The walk to Hartz Peak is well documented, but this walk is an easy alternative that starts from the same place. The walk takes about an hour as a round trip, and the path is well defined, boardwalk for a lot of the way and not too rugged. This would be a good walk for those with young children, or for active seniors.
You walk the path of an ancient glacier, and, for the geologically minded, there are plenty of glacial features to marvel at with interesting and informative interpretive signage along the way. At the end of the trail you arrive at Lake Osborne - itself a glacial feature, which is surrounded by King Billy pines, craggy peaks and a wide variety of alpine vegetation.
We visited in mid-winter and there were patches of snow around and a brisk breeze blowing. In summer you will be able to enjoy the local waratah in flower.
Access is via the Hartz Mountain Rd which is accessible to conventional vehicles in fine weather. The road is subject to rain, ice and snow, so at times a 4wd would be advisable. Dress appropriately and check the weather before you go as it can change quickly and you don't want to get caught in a blizzard!
This walk is within Hartz Mountains National Park and a Parks Pass is required.
The path is clear, often with a boardwalk and easy to traverse.
As you are walking along the path of an ancient glacier there are plenty of geological features to admire. This is a feature called a Roche Moutonne which were carved out by the flow of ancient ice.
The rock walls have also been shaped by the flow of ice, and today stand out as sheer cliffs.
You pass through patches of forest out onto the open tundra-like alpine heathland.
Lake Osborne is a pool of water that has filled up against the dam wall of the terminal moraine of the old glacier.
There is a seat at the end of the path to enjoy the view
Around the lake is a forested, rocky shoreline. There is no path around the lake.
Tasmania has a few ancient, endemic conifers. This is the King Billy Pine which lives at high altitudes, is extremely slow growing and long-lived. Some of the pines here are hundreds of years old.
From the entire Hartz Mountain ridge, you get spectacular views across the surrounding hills and valleys.
Being an Alpine region there is often snow and ice around in the cooler months of the year, and while the path is good, snow can make the going a bit slippery.
Alpine vegetation is varied, prickly and like a bonsai garden.