomond plateau. It is possible to drive up the Jacobs Ladder access road to a ski area, on the eastern side of Legges Tor, not too far from the summit. There are skiers here during the short and unreliable winter season but most of the rest of the time it is well off the beaten track.
Mount Pelion West
Mt Pelion West is another mountain encountered along the Overland Track in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It is a rugged peak and a dangerous climb, one that the Park rangers would prefer you to bypass, so there is little indication of the route to the top. Few take the diversion.
Barn Bluff is yet another mountain in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, in the northern sector of the preserve. It stands upright and proud, not hemmed in by other peaks. This is no Mont Blanc but it is pleasing, if not exactly spectacular.
At this point in your reading, you note that four out of the five highest mountains in Tasmania are in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. There are more than 25 major mountain peaks in the Park. Cradle Mountain, with its distinctive hammock shape, is mostly first viewed across Dove Lake after a drive to the end of the sealed tourist access road. And it draws tens of thousands of visitors every year, although few go further than the carpark.
We are on the Ben Lomond Plateau again. At the southernmost end of the escarpment is Stacks Bluff and this is the sixth highest point in Tasmania.
Du Cane Range
Back to the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and the seventh highest spot in Tasmania is on the main ridge of the Du Cane Range.
Mount Massif is a dolerite cap which is part of the Du Cane Range. It is in the southern Reserve, and is north of both Mount Geryon and the high point of the Du Cane Range. Access is usually from the Labyrinth or via the Du Cane traverse. (Our thanks to Stuart Bowling for this information.)
Mount Geryon is part of the Du Cane Range in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, a few kilometres south of Mt Ossa.
King Davids Peak
The Walls Of Jerusalem National Park is on the western border of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Many natural features in the Park have biblical names, as does the tenth highest point in Tasmania, King Davids Peak.