A detailed hiking guide to the summit of Hartz Peak in the Hartz Mountains National Park, Tasmania. How to get to the trailhead, what to expect and photography from our sunrise walk to Hartz Peak.
Standing at 1253 metres, Hartz Peak is the tallest point on the Hartz Mountain range in southern Tasmania. However, an easy access road combined with a well-maintained track make this summit hike a very doable mission for many.
In this blog post, I hope to arm you with everything you need to know to hike the Hartz Peak walk to the summit. I’ve also included several photos from our sunrise hike in Winter that I hope will inspire you to visit this incredible Tasmanian national park.
Where is Hartz Peak?
Hartz Peak is located in the Hartz Mountains National Park in Southern Tasmania, approximately 86 kilometres from Hobart. The trailhead to the summit is found at the end of Hartz Road, where there is also an unstaffed Visitor Centre and adequate parking for up to 20 vehicles.
How to Get to Hartz Mountains National Park
Unfortunately, there are no organised tours or public transport options running to the Hartz Mountains. Therefore, the only way to reach the trailhead peak is to drive here yourself or try your luck hitchhiking from Geeveston.
That’s because no matter which direction you are coming from, you’ll first need to head towards Geeveston. Once there, you’ll follow the signs towards the Hartz Mountains and Tahune Adventures up Arve Road which is sealed.
Approximately 12 kilometres up the winding Arve Road you will see a turn-off onto Hartz Road (unsealed). Next, follow this road for roughly 14 kilometres all the way to the end where there is a large turning bay and adequare parking.
The road up to the Hartz Mountains is unsealed but well-graded. But, keep in mind that it is steep and Winter freeze can make it very slippery.
We managed to get our big van up there without any trouble at all.
If you’re set on exploring the beautiful region south of Hobart but don’t have your own transport, I can certainly recommend this full-day tour from Hobart instead.
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The Hartz Peak Hike
What’s great about the Hartz Peak walk is that Hartz Road winds all the way up the mountain, providing easy access to the summit, just 4 kilometres away. In terms of effort vs reward, the Hartz Peak hike is one of the best in Tasmania.
From the top, you’ll get views of alpine tarns and lakes and while standing atop the highest point in the Hartz Range. Behind you, you’ll overlook the raw and unforgiving World Heritage Wilderness Area of Southwest National Park and even get a glimpse of Federation Peak.
While this track is quite easy and can easily be completed in about two and a half hours, it’s important to mention that it is within an alpine area. That means dangerous weather can blow in at any time. People have died out there due to the cold. There’s also a bit of uphill to cover with sections that are a little steep and can often be covered with snow in Winter.
Therefore, it’s best to plan your hikes accordingly and make sure to bring the alpine essentials like extra water, warm clothes, a waterproof layer and even possibly a satellite phone (I always bring my InReach mini).
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Trailhead to Lake Esperance
The trailhead to Hartz Peak begins adjacent to the visitor cabin at the end of Hartz Road. There is a blue Tasmanian Parks sign pointing the way.
The first section can get a little bit muddy but this doesn’t last long at all. The track has recently been upgraded and there is a wooden boardwalk leading all the way to the beginning of the climb up Hartz Peak. This makes this walk quite enjoyable and also protects the sensitive alpine vegetation below.
At roughly 1.5 km in, you’ll arrive at a fork leading to Lake Esperance. This is a beautiful alpine lake with wooden boardwalk continued to the edge. There are a couple of benches to sit down here and enjoy the view. Since we left early for sunrise, we continued past Lake Esperance and stopped by on the way back in.
Ladies Tarn to Hartz Peak
Another kilometre down the scenic boardwalk track (if weather is playing nice), there is another detour to Ladies Tarn. A tarn is a type of small alpine lake. This particular tarn has a very short circuit detour loop, meaning that we could bypass it and continue on towards Hartz Peak.
Continuing on, and the gentle boardwalk ends just a few hundred metres past Ladies Tarn. The track then ascends on a narrow, rocky route gaining the saddle known as Hartz Pass, just beside Hartz Peak. This section had very deep snow when we visited as it is protected by the Hartz Range from the Roaring 40s that scream through the Southwest National Park.
As we gained the Hartz Pass, we were immediately hit by these infamous winds. Here, you’ll also get the first views of the Southwest National Park wilderness. And, if you’re lucky with the weather, you can see Federation Peak in the distance.
Views from Hartz Peak Summit
The climb up Hartz Peak begins to the left (south) of the pass. You’ll see stacked rock cairns marking the route to the summit. The route up is actually carved very well, with rocks placed in a manner that makes climbing up a breeze. However, I could imagine that it might prove a little difficult and slippery in heavy snow.
Once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with excellent views. Immediately to the south is the conical Snowy Peak, a beautiful mountain that wasn’t particularly snowy during my winter visit.
Perhaps the most scenic view is that of Hartz Lake, just to the northwest. On a clear day, you can also see the Precipitous Bluff in the distance to the south and the distant Arthur Ranges far off to the west.
More Photos From Hartz Peak
Returning to the Trailhead Carpark
After you’ve soaked in the views, you can turn around and head back down the same track towards the car park. On the way, make sure to check out Ladies Tarn and Lake Esperance if you haven’t already.
Also, once you’re driving back out, I suggest making a stop at Arve Falls, a quick 800-metre return walk to a scenic little alpine waterfall.
Accommodation Near the Hartz Mountains
If you’re looking to stay a while in the region surrounding Geeveston after the Hartz Peak walk, I’ve linked some resources below to help you out.
The Tahune Airwalk Lodge
You might be surprised to hear that you can actually stay at Tahune Adventures. There are numerous rooms to choose from ranging from bunk dorms to full-family suites. Facilities include a restaurant, a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi. So, if you’re in the area, why not check out Tahune Adventures and stay at the lodge?
Otherwise, there are also a few hotels and motels available at the nearest township of Geeveston that are a great stop after the Hartz Peak walk. Below is a map you can use to check for the best deals for your dates.
More Tasmanian Waterfall Guides, Hikes and Adventures
I hope that you found this quick hiking guide to Hartz Peak in Tasmania useful. If you enjoyed the Hartz Mountains National Park, then make sure to check out some of the other wonders of Tasmania.
I’ve spent several months hiking and exploring some of the best areas in Tasmania and many of them are featured on this blog. Go check it out!